Nowhere Left to Go: The Jahalin Bedouin, a new short documentary, can now be watched in its entirety on YouTube. In the film, Jahalin Bedouin community members explain how the Israeli government plans to forcibly displace them yet again — the community was originally displaced to the periphery of Jerusalem from their historic lands in the Naqab (Negev) desert during the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
The film, a project of the Jahalin Association, is narrated by celebrated author and human rights activist Alice Walker. The Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters contributes a performance of “We Shall Overcome” to the soundtrack, with instrumental music by The Dubliners and South Sinai Bedouin musicians.
The particular impact of Israel’s racist system of injustice on the Jahalin Bedouin is powerfully clear in Nowhere Left to Go. In one scene, a father explains that neither Israeli or Palestinian ambulances will come to their community and several children have died as a result. Meanwhile, the community can see an Israeli hospital across the valley in a nearby Jewish-only settlement, but are forbidden from accessing it.
While Israeli settlements doubled after the Oslo accords in the mid-1990s, today nothing has changed for the Jahalin Bedouin who don’t have running water or other basic infrastructure. Another community member, Abu Yusuf, states in the film, “Their children use the best buses to get to school. They have the best playgrounds, the best parks. Our children play in the dirt and the mud.”
Plans to forcibly transfer Bedouin condemned
The Electronic Intifada has reported on the situation of the Jahalin Bedouin and other Jerusalem-area Bedouin communities who are among 27,000 Bedouins who are affected by the Israeli government’s scheme to expel Bedouins from Area C of the occupied West Bank. Following the Oslo accords, the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip were carved up into areas A, B and C — the latter indicating full Israeli military and administrative control. Approximately 60 percent of the West Bank is designated “Area C.”
As The Electronic Intifada reported in February, Israel also plans to transfer 30,000 Bedouins in the Naqab desert.