Al Araqib was demolished again last week, this time with some drastic and awful differences.
First: the authorities fired rubber bullets on the
villagers, injuring over a dozen people, five of whom were hospitalized. They were teenagers, ages 16-
Second: Bulldozers returned the next morning to clear away the rubble. Usually the rubble is left, and the villagers rebuild on top of their ruined homes. This time, they were left nothing to rebuild with, and the ground was cleared as if for planting. The JNF has been planting a forest, paid for by GOD-TV, an American Evangelical channel, all around the village and plans to plant over it. Rumors are that they wanted to plant trees on the Araqib lands before the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shvat, which ironically is the “New Year of Trees.”
Third: Activists were not allowed on the land, and 11 were arrested. Two of these were people I have personally worked with and have great respect for. One is a professor of history at Tel Aviv university.
The first video
shows the shocking juxtaposition between demolition and forestation. The wording is a bit stronger than I’d like (I would use “fanaticism” and “ignorance” rather than “hate”), but it certainly gets the point across.
This one shows the amazing resilience and perseverance of the people of Al Araqib: