Busloads of civilians cheer as Israelis uproot Bedouin village of 200

Israel/Palestine
on 48 Comments

News reports confirm the report we ran last night of Israel’s bulldozing of a Bedouin village in the Negev, uprooting 40 families, 200 people, to make way for what–a forest created with the auspices of the Jewish National Fund? Here’s the shocking report from CNN–shades of the cheering for the war on Gaza:

Witnesses told CNN that the Israeli forces arrived at the village accompanied by busloads of civilians who cheered as the dwellings were demolished. They said armed police deployed with tear gas, water cannon, two helicopters and bulldozers.

Below is a press release from several groups speaking on behalf of the village, which it says was 300 people, and passing along a horrific quote from Netanyahu– that in Sunday’s Cabinet meeting, he sounded a warning about “a situation in which a demand for national rights will be made from some quarters inside Israel, for example in the Negev, should the area be left without a Jewish majority. Such things happened in the Balkans, and it is a real threat.” I can’t find that quote online. I do see that Netanyahu described non-Jewish immigration as a “concrete threat.”

Al Arakib Popular Committee – Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality – Recognition Forum – Tarabut – Gush Shalom Press Release

July 27, 2010

Early this morning police raided the unrecognized Bedouin village of al-Arakib in the Negev, destroyed all 40 of its houses, and evicted more than 300 residents. The residents, mostly children, were left homeless.

The unprecedented raid began at about 4:30 in the morning, residents were surprised to wake up surrounded by a huge force of 1,500 police with guns, stun grenades, helmets and shields, including hundreds of Special Riot Police (Yasam) as well as mounted police, helicopters and bulldozers.

At the residents’ call, dozens of left-wing activists and volunteers arrived from all over the country, helping them to offer non-violent resistance. Several residents were bruised and beaten by police, though not needing medical attention. One woman demonstrator was detained by the police.

The police removed the residents’ property into prepared containers, and bulldozers demolished the residential buildings and sheepfolds and destroyed the residents’ fruit orchards and olive tree groves. The villagers, mostly children and old people, were left stunned near the destroyed village, shelterless and waterless under the blazing sun.

The destruction of the village was carried out despite dispute over ownership of the land still pending in the courts. Residents of al-Arakib are neither squatters nor invaders: their village has existed many years before the creation of Israel in 1948. Residents had been evicted by the state in 1951, but returned to the land on which they live and which they cultivate. Ownership of the land is now the subject of proceedings in the Be’er Sheva District Court, where academic researchers have already testified in confirmation of the residents’ ownership right in the land. 

The destruction’s declared aim is to facilitate plans by the Jewish National Fund to plant a wood on the site. We regard this demolition as a criminal act. Bedouin citizens of Israel are not enemies, and forestation of the Negev is not a reasonable pretext for destroying a community which is more than 60 years old, dispossessing its residents, and violating the basic rights of hundreds of Israeli civilians, men, women and children. This act by the state authorities is no “law enforcement” – it is a act of war, such as is undertaken against an enemy.

This act cannot be dissociated from yesterday’s statement by Prime Minister Netanyahu, who at the cabinet meeting sounded a warning about “a situation in which a demand for national rights will be made from some quarters inside Israel, for example in the Negev, should the area be left without a Jewish majority. Such things happened in the Balkans, and it is a real threat.”

Presenting the Bedouin citizens of Israel as “a real threat” gives legitimacy to the expulsion of Israel’s Bedouin citizens from the Negev in order to “Judaize” it. We call on all who care for democracy to give their support to this threatened community.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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48 Responses

  1. Formerly T-Bear
    July 27, 2010, 10:03 am

    Let me see if I comprehend this.

    Destroy established trees

    in order to plant trees.

    What a crock of steaming shite.

    • Psychopathic god
      July 27, 2010, 10:34 am

      David Horowitz, The Freedom Center

      Ahmadinejad brand must be going soft; Horowitz uses Nasrallah to invoke image of another Holocaust.

    • Mythbuster
      July 27, 2010, 10:45 am

      You know, Mooser, whenever I think of Hitler I always think of Hezbollah. Don’t you? The connection is obvious: Nazi Germany was an expansionist country with a long history of militarism. Nazi Germany had one of the world’s biggest armies.

      Hezbollah is a minority party in a tiny country with a military so weak it can’t even protect its own borders.

      Isn’t Horowitz’s “logic” impeccable?

      Similarly, my 7-year-old shoots hoops, so clearly he’s Lebron James.

  2. NorthOfFortyNine
    July 27, 2010, 11:07 am

    Where’s Witty?

    • Mythbuster
      July 27, 2010, 12:51 pm

      On the bus?

    • Shingo
      August 2, 2010, 9:04 am

      “Where’s Witty?”

      Yes, I too was looking foward to Witty’s explanation as to how this gels with his vision of mutual respect and understanding, live and let live and all that other repugnant BS he dolls out on this forum.

  3. hayate
    July 27, 2010, 11:19 am

    They bused in a cheering section for their ethnic cleansing?

    • potsherd
      July 27, 2010, 11:30 am

      The cheering section is the settlers cheering that they now get to take over more Arab land.

    • Chu
      July 27, 2010, 11:38 am

      It’s the national Israeli sport. Tickets on sale, now!
      they’re really scraping the bottom now…

      cameron is making the rounds in turkey:
      link to haaretz.com

      Gaza must not remain a prison camp
      British Prime Minister makes remarks during visit to Turkey, against backdrop of deteriorating Israel-Turkey relations.

    • tree
      July 27, 2010, 2:39 pm

      There’s a word for this. Pogrom.

      • Citizen
        July 27, 2010, 7:17 pm

        Gee, I thought it was emminent domain–Israeli style.

  4. HomoSapiens
    July 27, 2010, 11:54 am

    Here’s what it’s all about, the little Jewish kiddies in the synagogue down the street learning how to fund genocidal policies in Israel:

    link to jnf.org

    BYW, under Israel law, forestation is an official government act of “land development” which forever converts the land to “Jewish State” purposes and precludes any judicial action to recover it.

    And guess what kiddies, Uncle Sam’s sappo public allows your Mom and Dad get a tax deduction for those quarters and dollars you stuff into the Blue Box so the homeless Beduoins can wander about the desert.

    • AngelaJerusalem
      July 27, 2010, 1:24 pm

      “so the homeless Bedouins can wander about the desert” … HomeSapiens, I’m not sure if you know there’s nowhere now for Bedouin to wander. It’s all illegal, or military, or built up, or Jews only.. not only in the Negev but also 60% of the West Bank (“Area C”) where Bedouin are refugees and now no longer able to take their goats out to pasture due to all the apartheid settler-only roads, the Wall, settlements, military stuff, firing ranges, nature reserves, etc. Recently Israel demolished a whole village in the Jordan Valley which Oxfam had been supporting with humanitarian supplies, thereby destroying thousands of euros of infrastructure, etc. Israel has literally grabbed all the land and all rights to it. No Bedouin anywhere from the Jordan to the Med can legally farm or own livestock. They are a non-people. If ONLY they could simply up sticks and go nomad…

  5. Shunra
    July 27, 2010, 12:05 pm

    Here’s an online source of the quote, in Hebrew:
    link to haaretz.co.il

  6. MRW
    July 27, 2010, 12:23 pm

    This is so utterly heartbreaking. An entire village? And these cretins cheer? God, I wish andrewsullivan would highlight his so Americans can see. There must be something on coteret.com about this in English. (Don’t have time to check right now.) Someone tell sullivan. I gotta run.

    • eljay
      July 27, 2010, 12:45 pm

      >> This is so utterly heartbreaking. An entire village? And these cretins cheer?

      I see this as a very positive sign. Had those Israeli citizens been stuck in their old narrative, they would have been booing the villagers. Instead, they are cheering – a clear indication of their feelings of goodwill and brotherhood for their fellow Israelis.

      Let this be a lesson to non-Israelis: When you destroy someone else’s home, land or life, remember to cheer. It lifts the spirits and makes a better argument for everyone. :-D

      “Remember the Holocaust!”

  7. syvanen
    July 27, 2010, 1:52 pm

    I tried posting this in the Bedouin thread below, but it was troll-hijacked.

    This is sad. When the Zionist first came to Palestine they discovered a schism between the more urban and sedentary farmers, ie the Palestinians and the migratory herder natives, namely the Bedouin. They exploited this masterly. They hired the Bedouins to fight on their side against their traditional enemies. I suppose the Bedouin believed that they would receive special privileges. They did for about 40 years. But unfortunately for them the Zionists now want their land. It is sorry sucker time. Israel does not need their help anymore, they are quite powerful enough without help. It is Bedouin land that the Zionists now want. As [delete troll name] points out above — they can sell us drugs, but please they should not expect a homeland — they lost that when they agreed to go to war against the Palestinians.

    What is sad here is that they do not have allies that will support them today. The Palestinians with their many international contacts are not likely to use up their political capital supporting the Bedouin. And that is likely why this story has so little play in the press right now.

    • thankgodimatheist
      July 28, 2010, 7:54 am

      “And that is likely why this story has so little play in the press right now.”
      Syvanen

      SBS, an Australian channel usually very sympathetic to Israel had a report on this in their 9.30 Evening News ..I was more than surprised to see that a clear critical tone was taken..Powerful images..toddlers trying to salvage toys from the rubble of their homes..Hopeless, helpless men and women sitting in the dirt expressing their resigned anger and how they’re treated “like cockroaches” even though they’re Israeli citizens. One was saying his family owns the land since 1927..Men busy trying to rebuild a new house, etc..Besides, there was enough time allocated to this story and what came across is definitely going to have a negative impact on how the average Australian perceives Israel..

  8. Taxi
    July 27, 2010, 1:57 pm

    What next?

    Feeding the native semites to German Shephards on steroids in giant IDF stadiums?

    Watta watta buncha fucking barbaric racist meanies!

  9. lareineblanche
    July 27, 2010, 2:25 pm

    Jesus.

    Witnesses told CNN that the Israeli forces arrived at the village accompanied by busloads of civilians who cheered as the dwellings were demolished.

    Dr. Yeela Ranaan from the RCUV, in her interview from Sumud’s link (link to theonlydemocracy.org) :

    It comes with newspaper articles, telling how horrible the Bedouins are because they’re over[?] governmental land, and they’re cheating the government…

    This village is known to be a village of people who are stubborn, and so they want to teach everybody a lesson, and I think we’re just seeing the beginning ; I think it’s going to be much worse…

    Maybe the official propaganda already set the stage for this in the papers, convincing people (who didn’t need much convincing?) that these “usurpers” had no right to be there, and that they were “provoking” the government with their obstinate “attitudes”. Disgusting. What can be done about this, aside from what’s already being done?

    • potsherd
      July 27, 2010, 2:46 pm

      PUBLICITY

      Photos of their hatefulness gone viral all over the internet.

      • Bumblebye
        July 27, 2010, 5:38 pm

        potsherd
        Have you got a link to pics please?

      • potsherd
        July 28, 2010, 4:41 pm

        I have not, because apparently the scene was other than described.

  10. Bumblebye
    July 27, 2010, 5:46 pm

    Anyone had the oh so cynical thought that this action may have been brought forward to take advantage of the Wikileaks furore in the MSM? Hence the near universal non-appearance.

  11. Antidote
    July 27, 2010, 5:57 pm

    bumblebye – no, I didn’t have that cynical thought, but I was wondering: why now? The decision to destroy this village is more than 10 years old , see:

    link to youtube.com

    here’s an older clip on Bedouin house demolitions:

    link to metacafe.com

    my not so cynical thought was whether the timing might have been a subversive move? Exposing the fact that this sort of thing does not only happen to the ‘terrorists’ (Palestinians) but also the Bedouins who pose no security risk whatsoever.

    Wishful thinking, perhaps. And what about the buses of cheering Jewish Israelis? Exposure? Not likely, perhaps.

    • Bumblebye
      July 27, 2010, 7:35 pm

      See the utterly pathetic reportage on the bbc site:
      link to bbc.co.uk
      listen to the flames crackle & the cries of distress.
      Odd, no cheerleader presence reported.

      • Antidote
        July 27, 2010, 7:44 pm

        “Odd, no cheerleader presence reported.”

        No, but there’s a bus. Frankly, the ethnic cleansing tourism part increasingly less sense to me. Who on earth would organize/do that? Could it be that the 150 human rights activists rolled in by bus, and where mistaken for cheerleaders in reports from the scene?

      • Formerly T-Bear
        July 28, 2010, 2:06 am

        Al Jazeera reported there were about 150 rights activists objecting to the liquidation of the Bedouin village.

        link to english.aljazeera.net

        quote:
        Scuffles erupted as the villagers and around 150 rights activists tried to stop the police from carrying out the demolitions, with several people wounded and a handful arrested, activists said.
        unquote.

        The reports of cheering the destruction do sound like agitprop agenda merchandising active public approval of the liquidation of the village (¡look! righteous people are supporting this (crime)). Joseph Goebbels would be proud of that reporting.

      • potsherd
        July 28, 2010, 4:40 pm

        Or a mistake. Those happen sometimes, you know.

  12. thankgodimatheist
    July 27, 2010, 7:01 pm

    “Busloads of civilians cheer as Israelis uproot Bedouin village of 200″

    Israelis “invented” the cherry tomato (my derriere!) and ethnic cleansing tourism! And the future is looking pretty good for that!

  13. Citizen
    July 27, 2010, 7:31 pm

    Uproot the existing foliage and plant some jewish trees (cut?) to declare the land as Israel’s government land–after kicking out the natives who’ve lived there since way before 1948 and have long been soldiers for the 1948 state and who never tossed a cheap rocket at any jew. Cute.

    • RoHa
      July 27, 2010, 11:21 pm

      But they’ve still got equal rights and freedom and life for them is better than anywhere in the Arab world and all that stuff, right?

      • Shingo
        August 2, 2010, 9:10 am

        It gines us a window into what a sinlge state would look like.

  14. Chaos4700
    July 27, 2010, 11:03 pm

    Wondering jew? HERE is an article you can comment on. You even live in Israel, don’t you? Explain this to us.

  15. AngelaJerusalem
    July 28, 2010, 4:07 am

    Just spoke with Ezra Nawi who was there and he says there were no cheering supporters of the demolition. We all got the message it was going to happen the evening before, so there was a presence of Israeli leftists down there overnight to try to protect the people. The authorities came at 5.30 a.m.
    It was on Israeli Channel 10, Channel 2 and Channel 1 main news and I certainly didn’t see any busload of supporters of the authorities…
    On Saturday we are all going down there to rebuild.

    • Antidote
      July 28, 2010, 5:00 am

      Thanks for the clarification, AJ. Just curious: what’s the origin of the ‘cheering crowd’ report(s), when the activists on site were actually taking the side of the Bedouins, rather than that of the IDF/Israeli government?

  16. AngelaJerusalem
    July 28, 2010, 5:20 am

    Antidote. I don’t have an answer but can speculate that CNN had someone on the phone who said “supporters” and they mistranslated that as supporters of the demolition, as opposed to activists wanting to help the Bedouin.

    • eljay
      July 28, 2010, 6:39 am

      In light of AngelaJerusalem’s post (July 28, 2010 at 5:20 am), I retract my previous, now meaningless (July 27, 2010 at 12:45 pm).

      Now meaningless?! Aren’t you being generous to yourself!” exclaimed the peanut gallery. ;)

    • Antidote
      July 28, 2010, 7:02 am

      Angela – plausible explanation, I have no better. Here is Haaretz’ report. Strange that Haaretz does not mention any activists but runs a ‘Jews destroy, Muslims rebuild’ piece, with peripheral mention that an Israeli human rights group has condemned the demolition. And there does appear to have been some cheering – among the IDF soldiers.

      link to haaretz.com

  17. AngelaJerusalem
    July 28, 2010, 7:55 am

    Antidote: I imagine this was reporting by phone or at least obviously after the events. Pretty clear from reporting the journalists weren’t there at the time it happened. But yes, it does call into question this article’s headline.
    On TV last night on all three Israeli Hebrew channels was footage of the Israeli activists being arrested, manhandled and generally demonstrating against the demolitions — Ezra Nawi is a friend of mine and he was clearly in the TV footage and (as posted) I’ve since spoken with him. No IDF soldiers by the way – it was ordinary (as Haaretz reports) Israeli blue police — including many riot police (Yassams) and probably Green Patrol which is specifically for the Negev. By the way, the Islamic Movement isn’t the only body rebuilding — ICAHD will be helping, as will Ta’ayush (“co-existence”) plus various Negev solidarity groups. The people of Arakib are having a meeting later today to discuss it all.

  18. Antidote
    July 28, 2010, 8:22 am

    Angela: you’re right, of course, no IDF, my mistake. I don’t question that the Islamic movement is not the only one assisting the Bedouins and rebuilding their village, just wanted to point out that the Haaretz article is as slanted in this regard as the CNN report, both incorrectly suggesting opposition/solidarity along the Arab(Muslim)/Israeli (Jewish) divide, as if Jewish Israelis were automatically siding with the Jewish majority/ethnic cleansing policy. I suppose this kind of thinking informed the misinterpretation that led to the CNN report about ‘cheerleading’ the demolition.

  19. Surcouf
    July 28, 2010, 4:27 pm

    Excellent article by Neve Gordon in the The Guardian (Ethnic cleansing in the Israeli Negev) on the destruction of the Bedouin village. Article is also accompanied by a video of the destruction – worth watching even though heart wrenching.

    Ethnic cleansing in the Israeli Negev

    Some facts about the Negev Bedouins:
    Bedouins population is the youngest in Israeli society, with a natural annual growth rate of 5.5 percent. For those of you not familiar with population statistics, such growth rate results in the total population doubling every 13 years. About 54 percent of the Bedouin population is younger than 14. – Source : jweekly dot com
    Total population is estimated in the lows of 155 000 to highs of 185 000.
    For this reason the Bedouin are seen as a demographic threat to the maintenance of a Jewish majority in the Negev region.

    Human Rights Watch has a very revealing report on the treatment of Negev Bedouins by the state of Israel since 1948. It is 128 pages long but it provides in horrific details the systematic discrimination visited upon them by their own government – remember these are Israeli citizens, but, alas, not Jewish. Had they been Jewish, their government would have lavished them with a $600 million project, named Blueprint Negev, for the establishment of Aliyah immigrants.

    HRW Report – Off the map

    • potsherd
      July 28, 2010, 4:36 pm

      The Negev project exists. The sand niggers just have to be cleared out of the way first to make room for it.

      • lysias
        July 29, 2010, 2:02 pm

        The Negev project Blueprint Negev does indeed exist, under the auspices of this same Jewish National Fund:

        Blueprint Negev is a $600 million project of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) to develop the Negev region of Israel through the construction of new settlements for immigrants and Israelis from the center of the country. The project says it will increase the Negev’s population by 250,000 new residents by 2013, improving transportation infrastructure, adding businesses and employment opportunities, preserving water resources and protecting its environment.[1] The project aims to reduce the strain on Israel’s coastal strip, which is suffering from overdevelopment and overpopulation, threatening what is among the most fertile land in Israel. 92% of Israel’s population resides on 40% of Israel’s land, while only 8% of its population lives in the Negev, which represents 60% of Israel’s landmass.

        And guess who they plan to send there?

        Population redistribution

        The plan aims to bring 250,000 new residents to the Negev over ten years. Toward that goal, the project has sought to direct Anglo (English-speaking) immigration to the Negev and has compiled a database (currently containing some 10,000 names) of current Israeli citizens interested in relocating to the Negev. After the Disengagement, the JNF was also instrumental in helping Gaza evacuees find new homes in the Negev as cohesive units.[6][7]

  20. Kathleen
    August 2, 2010, 8:57 am

    Hey CNN touched this story. No digging but touched it. That is more than we can say with the alleged human rights advocate Rachel Maddow. If you are not gay and in the military or gay in Ghana Rachel Maddow will not touch other serious human rights abuses. Not even human rights abuses that have gone on for decades in Palestine. CCCHHHING too important to her.

    Of course not a word out of those so called liberal talking heads, Dylan Ratigan, Ed, Keith Olbermann. Chris Matthews….silence COMPLETE SILENCE. Not one of these people touched the GOLDSTONE REPORT.

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