What has attracted much less international attention is an Israeli plan to force tens of thousands of Palestinian Bedouins out of their homes in the southern Naqab (Negev) region, land that most countries recognize as part of present-day Israel.
This video report from The Real News Network provides essential background, noting that some 200,000 Bedouins live in the Naqab, about half of them in so-called “unrecognized villages” that have existed since before the Israeli state was founded.
“Intruders” in their own homes
But Israel considers the Bedouins to be intruders and trespassers on their own lands, even though they are nominally citizens of Israel.
Israel has long refused to connect their villages to the power grid or running water, build roads, health clinics or schools.
Instead, on 24 June, the Israeli parliament passed the Prawer-Begin law, that would see 40 Bedouin villages demolished.
40,000 will lose their homes
Under the Prawer plan, their land will be confiscated in order to establish a wedge of Jewish communities separating Arab communities in the western and eastern parts of the Naqab.
This is an intensification of an already ongoing assault. As the video notes, in 2005, 30,000 Bedouin homes had an Israeli demolition order. In 2011, about 1,000 were demolished.
Under the new plan, up to 40,000 people will lose their homes in the latest phase of the violent “Judaization” of Bedouin lands.
Those affected are not accepting their fate and are mobilizing to stop the Prawer plan, as the Bedouin activists featured in the video explain.
Racist incitement against Bedouins
Meanwhile, government and media continue a campaign of incitement against the Bedouins, painting them as criminals, in order to justify the assault.
For example, the video says, Israeli lawmaker Danny Danon – a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party – claimed that in 2011, 1,000 women and girls were “seduced, kidnapped or enslaved” by Bedouins, even though the Israeli police did not record even one such case.
The Jewish National Fund (JNF), which raises tax exempt charitable funds in the US, UK, Canada and other countries, plays a key role in the ethnic cleansing of Bedouins and theft of their land.