of Bedouin villages
“We should transform the Bedouin into an urban proletariat … The Bedouin would not live on his land with his herds, but would become an urban person... This would be a revolution, but it may be fixed within two generations ... This phenomenon of the Bedouin will disappear."
General Moshe Dayan, 1963
they cannot afford to rebuild them
The Map is the title of a Human Rights Watch report on violations of land
ownership and housing rights of Bedouin living in “unrecognised”
Though the Bedouin living in the unrecognised villages are Israelis and pay taxes like other Israelis, they are not provided with mains water, mains electricity, sewerage disposal or garbage collection. They are not allowed asphalt roads. The villages are omitted from Israeli maps, or plans for new Israeli Jews-only villages are drawn over their positions.
Bedouin in the
are in a daily battle to save our homes,” said Al-Grein’s representative
on the Bedouin regional council. For the past two years the village has
campaigned against the Israeli government’s intention to destroy it and
the traditional Bedouin way of life. He welcomed our visit as he believes
that raising public awareness increases the likelihood of the campaign
succeeding. “We have to live together. The state is pushing away my
children. The state will regret the hate it is causing, the rebels it is
creating. My children will fight for justice more than I am doing.”
with sand and dirt everywhere? The Bedouin hate squalor because they value cleanliness and hygiene. If the demolition has not ruined the family financially, they are unlikely to try to rebuild a house because the wreckers are likely to return. Despite this threat, necessity drives people to rebuild some form of dwelling. In recent years, one village has been demolished 15 times.
1947 the Bedouin lived in an integrated society, looking after their animals
and cultivating communally. The women wove and made tents together. There is
a Bedouin museum in the Israeli Kibutz Lahav, but tourists are not taken to
see the Bedouin living in nearby villages where they are denied the means to
dispose of sewerage and garbage.
pastoralists, making a living from their flocks of sheep and goats, do not
present, the government-appointed Goldberg Commission, set up to investigate
and “solve the problem of the Bedouin in the
Once again, the commission may work to remove them from their current homes in rural communities into the “recognised townships.” In these, the infrastructure and possibility of employment are minimal – Bedouin themselves have referred to the recognised townships as “living graves.” They wish to be free to choose to pursue a traditional, rural, pastoralist lifestyle if they want, guaranteed by the establishment of state-recognised rural communities. If the Goldberg Commission proposes such a step, it will be the first ever such recommendation in the history of the State of Israel.