Joint List to lead mass march on Jerusalem, as Netanyahu forms a gov’t

Israel/Palestine
on 24 Comments

Joint List party head Ayman Odeh campaigned for Israeli elections like a troubadour. He went town to town speaking of civil rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel often quoting poets and peaceniks alike, even the Hebrew bible. Now Odeh is bringing the goods to Jerusalem. While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in the final hours of forming a ruling coalition to lead the country, Odeh’s group is organizing a mass march. Unrecognized villagers will camp and walk their way to Israel’s seat of government, all while their party’s leadership is tightening ties with presumed opposition heads in the Zionist Camp.

Riding off of their high voter turnout momentum, up 10% from 2013, the Joint List asked constituents today to join them on Thursday for a four-day, mass march from the southern Negev region to Jerusalem: President Reuven Rivlin’s house to be precise.

“The Joint list chooses to open its first term in the Knesset with a March For Recognition, to raise awareness of the unbearable reality of life for the residents of the unrecognized villages,” the Joint List said in a statement today.

Once in Jerusalem on the president’s doorstep, the Joint List will submit a blueprint for bringing legal status to the 80,000 Bedouins in shantytowns that pepper the desert. The Joint List said the plans are “a professional and realistic way to recognize and develop all 46 villages, which will benefit the entire population of the Negev, Arab and Jewish, and contribute to the development and regeneration of the Negev.” Moreover, Rivlin, the target, has been an outspoken advocate for the rights of Bedouins since taking office last year.

Negev Bedouins have the highest poverty rates and the worst living conditions in Israel. Their homes are made of tin and tarps, more often than not adjacent to open sewage and waste from one of the desert’s many factories. While their townships are deemed illegal by the state, because they were built without difficult-to-obtain permits, the government has recognized the special status of Bedouins as indigenous peoples to the land. They are the salt of the earth, yet so excluded from the privileges of being an Israeli citizen that their housing and lifestyle are more akin to stateless West Bank Palestinians than Jewish-Israelis who reside nearby.

This demonstration, the Joint List’s first project as a newly formed bloc, comes in lieu of participating in the horse race for minister positions. Nearly every other party is bidding for a trade-off from Netanyahu. The Jewish Home party is demanding top billing in the ruling coalition, flexing their power to solicit seats that would otherwise go to the Likud victors. They want Naftali Bennett in a key position usually reserved for the leading party (Likud in this case). Bennett is eyeing defense minister, foreign minister or justice minister. However, ever the strategist, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is pursuing defense minister. If he cinches this position it would be a mild increase of power.

The Israeli outlet Ynet News is reporting that Bennett and Lieberman’s plans could come to nothing, as Likud wants to keep Moshe Ya’alon in his current position as defense minister. Another possible candidate in the running is Netanyahu’s right hand man, the current Minister of Intelligence Yuval Steinitz, who is also seeking the defense minister post. Netanyahu has given no indication of who will get the coveted seat.

Current Minister of Housing Uri Ariel and Ayelet Shaked of Jewish Home are rumored to also be vying for the ministry of justice, again per Ynet. And Netanyahu has already offered the position of finance minister to centrist Moshe Kahlon from Kulanu.

The Joint List didn’t bother. They emphatically said to President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday that they would never endorse a Netanyahu government, telling press after the meeting “Netanyahu is not legitimate; his government will bring war and escalate racism.” They instead are turning their attention to the Zionist Camp. Since election day last Tuesday Reut Mor, a spokesperson for Joint List head Ayman Odeh told me her candidate has been in daily contact with Zionist Camp head Issac Herzog. Mor said there is no specific agenda, but the two are forging a relationship.

About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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24 Responses

  1. a blah chick
    March 24, 2015, 9:50 pm

    “While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in the final hours of forming a ruling coalition to lead the country, Odeh’s group is organizing a mass march. Unrecognized villagers will camp and walk their way to Israel’s seat of government”

    Selma redux!

    Oh, man, I hope they get a good turn out and the cameras are rolling. I hope everyone stays safe from those goons in the police force. If they’re smart they’ll back off and avoid unpleasant comparisons to the Alabama State Troopers.

    Never mind Iranians nukes or Hamas terra tunnels, a bunch of hebrew speaking, politically savvy, uppity Israeli Palestinians is the ultimate Zionist nightmare.

    • just
      March 24, 2015, 11:16 pm

      Really great comment, abc!

      You hit that one right out of the park!

    • ritzl
      March 25, 2015, 12:11 am

      Ultimate!

      Not a darn thing they can do about it either.

      • Walid
        March 25, 2015, 12:33 am

        “Not a darn thing they can do about it either.”

        Highly doubtful, ritzl, as to the government itself, but I’d expect a counter-march by the ultras, those comprised of settler groups that keep gate-crashing the al-Aqsa compound, to meet the Bedouins’ march head-on, which would trigger Israeli military and police involvement to side with the bad guys and as abc said with the cameras rolling, it would give great press and exposure to the plight of the Bedouins. Remember how the Zionists with the help of the French JDL sabotaged the massive Gaza peace marchers’ event in Paris last July?

      • ritzl
        March 25, 2015, 2:48 am

        Yep. Well said, Walid.

        I was thinking of government action, with “it” being the protest.

        But in the context you describe, it’s interesting that “it” can also mean global exposure of Zionism’s malaise and dscent into madness.

        Part of the beauty of what the Joint List represents is that:

        A) it now has the global intellectual platform to proactively assert/rebut the “all is well in Israel” shiny-happy image machine with large legal protests – by “Arabs”; and,

        B) any facist-style thuggery in response, aimed at denying Palestinian civil rights and across-the-board economic equality shows the world, graphically, just how deep the sickness extends (i.e. seafoid’s theme).

        I don’t know. I just get the feeling that the proverbial unringable bell hasn’t quite rung yet, but it’s about to.

    • bintbiba
      March 25, 2015, 4:05 am

      +100 !!! abc

    • pabelmont
      March 25, 2015, 8:19 am

      The joint list is doing the make-it-visible thing. A good move.

      Doubtful we’ll see much about it in NYT, but who knows? Have we entered a new era? The battle over Jerusalem, over I-P, will be fought in USA, UNSC, EU, etc., not in “Israel” where there is no battle at all but merely the exercise of unmasked and overwhelming power. And the battle will be fought in large part on the basis of information known generally around the world.

      Selma.

    • turveyd
      March 25, 2015, 11:12 am

      a blah chick; My main hope, too, is that they stay safe. The goons in the police force have shown no fear of cameras recording their assaults on children, whether by daylight on the way to school, or in the middle of the night at home in their beds, so i worry. Like the Selma marchers, they face violence – and as someone said above, the Israelis don’t seem to give a tuppeny dam. The marchers are immensely brave..

    • RockyMissouri
      March 25, 2015, 12:01 pm

      Excellent!!

  2. just
    March 24, 2015, 9:59 pm

    Ayelet Shaked, Avigdor Lieberman, Naftali Bennett, Moshe Ya’alon. Yuval Steinitz, Uri Ariel and Netanyahu~ a group of the worst of the worst.

    “The Joint List didn’t bother. They emphatically said to President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday that they would never endorse a Netanyahu government, telling press after the meeting “Netanyahu is not legitimate; his government will bring war and escalate racism.””

    Of course he’s right. I love this action of a mass march to Rivlin’s residence for justice for the Bedouin and others! While others are romancing/bribing/begging Netanyahu, they are focused on getting to work, and getting things done with plans in hand.

    ““The Joint list chooses to open its first term in the Knesset with a March For Recognition, to raise awareness of the unbearable reality of life for the residents of the unrecognized villages,” the Joint List said in a statement today.

    Once in Jerusalem on the president’s doorstep, the Joint List will submit a blueprint for bringing legal status to the 80,000 Bedouins in shantytowns that pepper the desert. The Joint List said the plans are “a professional and realistic way to recognize and develop all 46 villages, which will benefit the entire population of the Negev, Arab and Jewish, and contribute to the development and regeneration of the Negev.””

    Thank you, Allison.

  3. Walid
    March 25, 2015, 12:45 am

    “Since election day last Tuesday Reut Mor, a spokesperson for Joint List head Ayman Odeh told me her candidate has been in daily contact with Zionist Camp head Issac Herzog. Mor said there is no specific agenda, but the two are forging a relationship. (Allison)

    From what I’ve just read about Herzog’s party agenda by Henry Norr on the other Herzog thread, that relationship would be absolutely wrong and somewhat akin to the ongoing collaboration between the PA and the Israeli regime.

    • echinococcus
      March 25, 2015, 3:33 am

      Walid, I hate to disagree with you but the Joint List situation is not comparable to that of the PA. The latter is nothing but a puppet directly installed by the Americano-Zionists and under their direct orders, in charge of hunting and repressing all resistance. The Joint List has the obligation to lead the parliamentary fight for the resistance, using all the advantages conferred by citizenship, like the fiction of equal rights and democracy. This can only be done right by prying open the contradictions and incompatibilities inside the Zionist camp, and by exposing the sham of the equal rights as Haneen Zwabi has so courageously done. I think it was Hostage who correctly said that the success of the Joint List will be to get arrested, or words to that effect.

      • Walid
        March 25, 2015, 1:52 pm

        echinoccus, (had to look up what that means), please don’t hate disagreeing with me, I’m flattered when someone does because it gives rise to a discussion. I was not saying that the “List” was comprised of collaborators, but saying that their joining forces with Herzog that’ vowed to keep all of Jerusalem and all of the settlements would be akin to collaborating. There’s really no difference between Herzog and Netanyahu other than Herzog’s use of lots of vaseline. Zionists are sharp in enacting laws to shut people up or out and I suspect it won’t be long we’ll be seeing one such law to tie up the List somehow. Hope I’m proven wrong.

    • turveyd
      March 25, 2015, 11:15 am

      Walid: H’mm’mm. That gave me pause, too…

      • echinococcus
        March 25, 2015, 2:56 pm

        Walid; of course there’s no difference between Herzog and the Yahoo –or rather, the former is much more dangerous. The problem is, there is no other way of intensifying the contradictions among Zionists; staying entirely outside the brawl won’t achieve much. I like the way the JL is already performing.
        The blocking of the JL by the Zionists, with or without new laws, will be a major positive step, a victory of sorts.

  4. Bubba
    March 25, 2015, 12:02 pm

    So, the Bedouins residing in Israel do not have the right to vote. Likewise, the non-Israel residents of the occupied West Bank do not have the right to vote. Yet, the Israelis that live in the occupied West Bank Settlements have voting rights and can be elected to the Knesset Seats.

    Sounds like good ole fashion voter suppression to me. To quote Larry Flint, “Majority rule only works if you’re also considering individual rights. Because you can’t have five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper.” Just make sure you have enough votes suppressed so you have the majority you want.

    • Walid
      March 25, 2015, 1:41 pm

      “So, the Bedouins residing in Israel do not have the right to vote. (Bubba)

      Yes they do, Bubba, but only in national elections since they live in unrecognized villages and cannot vote in municipal elections. But that’s about all they get, a vote and nothing else; no water, no electricity, no paved roads, no postal service, no schools, no medical clinics. No, no ,no to everything except to vote in national elections. Big deal.

      • tree
        March 25, 2015, 5:39 pm

        And because their villages (which existed before the creation of Israel) are not “recognized” by Israel, every home in the villages is under the threat of demolition because they are not permitted. And they are not permitted because the “unrecognized”( by the Israeli government) village cannot set up a master urban plan recognized by that same Israeli government. And Israel will not allow building permits to be issued for the villages unless there is a master plan. Its a particularly heartless and sick catch-22 and is so much more than voter suppression.

  5. RockyMissouri
    March 25, 2015, 12:04 pm

    Thank you!!

  6. truth2power
    March 25, 2015, 2:34 pm

    The Joint List is marching in the steps of Gandhi and Mandela and the world is with them – stay safe, God bless x

    • just
      March 26, 2015, 4:15 pm

      +1, t2p!

      “Four-day march for Bedouin rights begins in Israel’s south

      President Reuven Rivlin had promised to welcome marchers, but will be abroad when they arrive in Jerusalem to draw attention to the Negev’s unrecognized villages.

      A four-day march to Jerusalem to raise awareness of the plight of unrecognized Bedouin villages and to present a plan to recognize them began on Thursday morning as planned, even though President Reuven Rivlin will not be receiving the marchers in the capital, as they had hoped.

      Although Rivlin had agreed to receive the marchers on Sunday at the President’s Residence, the march’s final destination, it was learned on Wednesday that he will be in Singapore for the funeral of former president Lee Kuan Yew.

      Organizers considered postponing the march, but in the end decided to proceed. They will be met by the president’s wife, Nehama Rivlin, and will have an official meeting with the president next week.

      Some 50 marchers set out in the morning from the unrecognized Negev town of Wadi al-Na’am, the country’s largest with some 8,000 residents.

      They were due to stop at the Bedouin market in Be’er Sheva before spending the night at the unrecognized village of Al-Arakib, which has been demolished numerous times by the authorities.

      Joint List leader Ayman Odeh, one of the organizers, told Haaretz that he was not concerned about the small turnout.

      “Our goal is to send a number of messages to the government and the country as a whole,” Odeh said. “In the 21st century, there are people without water and electricity. At night, children in these villages see the lights of the children in the kibbutzim and it shouldn’t be like that.

      “It’s a mark of Cain for all the country’s governments.”

      The objective of the march is to get government recognition of all 46 unrecognized villages in the country, Odeh said.”

      More @ http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.648866

      Netanyahu and Sara should go instead. Sara might go into alcohol withdrawal in Singapore, though:

      “Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife ‘drank three bottles of champagne a DAY’: Ex-caretaker of Israeli prime minister’s residence claims she ‘drinks crazy amounts of alcohol'”

      Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3012556/Benjamin-Netanyahus-wife-drank-three-bottles-champagne-DAY-Meni-Naftali-claims.html#ixzz3VWaQn94w

      And no, I don’t feel sorry that she might choose to drown her sorrows for being married to this liar and thief…she chose to not only marry him, but to stay with him.

  7. just
    March 26, 2015, 8:26 pm

    “Bedouin children defy Israel’s bulldozers in Gaza, Haifa art show

    Unrecognized Games, an exhibition of photographs by artist Mohamed Badarne will open in both Gaza and Haifa next week.

    Although Badarne may not be able to visit his fellow Palestinians in Gaza, his images have been able to travel, showing viewers a little of the lives of children growing up in the so-called “unrecognized” Palestinian villages of the Naqab (Negev).

    According to a statement by Badarne on the exhibition’s Facebook page, “the power of the show lies in the joy the children are capable of generating, despite the harsh conditions.” The exhibition will open on Monday (30 March), which is known as Land Day, a commemoration of when Israel opened fire on a 1976 strike, killing six Palestinian citizens of Israel.

    Located just across the boundary between Gaza and present-day Israel, Palestinian Bedouin communities in the Naqab face having their homes bulldozed time and again by the Israeli authorities. In the case of one village, al-Araqib, such destruction has taken place dozens of times. The Israeli authorities are trying to displace the village’s inhabitants in order to create a park.

    Badarne, who describes himself as a human rights activist as well as a photographer, and who has also worked as a teacher, movingly documents the ability of children in the Naqab villages to defy the ongoing destruction. Perched in trees or racing around in superhero constumes, these Bedouin youngsters find ways to play in even the bleakest of situations…..

    ……His 2013 exhibition May You Come Back Safely, which was shown at Darat al-Funun in Amman, Jordan, documented the lives of Palestinian construction workers. After several friends were killed and injured, Badarneh started to research the issue, finding that sixty such workers are killed every year on Israeli building sites.

    In a defiant interview in the video (above), Badarne insists that Palestinian artists should feel that “we don’t need a stamp of approval from Israel, and we don’t have to be an embellishment for Israeli ‘democracy’.””

    http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/sarah-irving/bedouin-children-defy-israels-bulldozers-gaza-haifa-art-show

  8. just
    March 27, 2015, 12:14 pm

    Very interesting:

    “Arab Joint List asks to relinquish seats on Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee

    Predominantly Arab party would prefer increased representation on the Finance Committee, to focus on improving the lot of its constituents.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.649220?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

  9. lonely rico
    March 27, 2015, 9:41 pm

    Perhaps the Joint List might invite Obama to address the Knesset.
    He could speak about human rights, justice,
    and what remains to be done for him to earn his Nobel . . .

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