National mission

Commenting on the proposed building of a “Jews-only” building in Jaffa, the head of the development company in question was reported as saying: “We will continue to build throughout the Land of Israel. The national mission today is to bring rabbis and educators to every city in Israel, in order to strengthen Jewish identity in Israel.”

The phrase ‘national mission’ felt familiar – here are just a few other examples of this kind of language.

In the Negev

“After the cornerstone laying ceremony, in which Joseph Hess of JNF America participated, Mr. David Raisch, the local CEO, said that he was very excited to see the guests from the USA: “When we were evacuated from Gush Katif, we insisted on staying together as a community. We asked the government for a national mission, we told them we wanted a place no one else wanted to live in, and that’s how we ended up in Shomeria. It’s exciting for me to see you here today, because it makes me realize that building the eastern Negev is not just our personal goal, you are our partners to this task…””

“The significance of the Disengagement Plan is not only the evacuation of the Gaza Strip – it is also an increased effort to develop the Negev, the Galilee and greater Jerusalem. The Government of Israel, which I head, considers developing the Negev, the Galilee and greater Jerusalem a primary national mission – and views settlement as the number-one tool for doing so.” [PM Ariel Sharon] Continue reading “National mission”

What CNN forgot to mention about ‘the Middle East’s only democracy’

The following extracts are taken from an email update (4 Feb 2010) by Yeela Raanan for the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages in the Negev (they have a website here and a Wikipedia entry here):

On Tuesday this week the Government of Israel destroyed crops in the Bedouin village of Al-Mazraa. “Crops” hardly defines the one inch high wheat that the community has managed to grow in the desert land. The Bedouin farmers do not have water allocations like their Jewish counterparts, and are dependent on rain. The annual average is 2 inches of rain.. This year was a better year, but even on a good year the wheat does not grow tall enough to be harvested and is used as grazing for the sheep of the residents of this village – one of the poorest communities in Israel. But the government officials were not pleased that this year was blessed with rain – and re-plowed the land to make sure the meager crop will be destroyed. The excuse – the land is not owned by the residents of the village (the land is disputed land – historically belonging to the Bedouin, but the government claims it belongs to the state).  But the real reason is – they are Arabs. As Arabs – even though they are citizens of Israel – they are seen as our enemies.

And:

The village of Twail Abu-Jarwal was destroyed completely three times. On October 26th, January 6th and again on January 21st.

In the village of El-Araqib homes have been demolished four times! On October 29th – two tents, on December 7th – 7 huts, on January 6th and 21st two huts each time.

Continue reading “What CNN forgot to mention about ‘the Middle East’s only democracy’”