The Baal Shem Tov, or Besht —  the founder of Chasidism — 
met the soul of the Messiah during an ascent to heaven. 
The Besht asked him, "When will the Master come?" 
The Messiah answered, "When your wellsprings break forth to the outside!" 
(from a letter written by the Besht to his brother-in-law about one of his soul ascents) 


 
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STOP BLUEPRINT NEGEV

Save the Negev      Respect Human Dignity     Stop the JNF


Emergency Alert – Bedouin villages slated for destruction
Support Human Rights and Sustainability

The state of Israel, with the strong support of the Jewish National Fund in North America, but without less support from Keren Kayemet L'Yisrael (the JNF in Israel), has destroyed some Bedouin villages and has plans to destroy many more in order to "plant" Jews-only middle-class settlments, settlements that will burden the desert ecosystem, already filled with toxic waste dumps, nuclear waste, and heavy industry. On June 26 2007, Atir village was destroyed (see Ha'aretz article below, courtesy of bustan.org).

These settlements will be heavy on water and electricity usage, completely dependent on non-local resources, and unsustainable - a disaster for both the desert and for the rest of the country that bears the burden of using up its precious resources for these settlements. At the same time, the state of Israel is doing everything in its power to destroy what is left of the only culture that knows how to use and live in the desert sustainably. And above all, it is destroying people's lives

All of the so-called "unrecognized" villages subject to demolition were created when the state of Israel herded the Bedouin out of the majority of the Negev into the triangle defined by Beersheva, Afula and Dimona. This concentration has been furthered by the government's desire to pressure all the Bedouin into small cities, where they will "take up" less land. This goal has been served by the goverment's refusal to provide health care, electricity and water to most these villages, for decades on end.

"The residents of the village of Atir have been living there for 51 years. They were transferred to the site in 1956 while under martial law. The land they originally owned was transferred to Kibbutz Shoval, while the Bedouin were leased 3000 dunam of land for agriculture and grazing. The government approved the establishment of Hiran in 2002, and in 2004 the state submitted a court order claiming that residents of Al Hiran should be evacuated as they are using state lands without permission." – Haaretz

This is the reward of the one bloc of Arab citizens who served loyally in the army and accepted the state of Israel. It's a replay of the disastrous system that the US government used to take away Indian land and rights. But it's happening now, in our day. What would you be willing to do to stop it?

A first step is to call JNF and tell them about your objections to Blueprint Negev. You can reach the regional offices of the JNF here. The contact information for the national office is: Email: communications@jnf.org Phone: (888) JNF-0099. Their homepage is here. JNF will tell you that "Blueprint Negev" will improve the lives of the Bedouin – nothing could be more false. The only path toward improving the lives of the Bedouin is one which recognizes their villages!

Read the article from Haaretz below, and go to bustan.org to find out more.
  

Making the Desert Bloom - Destroying Atir Village in Yatir Forest
from Devorah Brous, Bustan

Israel's Negev Development Plans continue apace. Another Bedouin town was completely destroyed today [June 26]. The Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages will be building a Refugee Camp in the center of Jerusalem for the Bedouin families that have been uprooted from their lands and forced out of their homes as part of the government's relocation project. Your help in spreading the news updates to your communities and publishing information widely -- is critical. North American Jews should not be funding this process and in the name of pioneering settlement of the Negev. Please use your influence to speak truth to power.

Sign up for BUSTAN information about vigils, tours, etc. at: info@bustan.org.



ILA destroys Bedouin homes to make way for Jewish town
By Mijal Grinberg, Haaretz Correspondent, June 26, 2007

The Israel Land Administration (ILA), with the assistance of an unusually large police force and IDF soldiers, demolished dozens of tin shack homes Monday in unrecognized Bedouin villages Um Al-Hiran and A-Tir in the northern Negev. The ILA is destroying the village and evacuating the inhabitants so that a Jewish Community named "Hiran" can be established in the area.

Fourteen shacks, which housed some 100 people, have been destroyed by bulldozers so far. Bedouin women tried to get their children out of the house but police wanted to speed up the process so they grabbed the play pens with the children inside and did not let the mothers come near. "Tonight we will sleep on the ground", Fajua Ab Abu Al-Cian said.

Young men, roughly 18-years of age, wearing orange shirts and taking part in the evacuation, removed the Bedouin's property from their homes and put it in piles on the ground outside. Haaretz has discovered that these teenagers are outsourced workers who are employed by a contractor hired by the ILA. According to the evacuators, they are being paid in cash without any labor rights.

According to Adallah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, the residents of the village have been living there for 51 years. They were transferred to the site in 1956 while under martial law. The land they originally owned was transferred to Kibbutz Shoval, while the Bedouin were leased 3000 dunam of land for agriculture and grazing.

In August 2001 the ILA submitted a report on the establishment of new communities, which included Hiran. The Bedouin residents living in the area appeared under the title of "special problems" that may affect the establishment of the community. The government approved the establishment of Hiran in 2002, and in 2004 the state submitted a court order claiming that residents of Al Hiran should be evacuated as they are using state lands without permission.


You can view a satellite image of Atir on Google Maps by clicking HERE. This link is provided by a Palestinian blog called "Sabbah", and includes political analysis which Neohasid has NOT vetted and which may not necessarily represent our views. However, we do strongly believe in seeing the conflict from many perspectives, including multiple Palestinian perspectives, no matter what one's political proclivities. Keep in mind though that the conflict between Israel and Palestine is generally separate, on all levels, from the matzav of the Bedouin.


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I wrote a letter to JNF and emailed my Rabbi, Margaret Holub, to open discussion of a way to bring this topic into our community so that as a group we can take action (and not create tension and fighting among people).

I thank you David, for this web site and your leadership.
Hyla Bolsta

Posted by: Hyla Bolsta at July 26, 2007 06:26 PM

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