“In the Naqab (Negev), dogs can check into a very fancy animal hotel while in the nearby Arab Bedouin village of Atir Umm al-Hiran, people are not so privileged.”
This animation contrasts the luxury dogs can enjoy at the Goldog pet hotel with the deprivation in the adjacent Bedouin village that is slated for demolition by Israeli authorities.
At the hotel, dogs get 12 square meters (130 square feet) of space each and custom meals. There is also a pet cemetery where animals are given individual grave sites and memorials.
The video was produced by 7amleh (pronounced “hamleh” – Arabic for “campaign”) as part the ongoing #Save_UmAlHiran campaign by Palestinian civil society groups to halt the destruction of the village.
In May, after years of litigation, the Israeli high court ruled that Umm al-Hiran could be demolished to make way for a Jewish town.
In the Naqab (Negev) region of southern present-day Israel, tens of thousands of Palestinian Bedouins live in unrecognized villages and are denied basic services such as electricity, water and education, among others.
Adalah, a legal advocacy group for Palestinian citizens of Israel, notes that the court “recognized that the residents were not illegal trespassers – as initially claimed by the state – but were moved there in 1956 by Israeli military order, after being displaced from their original village of Khirbet Zubaleh.”
Nevertheless, the Israeli court ruled that because they were on so-called “state land,” the government could “retake it and do with it as they wished.”
“The court did not ask why the new town had to replace the Arab village, when there were vast and empty lands in the surrounding area,” Adalah adds. “The Court also ignored the Bedouin residents’ political, social and historical roots to the land.”
This 5-minute video produced by Adalah in 2013 provides background on the struggle of the villagers to stay in their homes:
Israel has already begun laying the infrastructure for the Jewish town, which is to be called Hiran.
An estimated 1.7 million Palestinians carry Israeli citizenship and live in cities, towns and villages across the country.
According to Adalah, they suffer from more than 50 discriminatory laws that stifle their political expression and limit their access to resources, including land.
“City of dog lovers”
The idea that Israelis are particularly fond of dogs is one that the government itself is keen to promote as part of its effort to make Israel more appealing to Western audiences.
That was precisely the theme of a recent Israeli foreign ministry propaganda video promoting Tel Aviv as a “city of dog lovers.”