The Government of Israel is putting me on trial next week (Monday, April 19th, 11:00am in Beer Sheva): for expressing my displeasure at the brutal home demolitions in the Unrecognized Bedouin Villages. The government and its acting bodies do not want any resistance to the implementation of their racist policies, and therefore wish to scare and intimidate those who speak out…
I grew up in Arad, a town built among the Bedouin, to make sure that the Jews become the rulers of this space. It took me many years to realize that the Bedouin I saw every time I left my hometown are not part of nature, like the rocks and the wadis. It was not my education that had opened my eyes, a good Zionist education, teaching me to be part of a dream of redeeming the land. It was despite this education.
But once the blinds were lifted, it started hurting. I saw the pain in the injustice, in the ongoing feeling of my neighbors, now turned friends, of being treated as deserving less, as a bother to the natural development of our region – the Negev. Every baby born – a “demographic threat”, every time a home is built, economic stability achieved – it is seen as a menace in the only country they can call home…
[Two years ago] I arrived as part of the RCUV at the scene of a home demolition in the unrecognized village of A-Shahabi a few minutes before the bulldozers. Knowing full-well that I cannot stop the demolition – I sat in the house to give voice to the injustice of these demolitions, to the discriminatory, brutal and harmful policies. It was a peaceful, non-violent protest, sitting alone in a house with the bulldozer at the wall. As expected I was taken out by the police, and then I was arrested…
The commander of the police station was angry, he shouted at me, “The last thing we need is for Jews to join the struggle of the Bedouin…” And it is to frighten us so we stay away from working towards justice in our country, that I am being put on trial next week.
Raise your voice! Against the home demolitions, against the non-recognition of the villages and the ownership of the ancestral lands, and against the silencing of criticism of racist policies.
- Join us on Monday at 10:30am standing together before the courts in Beer Sheva, and join us inside the courtroom at 11:00, to show that we stand united in our quest for real democracy.
- Write! To the Attorney General, Yehuda Weinstein. Demand that his office stop the persecution of civil rights activists, and the censure of political criticism through the court system.
Address: 29 Salah A-Din St., Jerusalem. 91010; tel: 02-6466521/2; fax: 02-6467001.
- To the Minister of Public Security, Isaac Aharonovitch, in charge of the police. Demand that the police cease from using its power to crush political criticism.
Tel: 02-5428500; fax: 02-5428039
- To Yehuda Bahar, director of the New Authority for the Regulation of Bedouin Settlement. He is in charge of implementing the governmental policies. Demand that he begin implementing just policies, policies that recognize the historical rights of the Bedouin, instead of brutal home demolitions and policies of oppression and subjugation.
Tel: 08-6263722; fax: 08-6263719; email: email@example.com
- Help pay for the expenses! One of the aims of taking people like me to court is to make it expensive to express our opinions. Lawyers’ expenses are high. You can send a check directly to Adv. Gabi Laski, 18 Ben Avigdor St. P.O.Box 57092, Tel Aviv, 61570. ISRAEL (please let me know). You can also use my paypal account, associated with the email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The RCUV also sent out a second email, regarding home demolitions:
Yesterday, Tuesday, April 13th, the Government of Israel demolished 3 homes and served many home demolition orders in the unrecognized village of El-Araqib. The government is coveting the lands of this village and lately has staged a major attack on the residents of this village to forcefully take the lands: the JNF (Jewish National Fund) is planting a forest on these lands; the residents are forced to come to the courts to defend their ownership of the lands, in a legal system that does not recognize any papers prior to the existence of the state; and the home are being demolished. The homes demolished yesterday have been demolished twice before in the past two months.
The government yesterday also razed to the ground all the homes and tents of the village of Twail abu-Jarwal. For these villagers – it is the 40th time that they have had to experience their entire village being demolished in the last couple of years. One wonders, is it not time to change tactics? The police and the inspectors also emptied out the water containers and attempted to bury them – leaving both humans and animals without water. One of the young men from the village asked: Did they also have a “spill water” court order?