Baal Shem Tov, or Besht — the founder of Chasidism —
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: firstname.lastname@example.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.
ILA destroys Bedouin homes to make way for Jewish town
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.
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.
Posted by: Hyla Bolsta at July 26, 2007 06:26 PM
Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006