‘The new Zionism': Nefesh B’Nefesh urges young American Jews to leave ‘exile’ for the Negev

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 128 Comments
A sign at the Nov. 17th Nefesh B'Nefesh conference promoting the south of Israel. (Photo: Alex Kane)

A sign at the Nov. 17th Nefesh B’Nefesh conference promoting the south of Israel. (Photo: Alex Kane)

On the 17th floor of a Manhattan conference building, young Jews from the New York area listened intently to two Israeli-Americans speak of the wonders of the Jewish state. They were going through the finer points of emigrating to Israel, talking up the varied benefits those who become citizens receive. Outside, it was a dreary and overcast Sunday. But the atmosphere inside was sunny: the banter light-hearted, the jokes from the speakers free-flowing, and all happy to be at the “Think Israel” conference (held on November 17th).

There was a serious task at hand, though: deciding how to choose a community in Israel where they would feel at home, which is part of Nefesh B’Nefesh’s core mission of encouraging aliyah to the Jewish state.

Ravit Greenberg, an Israeli citizen from upstate New York now working for Nefesh B’Nefesh, had just the right answer for them.  They should move to the Negev in the south of Israel. It’s an area the government is encouraging Jews to move to with a variety of incentives.  Greenberg was asked why the Negev was attractive by a boisterous and overeager pony-tailed man named Aaron.

“They want to encourage development,” Greenberg told him, talking about the Israeli government. And to help the Israeli government, Nefesh B’Nefesh seeks to enlist young North American Jews in the a key state project: populating the Negev with more Israeli Jews.

The crop of Jews sitting in on this session were seriously exploring making the jump from diaspora to what they call the Jewish homeland.  One attendee probably in his late 30s or early 40s, who didn’t want his name published, gushed over his future plans.  “At some point, you catch this feeling inside you,” he told me as we stood near the coffee and cookies laid out for us.  “I really feel that someone who’s Jewish should be living in Israel…Here, what am I? I’m living in exile.”

The hundreds of attendees at the annual “Think Israel” conference organized by the Israeli group Nefesh B’Nefesh (”Soul by Soul” in English) had plenty of Israeli areas to choose from to get away from living in “exile.”  There are communities in the occupied West Bank they could move to.  There’s the north of Israel.  There’s Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.  And then there’s the Negev, which Greenberg works on and has become a particular focus of Nefesh B’Nefesh over the past two years.  The slogan of Nefesh B’Nefesh’s Negev encouragement program is “Go South,” a pioneering ethos that echoes Horace Greeley’s “Go West, young man” slogan, used to push colonization of the American West.

Nefesh B’Nefesh, one of the many arms of the Israeli state–it has received a third of its funding from the government since 2008–began encouraging olim, immigrants who make aliyah, to move to the Negev two years ago, in the midst of an Israeli government drive to populate the area with Jews.  The organizations boasts of “offering enhanced services and financial benefits to Olim interested in moving to Israel’s Southern communities.” With the major Israeli cities bursting at the seams, the Negev is a perfect place for the state to accomplish a number of aims:  relieve population pressures on urban centers, populate the Negev with Jews and displace and corral the Palestinian-Bedouin population into concentrated, hand-picked areas. And the American Jews at the conference, enamored with the idea of Israel, could soon become the foot-soldiers of Israel’s plan for the Negev.

“It’s turned into a priority for the government of Israel, so as a side-arm, we’re trying to also help them,” Yael Katsman, a spokeswoman for the Jerusalem-based organization, told me.  “It’s a wide area that can still be populated…Wherever the Israeli government is populating cities or new areas, we’re basically doing whatever the Israeli government is dictating.”

The Negev is home to many of Israel’s unrecognized Bedouin communities.  But for Israel, that’s a problem.  The Bedouin Arabs stand in the way of populating the Negev with Jews, which has been a key aim of Zionism, particularly in the thinking of David Ben-Gurion.  In 2005, the Jewish National Fund–another arm of the Israeli government that works with Nefesh B’Nefesh–launched “Blueprint Negev,” a $600 million project to build 25 new Jewish communities in the desert region, and in the process make the area a center of employment and business. Ron Lauder, a billionaire ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who helped fund “Blueprint Negev,” has said that “the United States had its Manifest Destiny in the West…For Israel, that land is the Negev.”

The importance of the Negev to Zionism was echoed by Rafael Cohen, the director of the Northeast branch of the Jewish Agency.  “Today, if you want to be to a Zionist, you have to invest in the periphery…This is the new Zionism,” he said.  “The Negev, which is two-thirds of Israel, should be settled by a lot of Jewish people…The olim [will be] a part of it.”

One of the most controversial ways Israel is trying to make the “new Zionism” happen is through the Prawer Plan, an initiative that could displace tens of thousands of Bedouins by demolishing their villages, relocating them to urban areas against their wish and building new Jewish towns on top of the ruins of Bedouin areas.  It’s been winding its way through the government over protests from the Bedouin community since 2011, though it has yet to win final Knesset approval.  The Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh employees seemed to be ignorant of the plan, though, despite the fact that it will help their aims.

Meanwhile, Israel has been moving forward on less ambitious plans to create new Jewish towns on top of Bedouin villages.  On November 10, 2013, the Israeli government approved a plan to demolish the Bedouin villages of Umm al-Hiran and Atir, and to replace them with Israeli Jewish neighborhoods.

After Ravit Greenberg and a fellow employee finished their pitch about moving to Israel, Greenberg talked up the Negev to conference attendees at her “Go South” table.  She pointed out towns like Sde Boker and Be’er Sheva on her map of where Jews could go live. Perhaps in a few years, Nefesh B’Nefesh will have to update their map of the Negev to include new Jewish towns built on top of Bedouin villages.

About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist and graduate student at New York University's Near East Studies and Journalism programs. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

128 Responses

  1. LanceThruster
    November 20, 2013, 2:44 pm

    Go south, young Zionist!

  2. pabelmont
    November 20, 2013, 2:48 pm

    Israel buys political support from Congress, and buys new immigrants (from the USA, in this case) with offers of benefits.

    To live (in this case) in the Negev where they will — not so virtuously — replace the Bedu who have lived there since time immemorial.

    Israel’s slogan: “Long live the Nakba, long may it continue.” ™ © ®

  3. Woody Tanaka
    November 20, 2013, 3:38 pm

    Ron Lauder, a billionaire ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who helped fund “Blueprint Negev,” has said that “the United States had its Manifest Destiny in the West…”

    Yes, and Nazi Germany sought it’s Lebensraum in the East. Maybe all these countries should stop romanticizing land theft, imperialism and ethnic cleansing.

    • bilal a
      November 20, 2013, 5:36 pm

      This can only further solidify the cultural and economic integration of Israel and the United States, which may be a two edged sword for the settler expansionists.
      American values will collide with the realities once encountered upon arrival to Israel. They must have run out of ethnic Russians willing to claim Jewish ancestry.

      But given the huge number of Israelis coming here to the USA, its not likely many American emigres will remain in Israel.

  4. seafoid
    November 20, 2013, 4:18 pm

    Aliyah is the wrong word to describe moving to the Jewish Disneyland.And why don’t they resettle the odious settlers in the Negev instead of trying to lure yank jews there?

    • Hostage
      November 20, 2013, 11:16 pm

      And why don’t they resettle the odious settlers in the Negev instead of trying to lure yank jews there?

      It brings to mind the song that said that only “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.” The water transport infrastructure is an extinction event waiting to happen. So are the power plants needed to pump water from Palestine or elsewhere and operate desalination plants. The Israelis of the Negev are only one natural or man-made disaster away from being an example of the Darwin principle or the bell curve.

      • Obsidian
        November 21, 2013, 12:15 am

        @Hostage

        “The water transport infrastructure is an extinction event waiting to happen. So are the power plants needed to pump water from Palestine or elsewhere and operate desalination plants”.

        Huh? Is Israel the only arid country facing a water related extinction event? What’s to stop the power plants from operating?

      • Hostage
        November 21, 2013, 3:33 am

        Huh? Is Israel the only arid country facing a water related extinction event?

        No, but that doesn’t make the idea of deliberately building up a large logistically vulnerable population in the middle of a remote desert region any less bat-shit crazy.

        What’s to stop the power plants from operating?

        If you are setting-up shop in the middle of the Dea Sea rift zone a better question is what’s to guarantee that long gas or water pipelines, electric transmission towers, or power plants in the region will continue to operate reliably after a natural disaster? Just look at the problems Japan is having with its power plants.

        Then you can move on to man-made cock-ups and disasters. The US and many other militaries have low cost munitions that are designed specifically to take out power grids and power plants. They were used successfully in Iraq and Serbia. But there are less exotic ways of accomplishing the same objective. The gas pipeline from Egypt to both Israel and Jordan was attacked more than a dozen times since 2011, with a resulting disruption of supplies to power plants and power curtailments and warnings about rolling blackouts from the state-owned Israel Electric Company.

      • Obsidian
        November 21, 2013, 6:54 am

        @Hostage

        If you’d have actually visited Israel, even once, you’d know that Israel is a very small country and that it is already pretty well developed. Construction goes on everywhere here and building new infrastructure and connecting to existing infrastructure is not a big deal.

        Yes. The Rift valley is earthquake prone, but nothing you’ve said give reason to close up shop and move back to Europe or the American Midwest.

        If the electrical grid goes down, you repair it. Same goes for the water supply.
        This isn’t a third world country. Israelis are resourceful, hardworking and enterprising. You should visit Israel sometime soon if you really think the place is going to pot.

      • Shmuel
        November 21, 2013, 7:13 am

        Israel is a very small country and that it is already pretty well developed. Construction goes on everywhere here and building new infrastructure and connecting to existing infrastructure is not a big deal. Yes. The Rift valley is earthquake prone, but … If the electrical grid goes down, you repair it. Same goes for the water supply.

        I agree. The problem is not technical, but legal and ethical.

      • just
        November 21, 2013, 7:19 am

        Shmuel nails it.

      • Obsidian
        November 21, 2013, 7:52 am

        @Shmuel

        Have you ever stolen anything in your life?
        Have you ever cheated someone? Failed to pay tax?
        Taken advantage of someone?

        Please. Be honest.

      • Shmuel
        November 21, 2013, 8:15 am

        @Obsidian

        Relevance to the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Negev?

      • Hostage
        November 21, 2013, 8:15 am

        If you’d have actually visited Israel, even once, you’d know that Israel is a very small country and that it is already pretty well developed.

        I’ve mentioned before that I had been to the Israeli-occupied Lebanon and Sinai in my military days, and that I spent time on bases in Egypt and Saudi Arabia too. I’ve seen well developed countries rapidly reduced to rubble after major earthquakes and wars too.

        If the electrical grid goes down, you repair it. Same goes for the water supply.

        Yeah and if the forests around Mount Carmel catch on fire, Israel would just wave a magic wand and put it out. Once again, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go astray. The Jewish Agency and Israel have been talking about developing the Negev and bedding-down multitudes of Jewish immigrants there for more than 65 years. The development that has taken place there relies on pipelines full of water stolen from Palestine. In a few years time 70 percent of your water will come from five very vulnerable plants located on the coast.

        There just might be other parties involved who would take an interest in preventing Israel from repairing the electrical grid or the water supply. Israel has set the standard in the region for that sort of warfare against civilian infrastructure.

        This isn’t a third world country.

        No it isn’t. The conditions in most of the Negev are so desolate that the place makes many third world countries look like paradise by comparison. It constitutes 60 percent of the territory of the State of Israel, and much of it remains uninhabited and undeveloped after years of Israeli rule.

      • Woody Tanaka
        November 21, 2013, 8:27 am

        “[i]sraelis are resourceful, hardworking and enterprising.”

        Oh, yes, you’ve been very resourceful, hardworking and enterprising in stealing Palestinian land, killing them in cold blood and denying them their rights.

      • Hostage
        November 21, 2013, 8:48 am

        I agree. The problem is not technical, but legal and ethical.

        I assume that Israel will continue to make enemies in the region. Having 70 percent of the nation’s water produced in just 5 locations on the coast and piped long-distances to a sizable population in the Negev is asking for trouble. Protecting the utility plants and pipelines will present quite a technical problem. You only need a few advanced weapons to get a permanent wake-up call, like the ones delivered to the British during the conflict over the Falkland Islands or the Israeli Navy during the war in 2006.

        I spent much of my adult life in operational and logistics planning for military units that had to be able to deploy worldwide and be self-sufficient when they arrived at their destinations. You quickly discover that in disaster relief or combat operations there has to be a source of water nearby that can be made potable, and that you simply can’t count on long hauls by air, road, or pipelines.

        I’m more adventurous than most, so I doubt that you’ll find many people who will give up the comforts of home in America to go live in the Negev.

      • yrn
        November 21, 2013, 9:57 am

        @Shmuel

        Have you joined the Israeli Army when you could refuse ?

        The typical example for those who think they are free of the very biases they’re so quick to recognize in others.

      • Shmuel
        November 21, 2013, 10:13 am

        @yrn

        A slightly more interesting question, perhaps, but still irrelevant to the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Negev.

      • yrn
        November 21, 2013, 10:43 am

        Hostage
        “No it isn’t. The conditions in most of the Negev are so desolate that the place makes many third world countries look like paradise by comparison. ”
        You mention that you have been in “Israeli-occupied Lebanon” but never in Israel.
        and You spit out nonsense with such confidence here as most here are sure you know what you are talking about.
        NO one builds anything in the negev in desolated area’s this was the situation 50 years ago, all the new places which are been built are always close to the main cities as Beer Sheeva, Arad, Dimona etc….
        There are always few who look to live in desolated places in the Negev as a life style decision, but those are few.
        Second, most of the Israeli Army training centers are moving to the Negev a huge project, that will bring many new Israeli families into the region, also not too far from Beer Sheeva.
        So enough with your stupid info.

      • amigo
        November 21, 2013, 11:03 am

        “If the electrical grid goes down, you repair it. Same goes for the water supply.”obsidious

        The occupation nation does not repair when it can steal.

        As to visiting Israel, why would I want to visit a den of thieves and racists.

        No thanks.

      • Hostage
        November 21, 2013, 11:48 am

        You mention that you have been in “Israeli-occupied Lebanon” but never in Israel.
        and You spit out nonsense with such confidence here as most here are sure you know what you are talking about.

        This from a person who asked me to “read” about Israel’s water system?

        FYI, I’ve read volumes and volumes about the geography of Israel and the lands of the Bible, including material on the Judean Wilderness, the Negev, Arabia Petraea, & etc. They include ancient Greek and Jewish histories, the reports of the Palestine Exploration Fund, 19th century travel guides, the Jewish Encyclopedia, articles from Biblical Archeology Review, National Geographic articles, Orion Center symposium papers, and even the reports of Ottoman, US consular, and US military expeditions. I’ve also seen countless hours of television programing and internet video on the region – and anyone can do a virtual flyover of the Negev with redacted commercial satellite images from Google Earth. I’ve seen quite a few military satellite images of the region too. So what’s your point?

      • Obsidian
        November 21, 2013, 12:22 pm

        Ethnic cleansing, like chasing Bedouin out of the country? Isn’t the State of Israel actually forcing some Bedouin from one location within the Negev to another location within the Negev?

      • Obsidian
        November 21, 2013, 12:27 pm

        @Shmuel

        Your failure to admit that you are only human tells me a lot.

      • Obsidian
        November 21, 2013, 12:30 pm

        @Hostage

        Nefesh b’Nefesh had a ‘Northern Program’ last year when I made aliyah. I don’t believe any of these programs succeed. In fact, I don’t believe Israeli really wants a mass aliyah right now.
        Some young, skilled olim couples, to be sure, but that’s about it.

      • Obsidian
        November 21, 2013, 12:37 pm

        @Hostage

        “I’m more adventurous than most, so I doubt that you’ll find many people who will give up the comforts of home in America to go live in the Negev.”

        Well, you’ve got that right. This is ‘no country for old men’.

      • Shmuel
        November 21, 2013, 1:13 pm

        @Obsidian

        Your attempt at distraction tells me nothing about you that I didn’t already know. The subject was the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Negev.

      • Walid
        November 21, 2013, 1:50 pm

        “The conditions in most of the Negev are so desolate that the place makes many third world countries look like paradise by comparison. It constitutes 60 percent of the territory of the State of Israel, and much of it remains uninhabited and undeveloped after years of Israeli rule.” (Hostage)

        Whatever became of the “we made the desert bloom” song; which desert was that?

      • seafoid
        November 21, 2013, 3:03 pm

        “Israel has set the standard in the region for that sort of warfare against civilian infrastructure. ”

        If you tolerate this your children will be next …

      • yrn
        November 21, 2013, 3:22 pm

        My point is your ignorance
        “Having 70 percent of the nation’s water produced in just 5 locations on the coast and piped long-distances to a sizable population in the Negev is asking for trouble. ”

        If you have read about the Israeli water system, you would have known that those pipes and The route of the water pipes, has been built since 1950 and the National Carrier 130 KM long from the sea of Galilee to the Negev, was built already in 1964
        there are 7 locations + Six temporary desalination locations, to produce water spread from North to South for all of Israel and are not only to the Negev.

      • jon s
        November 21, 2013, 3:34 pm

        Prefer the Negev to living in America?
        I do.

      • Obsidian
        November 21, 2013, 4:40 pm

        For all the veracity in your ‘ethnic cleansing’ canard, why not just say that the Zionists are murdering the Negev Bedouin?
        Some Mondoweiss kool-aid drinkers will believe the lie and you’ll have done your job for the day.

      • Shmuel
        November 21, 2013, 5:13 pm

        For all the veracity …

        Working through the fallacies one by one, I see, Obsidian. First ad hominem and now ad absurdam. What’s next?

        By the way, do you have a better name for a long-standing policy of removing members of one ethnicity from a territory in order to replace them with another?

      • just
        November 21, 2013, 5:15 pm

        The folks that bust your lies here are not liars.

        (I know that this is difficult for you to comprehend.)

        Now, here’s a definition for you:

        “eth′nic cleans′ing
        n.
        the elimination of an unwanted ethnic group or groups from a society, as by genocide or forced emigration.”

        here’s another:

        “ethnic cleansing, the attempt to create ethnically homogeneous geographic areas through the deportation or forcible displacement of persons belonging to particular ethnic groups. Ethnic cleansing sometimes involves the removal of all physical vestiges of the targeted group through the destruction of monuments, cemeteries, and houses of worship.”

        another:

        “Full Definition of ETHNIC CLEANSING
        : the expulsion, imprisonment, or killing of an ethnic minority by a dominant majority in order to achieve ethnic homogeneity ”

        Hope this helps.

      • Hostage
        November 21, 2013, 5:39 pm

        If you have read about the Israeli water system, you would have known that those pipes and The route of the water pipes, has been built since 1950 and the National Carrier 130 KM long from the sea of Galilee to the Negev, was built already in 1964 there are 7 locations + Six temporary desalination locations, to produce water spread from North to South for all of Israel and are not only to the Negev.

        None of that changes the fact that 70 percent of Israel’s water supply will come from just 5 of those locations, that it will be piped long-distance to the Negev, and that all of that vital infrastructure is subject to natural or man-made disasters. See Israel to build 5th desalination plant: Finance Ministry says five plants will together supply 75% of country’s drinking water by 2013 link to ynetnews.com

        Haaretz advised that:

        Israel is considered a global trailblazer in water desalination, a process in which salt and other minerals are removed from seawater. The country has three desalination facilities – one in Ashkelon, one in Hadera and one in Palmahim – purifying about one-fifth of the country’s drinking-water supply. After two more large desalination plants open in the next few years, in Ashdod and Sorek, desalinated water will comprise 60 percent to 70 percent of the drinking supply.

        In some parts of the country, desalinated water already constitutes a majority of residents’ drinking water.

        In the region between the western Negev and Sde Boker, more than half the water supply has been desalinated,

        link to haaretz.com

      • Hostage
        November 21, 2013, 6:02 pm

        For all the veracity in your ‘ethnic cleansing’ canard, why not just say that the Zionists are murdering the Negev Bedouin?

        Well when you destroy the inhabitants water cisterns and repeatedly bulldoze their shelter from the elements, use “Green patrols” to destroy their crops, and leave them stranded in the middle of the desert to fend for themselves, you’ve satisfied all of the necessary elements the ICC requires to support a charge of genocide by imposing conditions of life calculated to destroy a part of the targeted group.

        Remember that mere incitement and failed attempts are considered punishable offenses under the terms of the Genocide Convention and that three out of the four constituent acts of genocide listed in Article 2 don’t require anyone to die:

        b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

        (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

        (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

        (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

        link to icrc.org

      • talknic
        November 21, 2013, 7:01 pm

        @ yrn All of which are targets according to examples of Israeli and US behaviour and justification

      • RoHa
        November 21, 2013, 8:02 pm

        From the dictionary.

        “ethnic cleansing: the mass expulsion or killing of members of one ethnic or religious group in an area by those of another.”

        link to oxforddictionaries.com

      • Obsidian
        November 21, 2013, 11:55 pm

        Moving nomads from one location, within a set territory, to another location within that same territory, is not ethnic cleansing. The more accurate definition is ‘forced settlement’.

        The New York Times, calls China’s relocation program, ‘urbanization’ (but who cares about many millions of Chinese peasants).

        link to nytimes.com

      • Shmuel
        November 22, 2013, 1:56 am

        Moving nomads …

        The residents of Umm al-Hiran aren’t any more nomads than the settlers in the Yatir Forest waiting to move into the settlement that will be built in its place. The only difference is that the current residents of Umm al-Hiran belong to the “wrong” ethnicity: Bedouin village bad; national-religious Jewish settlement good.

        The repeated “forced relocation” of the Bedouin of the Negev since 1948 has consistently aimed to concentrate them in smaller and smaller areas, in order to leave the Negev “free” for Jewish settlement of all kinds. Israeli governments have called such policies “Judaisation”. It is, in essence, ethnic cleansing.

      • yrn
        November 22, 2013, 2:44 am

        Walid
        Whatever became of the “we made the desert bloom” song; which desert was that?

        Ask Hostage he read many books about Israel, he knows everything.
        he watches the Negev with Google earth………..

      • seafoid
        November 22, 2013, 2:58 am

        I think you mean Tibetans.

        Zionism has this amazing mix of wanton cruelty, absolutely brutal realpolitik and zero self awareness merged with the systematic moaning that any criticism is anti-Semitic.

        It’s totally incoherent.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2013, 3:07 am

        Moving nomads from one location, within a set territory, to another location within that same territory, is not ethnic cleansing.

        That’s another blatant example of Nakba denial. In this case, the permanent forced population displacement is an international crime called apartheid.

        Prof. Yossi Katz devoted entire chapters in “Partner to Partition” to the documentary evidence about the Jewish Agency’s efforts to formulate their own plan for transferring the Arab population out of the Jewish state or depriving its members of access to their lands. That was an integral part of the Agency’s Mandate era partition proposal, which was developed and refined by a staff of over three hundred people for more than a decade. It was finally presented as the Jewish Agency’s plan for the future government of Palestine. It was submitted to the UNSCOP and General Assembly Ad Hoc Committees. It falsely portrayed the Bedouins as “nomads” and didn’t even include them in the population figures or require that they be represented in the State’s constituent assembly.

        In late 1947, the British mandatory administration took great exception to the majority UNSCOP committee’s careless use of statistics regarding the so-called Bedouin “nomads” and conducted a survey of the entire Bedouin population and their assets. The British report noted that the Bedouins were responsible for the cultivation of over two million dunams of land devoted to cereal grain production alone. At the time, the Jewish community’s total combined landholdings only amounted to about 4.9 million dunams and they were demanding their own state.

        The government had the RAF conduct an aerial photographic survey that is still useful today in establishing the pre-state existence of Bedouin communities. On 1 November 1947 the British representative turned over the results to the UNSCOP committees. The resident Bedouin population data was revised upwards to 127,000. The RAF counted 3,389 houses and 8,722 tents. The British report explained that Bedouins had been settled on the land for generations and that they were known as Beersheba Bedouins, no matter where they lived, due to the land rights they held in that district. In other words the Beersheba Bedouins were recognized as a territorial entity in their own right. The report said that 105, 000 Bedouins should be added to the number of Arabs who normally resided in the area of the proposed Jewish state. When that was done, the UNSCOP committees reported that:

        “It will thus be seen that the proposed Jewish State will contain a total population of 1,008,800, consisting of 509,780 Arabs and 499,020 Jews. In other words, at the outset, the Arabs will have a majority in the proposed Jewish State.

        See paragraphs 62-64 on pdf file pages 40-42 of A/AC.14/32, 11 November 1947 @ link to un.org

        We all know that Israel has destroyed Bedouin villages and crops, over and over again, without any regard for the rights or welfare of the inhabitants, e.g. See Middle East Monitor, “Bedouin village destroyed by Israelis for 61st time” link to middleeastmonitor.com

        The preamble of the Apartheid Convention explains that certain acts in the Genocide convention also constitute acts of apartheid which are crimes under international law. Expelling the inhabitants from their homes, destroying or expropriating their lands, property, and crops, imposing extreme hardships, mental suffering, and living conditions on members of the group, and forcing members of the group into segregated areas or enclaves reserved for racial or ethnic groups (i.e. Bantustanization) are elements of the crimes of genocide or apartheid.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2013, 3:32 am

        Israeli governments have called such policies “Judaisation”. It is, in essence, ethnic cleansing.

        That’s correct. See the Ethnic Cleansing heading under Customary IHL Rule #129 The Act of Displacement which categorized it as a war crime during armed conflicts. Note: The 173 State parties to the 1st Additional Protocol recognize Apartheid as a grave breach and a war crime when committed in the context of an occupation or armed conflict.

        The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid declared it was a crime against humanity. Since 1993, there has been no requirement to establish a nexus to an armed conflict before officials can be prosecuted for “crimes against humanity”, including Apartheid. The process of ethnic cleansing that you described is also called a “Bantustan policy”, consisting of the creation of reserved areas for certain ethnic groups. That has been considered prima facie evidence of apartheid since 1972. See the Human Rights Commission, Study Concerning the Question of Apartheid from the Point of View of International Penal Law, E/CN.4/1075, 15th February 1972, pp. 51 – 52.

      • Obsidian
        November 22, 2013, 3:57 am

        No.
        Forcing or coercing pastoral peoples to settle, is not ethnic cleansing. A pastoral people, who sprawl over land, move at will, and tap into regulated utilities are not integrating into Israeli society. The efforts of the State, as well as Bedouin tribal leaders, to integrate unsettled tribes or clans, does not constitute ethnic cleansing.

      • Shmuel
        November 22, 2013, 4:08 am

        A pastoral people, who sprawl over land, move at will, and tap into regulated utilities

        The village of Umm al-Hiran is a permanent settlement that has been there since its inhabitants were ordered to settle there by Israeli authorities, in 1956 (after having been driven from their traditional lands). Other unrecognised villages (the focus of the Prawer Plan) have been there even longer. They are in fact denied access to “regulated utilities”.

        If “sprawl” or legality or “integration” were the issues, Israeli governments would not have encouraged all forms of Jewish settlement – including “individual farms”, sometimes established without permits and approved retroactively. The policies are clearly guided by demographic considerations. This has been explicitly stated countless times by Israeli leaders.

        Forced isolation in designated townships, to make way for Jews-only settlements is not integration. It is apartheid.

      • Obsidian
        November 22, 2013, 4:10 am

        Cut it out Hostage.
        No Arab citizen of Israel is forced to remain on a reserve.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2013, 4:11 am

        Ethnic cleansing, like chasing Bedouin out of the country? Isn’t the State of Israel actually forcing some Bedouin from one location within the Negev to another location within the Negev?

        The necessary elements of the “Crimes Against Humanity” of “deportation or forcible transfer of population” and “apartheid” under Article 7 of the Rome Statute do not require cross border transfer.

        There is a separate offense under Article 8 the Rome Statute heading “War Crimes” when an occupying power deports or transfers all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside the territory.

      • Djinn
        November 22, 2013, 4:27 am

        The problem is those pastoral people predate the state of Israel. Other former colonialist states have at least attempted to make some redress for their crimes by instituting various forms of native title law that allow indigenous people to live on their land in the way they see fit. Any chance Israel will ever do that?

      • Shmuel
        November 22, 2013, 4:45 am

        From the Human Rights Watch report Off the Map: Land and Housing Rights Violations in Israel’s Unrecognized Bedouin Villages (March 2008)

        Tens of thousands of Palestinian Arab Bedouin, the indigenous inhabitants of the Negev region, live in informal shanty towns, or “unrecognized villages,” in the south of Israel. Discriminatory land and planning policies have made it virtually impossible for Bedouin to build legally where they live, and also exclude them from the state’s development plans for the region. The state implements forced evictions, home demolitions, and other punitive measures disproportionately against Bedouin as compared with actions taken regarding structures owned by Jewish Israelis that do not conform to planning law …

        The state controls 93 percent of the land in Israel, and a government agency, the Israel Land Administration (ILA), manages and allocates this land. The ILA lacks any mandate to disburse land in a fair and just fashion, and members of the Jewish National Fund, which has an explicit mandate to develop land for Jewish use only, constitute almost half of the ILA’s governing council, occupying all the seats not held by Israeli government ministries. While the Bedouin were traditionally a nomadic people, roaming the Negev in search of grazing land for their livestock, they had already adopted a largely sedentary way of life prior to 1948, settling in distinct villages with a well defined traditional system of communal and individual land ownership. Today they comprise 25 percent of the population of the northern Negev, but have jurisdiction over less than 2 percent of the land there.

        Planning in Israel is highly centralized, and state planners fail to include the Palestinian Arab population, especially the Bedouin, in decision making and in developing the master plans that govern zoning, construction, and development in Israel. Even though Bedouin villages in the Negev pre-date Israel’s first master plan in the late 1960s, state planners did not include these villages in their original plans, rendering these longstanding communities “unrecognized.” As a result, according to Israel’s Planning and Building Law, all buildings in these communities are illegal, and state authorities refuse to connect the communities to the national electricity and water grids, or provide even basic infrastructure such as paved roads. Israeli policies have created a situation whereby tens of thousands of Bedouin citizens in the Negev have little or no alternative but to live in ramshackle villages and build illegally in order to meet their most basic shelter needs.

        While the Bedouin suffer an acute need for adequate housing and for new (or recognized) residential communities, the state rarely provides these opportunities. Meanwhile, even though some of the more than one hundred existing Jewish rural communities in the Negev sit half empty, the government is developing new ones. While in theory anyone can apply to live in these rural Negev communities, in practice selection committees screen applicants and accept people based on undefined notions of “suitability,” which exclude Bedouin. The ILA recently defended the role of the selection committees, saying “social cohesion in small communities is important.”

        Israel’s planning authorities have taken this discriminatory logic to an extreme with the creation of 59 individual farms in the Negev over the past 10 years. The state has allocated vast land tracts almost exclusively to individual Jewish families and fenced off the land at government expense in a bid to “preserve state land.” Often, government ministries and the ILA allow individuals to establish the farms before they have secured building permits, on land zoned for other purposes, and local authorities connect these illegal outposts to water and electricity grids without hesitation. Meanwhile, the same officials claim that they cannot provide unrecognized Bedouin villages, with hundreds or even thousands of residents, with utilities because the villages are built illegally and the population is too dispersed …

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2013, 4:49 am

        No Arab citizen of Israel is forced to remain on a reserve.

        Anatole France sarcastically noted a similar situation when he said: “The law in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread.”

        But even the website of the Jewish Agency for Israel has run articles in the past which admitted that there is no such majestic equality in Israel. The JAFI articles said that since its creation, Israel has not established even one communal settlement for Arab citizens on state land, while hundreds of such settlements have been established for Jews. The JAFI articles also acknowledged that funding of existing overcrowded Arab municipalities has always been far less than the allocations to Jewish municipalities.
        See the Wayback Archive link for “Community fair” http://www.jafi.org.il/papers/2000/march/jpmar20.htm

      • Shmuel
        November 22, 2013, 5:11 am

        A pastoral people, who sprawl over land, move at will, and tap into regulated utilities

        From the full HRW report: link to hrw.org

        Individual Farms
        There are currently 59 individual farms in the Negev, covering more than 81,000 dunams of land, which is greater than the total land mass that the state granted to the seven Bedouin townships housing around 85,000 people. The idea of individual farms was first proposed in 1997 by the Green Patrol and accepted by then National Infrastructure Minister Ariel Sharon and then Agriculture Minister Raphael Eitan, as a means of “preserving state land.” The newspaper Haaretz quoted Uzi Keren, the then-prime minister’s advisor on settlements, as saying of the individual farms, “this is about a top notch group of people, each one empowered to care for vast areas [of land] and act as a state appointed ‘policeman’ protecting these areas.”

        State agencies built many of these settlements without the zoning or planning documents necessary to acquire permits; the farms are thus illegal. The ILA did not publicly tender the farms nor allocate the large plots in a transparent way, based on clear criteria. Government agencies allocated public funds to establish the farms and connect them to infrastructure and utilities, even where the farms were built illegally and are not close to other inhabited communities. This stands in direct contradiction to the government’s assertion that they cannot provide services to Bedouin living in illegal housing and in dispersed locations. According to the ILA, “Israel provides its citizens with high quality public services in sanitation, health and education, and municipal services. These services can only be provided to those living in permanent [that is, legal] housing, and the fact that the Bedouin are dispersed over an extensive area prevents the state from offering these public services.”

        The pretense of concern for the welfare of the Bedouin is reminiscent of the surreal justifications offered by the Civil Administration for the ethnic cleansing of the village of Khirbet Susya:

        for the sake of the rights of Palestinian children and the expansion of their horizons, and for the sake of the rights of Palestinian women and their salvation from lives of poverty, in order to prevent a rift in society and out of consideration for the limited abilities of the Palestinian Authority, these Arab residents of Susya should move to the nearby city of Yatta, which will provide them with the infrastructure necessary for their development.

        link to haaretz.com

      • Obsidian
        November 22, 2013, 5:16 am

        The Negev Bedouin had their day in court and the Court ruled against their claim to title in the Negev. The Bedouin claimants, who had cited to Ottoman law, had failed to register their land with those same Ottomans, so they lost their case.

      • Shmuel
        November 22, 2013, 5:25 am

        The Negev Bedouin had their day in court

        In an Israeli court, charged with upholding laws (such as the ILA Law) designed to favour Jewish settlement at the expense of the indigenous Palestinian population.

        See also the section in the HRW Report on “Indigenous Land Rights”.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2013, 5:31 am

        Ask Hostage he read many books about Israel, he knows everything.
        he watches the Negev with Google earth………..

        Correction: I mentioned that I had seen military satellite images too and that I had visited the Israeli Occupied Sinai.

      • yrn
        November 22, 2013, 5:46 am

        Hostage
        Oh ” I had visited the Israeli Occupied Sinai.”

        Well and you apply from visiting Sinai to how the conditions are in the Negev. That’s an Intelligent approach.

        I would reccomend , that before you go into a debate regarding landscape etc…..
        Visit the area first or get advice from someone (like Shmuel) in order not to sound like a fool.

      • yrn
        November 22, 2013, 6:12 am

        Shmuel

        How did you choose to live in this horrible place and join it’s army too?

      • amigo
        November 22, 2013, 6:20 am

        “The efforts of the State, as well as Bedouin tribal leaders, to integrate unsettled tribes or clans, does not constitute ethnic cleansing.” obsidious

        Yes it does when you move non Jews out of their neighborhoods to build homes where only Jews are allowed to live.

        It is why Israel is seen as a nation committing war crimes and is a racist supremacist APARTHEID Colonialist oppressor.

        May not be music to your biased ears but it rings true to normal law abiding people and their numbers are growing exponentially.

        Tic toc tic toc.

      • Shmuel
        November 22, 2013, 6:37 am

        How did you choose to live in this horrible place and join it’s army too?

        Not horrible at all — if you’re a member of the privileged ethnicity and walk around with the right kind of blinders.

        As for the army, had I known then what I know now, I would not have served.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2013, 6:37 am

        No.
        Forcing or coercing pastoral peoples to settle, is not ethnic cleansing. A pastoral people, who sprawl over land, move at will, and tap into regulated utilities are not integrating into Israeli society.

        No in 1947 both the UN and the British mandatory administration recognized that the Beersheba Bedouins were an ethnic group with land rights acquired through generations of settlement and cultivation of their land.

        The applicable international law prohibits pillage, plunder, and spoilage as a result of either a civil war or international armed conflict. You really can’t even find a defense for the parastatal corporations, like the JNF or WZO, to avoid prosecution for their part in evicting the inhabitants to plant forests or Jewish settlements in their place.

        For a general discussion of the applicable law see:
        *James G. Stewart, Corporate War Crimes: Prosecuting the Pillage of Natural Resources link to opensocietyfoundations.org
        * Corporate War Crimes [Trials] Begin link to opiniojuris.org

        At this point you need to stop trying to claim that this land grab and population transfer that has been going on since 1948 isn’t utterly criminal. You are engaging in Nakba denial and its getting pretty obvious that it’s deliberate.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2013, 8:13 am

        Visit the area first or get advice from someone (like Shmuel) in order not to sound like a fool.

        Sorry, but only a complete idiot would argue that you can’t see the landscape well enough from US military satellite images (or for that matter from redacted commercial satellite images supplied to users of Google Earth).

        Back in the early 1980s I visited Israel’s Eitam Air Base for a couple of days. It’s the current site of the Multinational Observer Force North Camp. I was there as part of a team to inspect and report back on work done by American civilian contractors installing the necessary facilities and equipment needed by the incoming observer mission. We had to certify their invoices for payment and verify that all of the applicable positions or change orders in the contract had been completed.

        The base is in the northeastern Sinai (the Baha Negev:-) on the same continental plate, a mere 9 miles away from the border and the so-called Israeli “Negev” we are discussing here. So we aren’t exactly talking about a different piece of landscape that I need Shmuel or someone else to describe for me.

      • ritzl
        November 22, 2013, 8:42 am

        Great points, Hostage. This single point failure mode that Israel is building into its water supply really explains their abject, quaking fear of Iran and its M/LRBMs (not to mention ship/sub-borne cruise missiles from the Med). Yeah, Iran would be hurt very badly if a war broke out, but Israel would cease to exist given a few accurate missiles and subsequent lack of water. They can’t steal enough from the Palestinians to make up 75% of their supply.

        This concentrated water sourcing may mean the end of Israeli hegemony, no matter what politics and PR are involved or brought to bear to make it seem not to be the case. They’ve simply put themselves into a highly and existentially vulnerable position. They’ve designed that vulnerability/limitation into their colonization project. Inherent flaw, and all that.

        I thought for a long time that desalination would mean the end to Israel’s need for WB water. It would sever the dependency and make the option of peace possible. It’s become clear that Israel’s dependence on other people’s water and peace are completely separate issues, but this water vulnerability and the end of Israeli hegemony would seem to have become inextricably linked. (Amplified by the fact that desal plants are located in the most vulnerable places, i.e. on the coast.) Another reason Israel won’t attack Iran.

      • yrn
        November 22, 2013, 9:02 am

        Hostage
        “a mere 9 miles away from the border and the so-called Israeli “Negev”

        More nonsense, you are talking 23 years ago, been in this area for a long time, if you apply from this deserted no where land place, to the conditions of the Negev.
        You better get advice from someone .

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2013, 3:28 pm

        More nonsense, you are talking 23 years ago, been in this area for a long time, if you apply from this deserted no where land place, to the conditions of the Negev.
        You better get advice from someone .

        No you need to stop pretending that most of the Negev is still uninhabited and just as desolate as it was before the creation of the State of Israel. You need to stop pretending that you couldn’t stand with one foot in the Sinai desert and another in the Negev desert all along the southwest border.

        Your government is still expropriating desirable, inhabited portions of the land held by the Bedouins, while leaving vast amounts of empty space, that I’m talking about, undisturbed and uninhabited. Much of the development that has been done was facilitated by the hundreds of millions of cubic meters of water stolen by your national water carrier every year since 1967.

      • yrn
        November 22, 2013, 5:48 pm

        Where did I ever mentioned or tried to mention that the Negev is still uninhabited.
        Start reading your claims before you jump with your nonsense again.
        I answered to your supercilious Arrogant ignorant comment that “The conditions in most of the Negev are so desolate that the place makes many third world countries look like paradise by comparison.”
        As you have been to the Negev ever and basing your ignorance on your satellite pictures and a short visit 23 years ago to Sinai.

      • Hostage
        November 23, 2013, 12:25 pm

        “The conditions in most of the Negev are so desolate that the place makes many third world countries look like paradise by comparison.”

        That’s precisely why the majority of the Negev is still uninhabitable after 65 years and why Israelis have always coveted the viable locations that are already inhabited by others.

        So far, you haven’t done much but claim that I’m ignorant, and suggest that I consult Shmuel. But I’ve been consulting reliable sources on the subject for years now, including reports from the Survey of Palestine conducted for the Anglo-American Inquiry; the UNSCOP report; the CERD and NGO reports; accounts written by experts, like Prof Oren Yiftachel; and local eye-witnesses testimonies from people like archaeologist and columnist Dan Gazit:

        These facts are probably well-known to many Israelis who lived and were active in the Negev in the 50s but would rather forget them (for an illuminating historical research of Israeli policy towards the Bedouins during Israel’s first years, click here). In the midst of the expulsion operation carried out against the al-Arakib tribe in the Rahat area, at the end of 1951, the Negev’s military governor, Michael Hanegbi, explained that the reasons for the expulsion were not just security-related, but also economic:

        “The Bedouins control an area of around 100,000 Dunams of fertile land in that area, which stands in the way of planning more dense settlement in the area and further development.

        This could have been written nowadays by planners at the Israel Land Administration or the Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing.

        Gazit reminds us that the IDF expelled 12 tribes across Israel’s borders, including friendly tribes; that the plundered lands, 2 million dunams of Bedouin plots, were immediately allocated to Jewish communities in the Negev, and the latter employed the former owners of the land as “serfs”; that the Negev kibbutzim plundered herds of sheep and goats and plowed Bedouin lands with IDF encouragement; that there was an archive in the Beersheba Municipality during the British mandate era with all the land ownership data for the Bedouins of the province; and that the main reason why Bedouins have trouble proving ownership of lands they were settling as early as the Ottoman period is that after the occupation of Beer Sheva the Israeli authorities took care to “lose” the archive’s content during its transfer to the State Archive. The State of Israel, which disappeared the Bedouin ownership data of their lands in the Negev, is now expelling them from their land, claiming that they have no official ownership documentation.

        link to 972mag.com

        Even the Jewish National Fund admits that the Negev Desert represents 60% of Israel’s landmass but is home to just 8% of the population – and that the reasons for that are the inferior environmental conditions and quality of life there. Why don’t you just STFU and consult the JNF? They have always claimed that the Negev will remain permanently arid and uninhabitable without their costly capital projects to supply water and other missing vital infrastructure.

      • yrn
        November 21, 2013, 9:42 am

        Hostage
        You are quite an ignorant for someone that spread cut and paste here all over.
        Read some info regarding the water system in Israel those days, and get some knowledge before you jump in again as an expert ?!
        Is there an issue regarding Israel that you are not an expert ?.
        link to globes.co.il

      • Hostage
        November 21, 2013, 11:03 am

        Hostage
        You are quite an ignorant for someone that spread cut and paste here all over.

        That actually just proves that I am fairly well-read and informed on a variety subjects.

        Read some info regarding the water system in Israel those days, and get some knowledge before you jump in again as an expert ?!

        Well I have read about the water system. But more to the point, I’ve worked on disaster relief missions, like the Mt. St. Helens eruption, major tornadoes in Oklahoma City, Ok, Wichita Falls, Tx, and Wichita, Ks, and earthquakes in Turkey. I also served in headquarters staff positions for a couple of U.S. Air Force Major Commands and for USAFCENT during a couple of wars. So I am sadly enough something of an expert on the subject of man-made disasters too.

        Is there an issue regarding Israel that you are not an expert ?

        I’m sure there are plenty things. But they just don’t happen to include US peacekeeping missions in the Sinai and Lebanon; hundreds of books on the history of Zionism/Palestine/Israel; US/British/Israeli documents on foreign policy; or international and US laws and customary rules related to warfare.

      • just
        November 21, 2013, 11:10 am

        What a hoot you are yrn.

        You associate Hostage with the word “ignorant”. I am still howling in disbelief.

      • yrn
        November 21, 2013, 2:57 pm

        “I’ve worked on disaster relief missions,”
        so….. what’s the connection to the water system in Israel.
        Water Desalination in Israel is producing more then 400,000,000,000 Litter water a year, that’s half of the household needs of Israel, most of the Negev Reticulated with water pipes 1,200 KM of water pipes , in edition you have the “Yarkon Negev” who connects to the “National Carrier” that brings irrigation water from the north to the Negev along with many other water project, so there will be no water issue in the Negev and no “DISASTER ISSUES” .
        So whats the connection between your ignorance and you been a worker in disaster area’s.

      • Eva Smagacz
        November 21, 2013, 5:05 pm

        yrn,

        Did you just write this?

        “Hostage
        You are quite an ignorant for someone that spread cut and paste here all over.”

        In your Universe, Golda Meir was a ravishing beauty, Avigdor Lieberman has principles and you are an intellectual. How did you cross over to our one?

      • just
        November 21, 2013, 5:17 pm

        He/she is just dipping his/her toe into the universe of sanity…..it hasn’t “taken”.

      • yrn
        November 22, 2013, 3:45 am

        “So are the power plants needed to pump water from Palestine or elsewhere and operate desalination plants. ”

        Please elaborate regarding this issue.
        Why and where is water pumped from Palestine?

        “operate desalination plants”
        Ashkelon desalination works from 2005
        Palmachim since 2007
        Hadera 2009
        Eilat since 1997

        How much nonsense in one sentence.

      • yrn
        November 22, 2013, 3:46 am

        Hostage
        “The Israelis of the Negev are only one natural or man-made disaster away from being an example of the Darwin principle or the bell curve.”

        Where exactly is the “one natural or man-made disaster”.

      • talknic
        November 22, 2013, 4:20 am

        @yrn
        “Where exactly is the “one natural or man-made disaster”. “

        WOW!! Made made structures are immune from war, earthquakes, etc. AMAZING!

      • Djinn
        November 22, 2013, 4:32 am

        Are you honestly trying to suggest that Palestinian water isn’t being stolen to subsidise Israeli needs?

        I just want to be sure that’s actually what you’re claiming so that after you’re provided with ample evidence that you are wrong you don’t attempt to backtrack.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2013, 5:17 am

        Hostage: “So are the power plants needed to pump water from Palestine or elsewhere and operate desalination plants. . . .Yrn: “operate desalination plants”
        Ashkelon desalination works from 2005
        Palmachim since 2007
        Hadera 2009
        Eilat since 1997
        How much nonsense in one sentence.”

        Well the Fukushima power plant worked since 1971, but that suddenly changed in 2011.

        so there will be no water issue in the Negev and no “DISASTER ISSUES”

        Yeah and the people who built Fukushima and the Maginot and Bar Lev lines were a little over-confident too.

        I’m sorry to burst your bubble. But your own Israel government officials wanted to declare a “state of emergency” during the Egyptian gas pipeline supply disruptions and they proposed to force the water desalination plants to shutdown during peak demand periods. See Israel’s Energy Ministry plans for summer power cuts link to haaretz.com

        It isn’t too hard to envision deliberate attacks on Israel’s power plants, water desalination plants, and the associated water and gas pipelines, since the IDF and has taught everyone just how effective that sort of warfare can be.

      • yrn
        November 22, 2013, 5:50 am

        “Well the Fukushima power plant worked since 1971, but that suddenly changed in 2011.”

        Well that’s a challenge, what’s the connection between the Ashkelon desalination and Fukushima power plant.

        Your devoted reader will get the impression that those desalination units are nuclear…….
        lets hear it.

      • yrn
        November 22, 2013, 5:53 am

        Djinn

        Do yourself a favor and instead asking me to give you info that you will assume is propaganda as usual here.
        Read about the water situation in Israel today.
        If you find that we are stilling water from the Palestinian let me know.

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2013, 6:16 am

        Please elaborate regarding this issue.
        Why and where is water pumped from Palestine?

        Here’s one example of a Palestinian aquifer that Israel pumps into it’s national water carrier:

        Just before reaching the city of Jericho, one passes through the Palestinian village of Al-Auja. As recently as ten years ago, the village farmers were famed for their bananas, a tropical fruit they managed to grow in desertlike conditions. The village was founded in the flatlands below a mountain spring, which was carefully divided among the various families in the village. In the winter, the fields would sprout with wheat. In the spring, they’d produce vegetables. In the summer, when the rippling heat prevented the cultivation of most crops, the farmers would channel the spring’s abundant flow into their banana plantations.

        But recently, production has been disrupted. Al-Auja’s farmers blame Israeli wells, which tap deep into the aquifer, for causing the spring to stutter—first the spring drops dramatically, and then, especially during the summer months, it stops altogether. The Israeli wells in Al-Auja were sunk near the springhead in order to regulate water in the deeper parts of the aquifer, pumping it out when it’s full, and allowing it to slowly replenish when it drops. The water that the wells produce enter the national system, where it’s rationed and sold to Israeli settlers and Palestinians alike. But as long as the water in Al-Auja is sold at market prices, the Israeli settlers—with superior capital, expertise, and access to the markets—are able to outbid their impoverished neighbors. The surrounding stretch of the Jordan River Valley is home to several Israeli settlements that boast orchards, vineyards, and farms. And while many of the crops are irrigated with recycled wastewater, at least some of the water is from the wells that villagers blame for drying up their spring.

        link to orionmagazine.org

        The UN and Palestinian experts have reported that Israel has destroyed and diverted 140 Palestinian wells into its national carrier since 1967 and that it managed to take over more than 500 million cubic meters of water on an annual basis.

      • MHughes976
        November 22, 2013, 6:18 am

        Many of us think that Hostage is indeed a rather well informed person with a high percentage of verified facts per sentence written.

      • yrn
        November 22, 2013, 8:06 am

        in the same topic

        Given the dire Palestinian need for more water availability; Israel’s new water supply due to large scale desalination; and a joint need to deal with untreated sewage, restarting negotiations with water as a first priority makes economic, ecological, and most importantly, political sense. An agreement on water would greatly improve the current living conditions of both peoples. For Palestinians, it would increase fresh water availability in every home; for Israelis

        See how this place is blooming
        link to aujaecocenter.org
        link to foeme.org

        Clean Water for the West Bank Village of Al Auja
        link to anera.org

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2013, 8:27 am

        Well that’s a challenge, what’s the connection between the Ashkelon desalination and Fukushima power plant.

        Now you are just being silly. I’ve already explained that a man-made or natural disasters can easily take out the bulk of the production of Israels water plants, power plants, and disrupt the electrical grid, or systems of gas and water pipelines.

        If that isn’t the case, then someone should tell your Navy Chief of Staff that he can quit worrying about militants attacking your new offshore gas fields with boat bombs, drones, submarine vessels, rockets and missiles. See: “Israel’s navy gears up for new job of protecting gas fields” link to reuters.com

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2013, 8:33 am

        An agreement on water would greatly improve the current living conditions of both peoples.

        It’s hard to take you seriously. Israel already had one of those agreements, called Oslo, and it found no such incentive to comply with its terms or cooperate with the Palestinians.

      • yrn
        November 22, 2013, 8:51 am

        Hostage

        Wise guy, that’s why there are 6 temporary desalination units that can be operated in one month, and of course the natural water resource.

      • Woody Tanaka
        November 22, 2013, 10:04 am

        yarny,

        Palestinians don’t have a water problem, they have a theft problem. If you villains would stop stealing their water, even if it means rationing water among you to the minimum level necessary to sustain life, they would not be in need of anything more. Once again, the zionist answer to the problem isn’t “the zionists will stop committing their crimes,” but “let’s negotiate how much crime the zionists can get away with.”

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2013, 3:45 pm

        Hostage Wise guy, that’s why there are 6 temporary desalination units that can be operated in one month, and of course the natural water resource.

        Once again, how do you plan to run the desalination plants during the future state of emergency where the government is forcing them to shutdown for lack of electrical generating capacity or there is a complete loss of power to the electrical grid?

        In my experience you just bomb it; deploy cannisters of anti-personnel mines while you are at it to keep repair crews away; do bomb damage assessment; and repeat as often as needed. Your adversaries in the Sinai didn’t have much high tech capability, but still managed to disrupt the gas supply lines for your power plants almost continuously through repeated follow-up attacks. That alone was sufficient to create a prolonged state of emergency that should give any potential immigrants second thoughts.

  5. ritzl
    November 20, 2013, 4:31 pm

    The displaced Bedu are Israeli citizens. Manifest Destiny is an overwhelmingly (though apparently not universally) discredited 19. C concept.

    Did anyone at the meeting reflect on either? Or maybe more to the point, how could they not?

    Thanks Alex. Great exposure.

  6. Nevada Ned
    November 20, 2013, 5:17 pm

    The New Zionism looks a lot like the Old Zionism.

  7. ToivoS
    November 20, 2013, 6:22 pm

    I have this vague sense of official Israeli history (from the 60s or so) where the Bedouin were held up as the “good” Arabs who knew how to live in peace with the Jews. Now that their services to the Zionist cause is no longer needed it is their turn to be victims of ethnic cleansings. What I find hard to fathom is why there are so many aging American Jews who were brought up on the founding myths that can accept this dispossession of the Bedouin without remorse.

    • RoHa
      November 20, 2013, 8:47 pm

      They might have been “good” Arabs, and even served in the Israeli Army, but they are still just Arabs.

      • Walid
        November 21, 2013, 1:54 pm

        Apparently they only served as scouts. Wonder if they wore a feather in their keffiyehs.

    • seafoid
      November 21, 2013, 3:05 pm

      Bedouin were often employed as trackers in the Israeli Army to monitor border incursions but all colonial enterprises employ natives with the required skills before shafting them.

    • Walid
      November 22, 2013, 4:03 pm

      “I have this vague sense of official Israeli history (from the 60s or so) where the Bedouin were held up as the “good” Arabs who knew how to live in peace with the Jews.”

      The Bedouins are considered good and docile Arabs but the Arabs most liked and thoroughly trusted by Israel are the Druze. They serve in the military forces and currently for 125,000 Druze in Israel, there are 5 elected Knesset Members. In 2005, there were 125,000 Druze in Israel of which over 7000 are registered members of the Druze Zionist Movement.

      From Wiki: “… In a survey conducted in 2008, Yussuf Hassan of the Tel Aviv University found that more than 94% of Druze youth classified themselves as “Druze-Israelis” in the religious and national context.

      On 30 June 2011, Haaretz reported that a growing number of Israeli Druze were joining elite units of the military, leaving the official Druze battalion, Herev, understaffed. This trend has led to calls for its disbandment”

      … In a survey conducted in 2008, Yussuf Hassan of the Tel Aviv University found that more than 94% of Druze youth classified themselves as “Druze-Israelis” in the religious and national context.

      On 30 June 2011, Haaretz reported that a growing number of Israeli Druze were joining elite units of the military, leaving the official Druze battalion, Herev, understaffed. This trend has led to calls for its disbandment. For full Haaretz article

      link to en.wikipedia.org

  8. Mike_Konrad
    November 20, 2013, 7:51 pm

    America has between one-third and one-half the world’s Jews.

    After America and Israel, the next highest is France, which comes in at 1/12th the number of Jews in America.

    The drop off is catastrophic.

    Look at the numbers here. link to en.wikipedia.org

    If you are an Israeli leader, you know that the Zionist project depends on Jews making Aliyah.

    Look at these numbers

    United States 5,425,000-6,800,000
    Israel 6,042,000
    France 480,000
    Canada 375,000
    United Kingdom 291,000
    Russia 194,000
    Argentina 182,300
    Germany 119,000
    Australia 107,500
    Brazil 95,300
    South Africa 70,800
    Ukraine 67,000
    Hungary 48,600
    Mexico 39,400
    Belgium 30,300
    Netherlands 30,000
    Italy 28,400
    Iran 25,000
    Chile 20,500
    All other countries 250,200

    That is it. The rest of the world except the USA, France, Canada, and the UK
    has been de-Judaized, so to speak.

    There may be more Jews in New York State and California than the rest of the world outside of Israel.

    The UK, France, and Canada added together could barely equal the number of Jews in the New York City metro area.

    America has close to half the world’s Jews.

    So if the Israelis want Israel to survive, where are they going to go for new recruits?

    To Chile? To Uganda? New Zealand?

    The Israelis are acting wisely.

    My only advice would be to tell the American Jew to keep his US passport as a backup. That is all.

    The Israelis do not even need Jews in America to keep America Zionist. The Evangelicals are more to Zionist than most Jews.

    You are furious; but from their point of view, this is smart; indeed, necessary. They’ve tapped out Russia and Europe. Only America and Canada are left.

    The thing is: They will get a different kind of Jew. American Jews come froma culturally aggressive, free market society whose heroes are cowboys. These are the kind of Jews who will go heavily armed into an Arab town and set up shop.

    Israel is acting wisely. Can’t blame them.

    They either get American Jews to make Aliyah, or close shop in the mideast.

    • Citizen
      November 21, 2013, 4:17 am

      Israel has a low rate of emigration; most go to USA: link to haaretz.com

      • Citizen
        November 21, 2013, 4:29 am

        The bigger problem is that Israel is having trouble holding on to its most skilled and educated citizens. link to haaretz.com

      • seafoid
        November 21, 2013, 3:13 pm

        I don’t see that as a problem. It’s a consequence of the Israeli system. Israelis love their system so let them have it.

    • American
      November 21, 2013, 12:46 pm

      “”The Israelis do not even need Jews in America to keep America Zionist. The Evangelicals are more to Zionist than most Jews.”……..Konrad

      Er……if Evangelicals could get all the Jews to go to Israel they would
      be tickled to death….their goal after all is to do just that…the big ingathering.
      After they get all the Jews together in Israel they wont want to protect it–they will want their apocalyptical ending in Israel where christians go heaven in Jesus’s spaceship and any unconverted to Jesus Jews get left behind and eaten by locust.

      • Walid
        November 22, 2013, 2:02 pm

        “if Evangelicals could get all the Jews to go to Israel they would
        be tickled to death….their goal after all is to do just that…the big ingathering…”

        American, according to the Zionist narrative, that’s supposed to be Nasrallah’s schtick: “if they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.” The Zionists got a lot of mileage out of that one since 10 years or so.
        .

      • American
        November 22, 2013, 6:33 pm

        @ Walid

        I never heard the zio story on Nasrallah.
        But if I were them, given the choice between Nasrallah who probably just wants them to go away or stay in their own cubicle and the Christian Zios who want to french fry the Jews if they cant ‘perfect’ them by conversion to Jesus—-I’d take Nasrallah.

    • Walid
      November 21, 2013, 2:01 pm

      “They either get American Jews to make Aliyah, or close shop in the mideast.”

      Why don’t they convert the 3 million or so Palestinians in the area and make them full citizens of Israel? That would jack up your numbers.

      • seafoid
        November 21, 2013, 3:46 pm

        They will close shop in the Middle East, I bet, Walid.
        It was always a dumb idea. Tthe Lithuanians prove it.

      • Walid
        November 22, 2013, 2:15 pm

        seafoid, I got the part about it being a dumb idea but got lost on the Lithuanian connection to it.

      • seafoid
        November 22, 2013, 2:47 pm

        The Lithuanian Hasidim with the furry hats you see fil uds.
        Their homeland is east of Warsaw.

      • Walid
        November 22, 2013, 4:09 pm

        Thanks, seafoid.

  9. radii
    November 20, 2013, 8:05 pm

    here’s how the pitch would go if it was honest:

    “Be a front-line insurgent in the ongoing ethnic-cleansing campaign to illegally seize land and impose our brand of extremist religious control upon a region. Push out the indigenous population, engage in terror tactics, feel superior as you do it!”

    • Daniel Rich
      November 21, 2013, 8:13 am

      @radii、

      It’s a sad[dening] notion, but a brilliant display of the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

  10. atime forpeace
    November 20, 2013, 9:27 pm

    How can anyone pass up such a glorious invitation? This year in Jerusalem, no more waiting until next year.

  11. braciole
    November 20, 2013, 9:37 pm

    The Negev is desert or semi-desert, so exactly where is the water going to come from to support all this development and immigration? The occupied territories? That’s mostly used elsewhere unless the Palestinians are all to be relocated across the River Jordan. The Litani River? What happened the last time Israeli tried that little adventure?

    • Walid
      November 21, 2013, 2:07 pm

      They’ve been talking about a joint project with Jordan to build a 300 km pipeline from Aqaba on the Red Sea to bring salt water to the Dead Sea that’s close to drying up.

    • yrn
      November 21, 2013, 2:23 pm

      braciole
      The negev is like the Sahara.
      It’s Huge 100,000,000 km2 and about 2,000 miles from Tel Aviv.
      the water will come from the Mississippi or the Volga river and will cross the occupied territories of Romania and ofcourse the Palestinians are all to be relocated across the other side of the River Jordan.

      • Walid
        November 22, 2013, 2:35 pm

        I said pipeline, should have said canal. because the plan changed since I last checked a coupke of years back. It was again discussed a couple of months back; from an Italian site:

        “08/20/2013 17:55
        JORDAN
        Jordan to quench thirst with Red Sea-Dead Sea pipeline
        Jordan’s ambitious plan intends to eliminate water shortages and stop the degradation of the Dead Sea. “We do not need to reach an agreement with Israel,” minister in Amman says.

        Amman (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Jordan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur said on Monday his government plans to spend US$ 980 million to obtain 100 million cubic metres of water a year.

        “The government has approved the project,” he told a news conference, linking the Dead and Red Seas “after years of technical, political, economic and geological studies”.

        Under the plan, Jordan will draw water from the Gulf of Aqaba at the northern end of the Red Sea to the nearby Risheh Height, where a desalination plant is to be built to treat water.

        “The desalinated water will go south to Aqaba, while salt water will be pumped to the Dead Sea,” Nsur said.

        Water scarcity is common to the southern regions of Israel and Jordan. At first, the two countries plus Palestine had agreed to fund an US$ 11 billion pipeline from the Red Sea to refill the rapidly shrinking Dead Sea and provide drinking water.

        “We had no other option. We will revive the idea of saving the Dead Sea, while at the same time having drinking water. And we do not need to reach an agreement with Israel,” Jordanian Water Minister Hazem Nasser said.

        At the same time, “We are thinking of selling desalinated water to Israel and buying water from Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee),” PM Nsur said. “Water from Tiberias will be cheaper for reasons related to transportation, costing us one-third of a dinar per cubic metre”.

        The degradation of the Dead Sea started in the 1960s when Israel, Jordan and Syria began to divert water from the Jordan River, the Dead Sea’s main supplier.

        The Dead Sea, the world’s lowest and saltiest body of water, is set to dry out by 2050 with drought in the forecast for the desert areas of Israel and Jordan.”

        link to asianews.it

      • Hostage
        November 22, 2013, 4:10 pm

        I said pipeline, should have said canal. because the plan changed since I last checked a couple of years back.

        One major problem was that the plans for the joint Israeli-Jordanian project routed the canal through Israel on land confiscated and annexed from Palestine with no guarantees that the Palestinians would ever share in any of the envisioned benefits:

        The Palestinian Authority has asked the World Bank to cancel funding studies for Red-Sea-Dead Sea canal that would provide abundant water supplies for Israel, Jordan and Arabs in Judea and Samaria, including the Jordan Valley.

        It charged that Israel plans to take over land exposed by the receding Dead Sea and effectively cut off the possibility of a contiguous PA state comprising Samaria and the Jordan Valley. The PA said that 35,000 acres of land, two percent of all of Judea and Samaria is involved.

        — PA Charges Red-Dead Canal is ‘Land Grab’ for Israel
        The Palestinian Authority has asked the World Bank to stop funding a study for a Red Sea-Dead Sea canal. It alleges Israel is staging a land grab. link to israelnationalnews.com

        Xinhua — The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on Wednesday threatened to resort to the UN Security Council to foil a pilot project to bring water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea.

        In a statement, the Palestinian authority explained that Israel would be confiscating and annexing more than 19 hectares of land if the project, which the World Bank would fund, took effect.link to globaltimes.cn

  12. Ecru
    November 21, 2013, 2:34 am

    But, but, but…..if all those young Jews move to the Negev then who’ll shill for Israel in the USA in the future? Who’ll make sure all that lovely moolah keeps flowing from Washington to the Chosen People in the “Promised Land” and not to those scruffy and definitely Un-Chosen Goyim in the States? And who’ll make sure Israeli war -crimes and crimes against humanity are still given total diplomatic cover by the “Leader of the Free World”? Don’t you all realise – young American Jews moving to Israel is an existential threat I tell you; an existential threat!!!!!

    • yrn
      November 21, 2013, 2:24 pm

      Ecru

      I guess you will be qualified for the job.

  13. Krauss
    November 21, 2013, 4:49 am

    Here’s something on this topic. An interview with the deputy foreign minister of Israel, Ze’ev Elkin.

    link to mosaicmagazine.com

    Behind all the flourish, he comes across as (relatively, for Israeli standards) realistic.
    One thing that interested me is how his assessment of America is; he’s basically saying that there’s been a fraying in Israel’s standing in America over just a few years. And he says thanks to them “we were saved”.

    He then says that if it weren’t for them, things in America concerning Israel would be on par with Europe. And there’s a lot of thoughts on how to enlist the diaspora.

    For me it’s a confirmation of what many of us already knew, but it’s always interesting to see it confirmed in print; Elkin essentially concedes that if it wasn’t for the Diaspora, Israel wouldn’t make it out there, it wouldn’t even have begun as a state. For all the talk about how Israel does not care, the people in charge actually do care, a lot, about world and especially Western opinion.

    • Shmuel
      November 21, 2013, 5:26 am

      Communities abroad also have an interest in cooperating, because anti-Israelism is today a politically correct expression of anti-Semitism, and therefore what starts as anti-Israelism very often turns into anti-Semitism par excellence. So the community has an interest in protecting itself and to try and confront and uproot the problem.

      Elkin’s logic eludes me here. If “anti-Israelism” is merely a “politically correct expression of anti-Semitism”, improving Israel’s image in order to combat anti-Semitism seems like an exercise in futility. The “real” motives behind criticism of Israel will either disregard the hasbara or manifest themselves in some other way. And if they do not or cannot, because things that are not “politically correct” stand little chance of gaining a wider foothold, then they do not pose a threat to the diaspora communities in the first place, but only to Israel, which means that Elkin’s reciprocity argument is without basis. (Aside: The very need to “disguise” anti-Semitism also says something about the internal ability of those societies to effectively combat racism in general and anti-Semitism in particular.)

      On the other hand, if anti-Zionism is merely a cover for anti-Semitism, wouldn’t the best way of exposing it be for the communities to distance themselves from Israel, rather than identifying even more closely with it, thereby giving the anti-Semites precisely what they need to carry off the charade?

      • LeaNder
        November 21, 2013, 11:09 am

        Krauss, thanks for the article.

        Shmuel, there seems to be seems to be a growing resistance movement in the academic “new antisemitism = anti-Zionism = critique of Israel” context. Could it be different? You may be interested in this article by Jonathan Judaken: Anti-antisemitic Hitmen and the New Judeophobia. It got longer than intended. But just read the article it tells you all you need to know.

        A comment by Walid sent me on a journey yesterday, or was it the day before? Basically since the Wallstreet Journal article about European antisemitism, one of his links, cited a Study by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation pretty selectively. I know the study, it was not purely on antisemitism but comparative and looked at Racism, Xenophobia, Antisemitism, Homeophobia, Islamophobia, It’s title was: The disparagement of the Other. It also compared In any case my impression was the author wanted to convey the impression it was purely on Antisemitism. The countries looked at where: Germany, Great Britan, France, Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Hungary

        The establishment of the Pear Institute for the Study of Antisemitism seems to be a good thing. The UK has a great tradition with its Journal Patterns of Prejudice. My hope is that it will works more objectively and more comparatively.

        The institutes head David Feldman adds quite a bit of context, judging from the articles I have read. Some are linked in his publication list. I like that!

        A recent study by them for the EU was about perception of a rising antisemitism by Jewish Europeans. Incidentally when I followed the politicization of the topic years ago, I wondered exactly about that. And apparently the EU seems to have had troubles to make the demanded new definition usable.

        In any case hopefully these forces are loosing more and more ground.

        The Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, which connects to the AntiGermans over here or Daniel Pipes among others. In any case the field for the study of antisemitism clearly wasn’t up to the polemics post 911. But I am more hopeful now.

        In any case Judaken works “Critical Theories of Antisemitism: Post-Holocaust Reflections on Modernity and Modern Judeophobia.” That is exactly what I am in the process to find out in it’s development over here. …

      • Shmuel
        November 21, 2013, 11:38 am

        Thanks, LeaNder. I’ll have a look at the links.

        The other day, I went to a presentation of the Italian edition of Judith Butler’s Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism, and one of the panelists (obviously invited to represent “the other side” and equally obviously uninterested in Butler or her book) took the opportunity to speak about “the New anti-Semitism”. He was not contested by the other panelists (most of whom were pro-Zionist) and the promised post-presentation “discussion” was summarily cancelled.

      • LeaNder
        November 21, 2013, 3:29 pm

        Hey, thanks, Shmuel, I wasn’t aware of Butler’s new book. I have to get that. Do you remember the name or her opponent, or can you look it up somewhere? I would be curious.

        I tried squeezed too much in the above, and then decided to delete a part. So the second to last paragraph does not make any sense anymore. And somewhere I did not delete the complete passage. Forgive me. One shouldn’t write comments in a hurry. ;)

        The Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, which connects to the AntiGermans over here or Daniel Pipes among are the enforcers of the politicized perspective or “new antisemitism”.

        Great article by Phil.

        A partly similar network is visible for me on the intersection between antisemitism and the Iran issue.

      • Shmuel
        November 21, 2013, 4:55 pm

        LeaNder,

        I read Judaken. I don’t particularly like his “both sides” approach (or his characterisation of what he calls the “post-antisemitism theorists”), but he makes some good points and seems pretty reasonable on the whole. Now for the other links …

        Unfortunately, Butler herself was not at this event (the book came out in English last year – this was a translated edition). The editor of the Italian edition (a well-known philosopher) was there, but she hardly spoke, and the pre-emptive flag-waving Israel supporter was the deputy editor in chief of the Corriere della Sera, Pierluigi Battista. Picture a cultured Archie Bunker (if you are familiar with that little bit of Americana) ;-)

        The entire evening was a bit of a farce. Good food and wine though (even philosophy departments can be trusted on that score in Italy).

      • LeaNder
        November 21, 2013, 9:11 pm

        Thanks, Shmuel,
        ok, no specialist but a journalist: Pierluigi Battista, someone that checks, sees gender troubles and immediately realizes this lady surely must be equally wrong about Zionism.

        Picture a cultured Archie Bunker (if you are familiar with that little bit of Americana) ;-)

        Did’t ring a bell, but always willing to look up. Got the idea!

        I don’t particularly like his “both sides” approach (or his characterisation of what he calls the “post-antisemitism theorists”)

        I see his “both sides” from a different perspective, I know him from the list and the “new antisemitism” side has this to say about the article. As you can see that “both sides” may have a partial truth is not appreciated there. I missed the list for a couple of month. Lot’s of the voices I like have become rare.

        In any case, his idea that the term antisemitism may not be useful, is highly interesting. It definitively belongs into a specific historic context and does not indicate a rule in a 4.000 year continuity. It may indeed trigger a not very useful chain: -antisemitism – holocaust – extinction. Where did I read today: It’s only 75 years later and the whole world looks away and let’s it happen again. (Iran P5+1)

      • LeaNder
        November 21, 2013, 11:11 am

        Shmuel, I won’t correct this or look out for other matters. Too many links to mend: there seems to be seems stuttering as result of a slight change. ;)

  14. Daniel Rich
    November 21, 2013, 8:05 am

    Q: listened intently to two Israeli-Americans speak of the wonders of the Jewish state.

    R: Would it be unfair to expect and Israeli-Israeli to do the bidding?

  15. mcohen
    November 22, 2013, 2:45 am

    fantastic idea and have considered moving to the south myself.once the eilat rail link is built

    The railway’s route in the Arava will allow a maximum speed of 230 to 300 km/h (140 to 190 mph). The line will be fully electrified and double tracked.[15]

    Service may start as early 2018. The passenger service will feature an express and regular service options. The route is being planned such that travel on the express route from the Tel Aviv HaHagana Railway Station to Eilat will take two hours or less.[15] An estimated 3.5 million passengers will use the service every year.[21]
    link to en.wikipedia.org

    obviously china will be involved,evidently mondoweiss regulars will receive discounted rail passes

  16. Citizen
    November 22, 2013, 9:39 am

    Here’s a short article six years old about Israel’s Negev project. The ziobots didn’t get it, then, and they don’t now, judging by what they are saying on this blog: link to neohasid.org

  17. Shmuel
    November 24, 2013, 7:08 am

    In a nutshell, the Israeli government is actively encouraging Jewish non-citizens to take up residence in the very same areas from which it is actively removing non-Jewish citizens already resident. Non-citizen members of the state’s charter ethnic group are thus afforded privileges it not only denies to its own citizens of other ethnicities, but which it actually grants at their expense and wields as a weapon in its demographic war against them.

    The discrimination is manifest and extreme, yet Israel’s propagandists continue to hide behind excuses of “legality” and “zoning” and “modernisation” and “forestation” and even “generosity”. The Prawer Plan is an obscenity and the policies of scattered Jewish settlement (even of non-citizens!) in the Negev fully expose it for what it really is: a blueprint for (continued) ethnic cleansing.

  18. Hostage
    November 24, 2013, 8:46 am

    The discrimination is manifest and extreme, yet Israel’s propagandists continue to hide behind excuses of “legality” and “zoning” and “modernisation” and “forestation” and even “generosity”. The Prawer Plan is an obscenity and the policies of scattered Jewish settlement (even of non-citizens!) in the Negev fully expose it for what it really is: a blueprint for (continued) ethnic cleansing.

    Exactly.

Leave a Reply