Negev Bedouins’ ‘day of rage’ over resettlement plan

"Before the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, groups of Bedouin Arabs lived a semi-nomadic life in the Negev but in modern times many have settled in what are known as "unrecognised villages". Because they have no formal planning status, they have no access to government services including supplies of electricity and running water. Some are no more than collections of flimsy shacks made from corrugated iron. However, the Bedouin and their supporters see the resettlement move as a smokescreen for a programme to cut the historic links between the Arab communities and their land, and to replace them with new Jewish settlements. Israeli officials say the plan calls for the vast majority of Bedouin to live where they are, while allowing them to preserve their traditions in a modern state."  BBC


The Israeli government destroyed this woman's house because Jewish settlers and developers want her land.  Her people are not a threat to Israeli security.

The Negev bedu continue to be abused by the Israeli government.  The story of their dispossession is as old as Israel is as an independent state. 

Unless you consider the Druze, Chechens and Circassians in Israel to be Palestinian, the bedu are the only Palestinians allowed to volunteer for the IDF.  These other minorities serve in the IDF on the same basis as Jews and are subject to conscription.

The Negev beduin used to serve in segregated tracker battalions if they wished.  That may have changed but in the days when I spent time with them these were ethnic minority units reminiscent of Indian or Eskimo Scout units of the US Army.  In other words, these were specialized reconnaissance units.


The Israeli Jews want the land of the Negev for their settlements.  To reach that goal they have a long standing policy of sedentarization for the bedu.  Quite a lot of the bedu do not want to be sedentarized and Israelified.

There is a long history of that kind of government policy in the world of Islamdom.  The Turkish Empire, the Russian empire, the USSR, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and many other places have had such policies, but humans are stubborn beasts and the nomads and semi-nomads usually resist such attempts at absorption.

The long, long story of Caucasian resistance to Russification continues with more and more savagery.  It will never end.

In this case, the Israeli government will continue to knock down beduin villages that they do not like and the bedu will continue to rebuild them.  pl

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23 Responses to Negev Bedouins’ ‘day of rage’ over resettlement plan

  1. jr786 says:

    They deserve what they get, frankly. They went with the Zionists because it gave them material advantages and since their identity is within and amongst themselves, i.e., they disregard any Arab or Muslim consciousness when it suits them, they can commiserate amongst themselves.

  2. jdledell says:

    jr786 – That is BS. No way have the bedouin collaberated with the Zionists. Israel has given them nothing but grief. 90% of the bedouin have no Israeli electricity or water. Both in the Negev and West Bank they are constantly being moved. About 3000 of the 3500 bedouin in the Jordan Valley have been evicted from their lands. The bedouin living in the hills around East Jerusalem were all evicted and assigned land next to the Abu Dis dump – the area stinks to high heaven.
    The bedouin previously resettled in the Negev were put in out of the way places, with poor transportation infrastructure and far away from any economic infrastructure. In other words, once their traditional animal grazing business was taken away, there are no nearby jobs.
    As I’m sure you are aware, arabs have no great love for the bedouin. However, for the most part simply left them alone. Are you trying to tell me the bedouin identity is within and amoung themselves is somehow different than Jewish tribal tendencies?

  3. different clue says:

    So . . because the Bedouin made a choice of which one may disapprove, and because they fail to regard Arab or Muslim consciousness as much as one might wish; therefore the woman in this photo deserved to have her house destroyed?

  4. turcopolier says:

    In the old days I hung my hat with the Beni Sakhr, nature’s noblemen. pl

  5. Fred says:

    Not a word from the believers in the Right to Protect? Maybe Samantha Power can get a second Pulitzer writing about what we should have done, but I doubt we’ll hear her speak out in the UN. Principles At least the donations to the democratic party and lucrative speaking tour contracts won’t be affected.

  6. Fred says:

    So conquest is justified? Well I will say the Israeli “Occupy” movement has far more influence in Washington than the one on WallStreet.

  7. confusedponderer says:

    Mr. Lang,
    reading up on the tribe I noticed that, in 1923, the Beni Sakhr were attacked by the Ikhwan, and that many of the tribe were killed. Wiki goes on to note that “In the last century they [the Beni Sakhr] defeated those who called themselves Wahabi when they came to occupy Jordan.”
    On the Ikhwan, Wiki notes that the movement aimed at breaking up the tribes and settling the Bedu around the wells and oases because they felt that the nomadic life was incompatible with strict conformity with Islam.
    So apparently the Bedu’s idea of what islam means doesn’t match the Wahabi and Ikhwan ideas on the subject.
    Can you tell something about what would generally characterise the Beni Sakhr’s idea of Islam, in contrast to their old enemies? Is the difference just in the necessary compromises imposed by the living conditions of a nomadic lifestyle?

  8. jr786 says:

    The Prophet, in a well known and pungent hadith, denounced tribalism in all its forms. He was referring to Beduin, of course.
    As for Israeli treatment of the Negev beduin, how does it differ from the treatment of Palestinians in Gaza, for whom sewage and lack of electricity have been crises for years?
    I’d like to see Beduin make common cause with other Arabs/Muslims who suffer at zionist hands. They won’t. Sympathy will bring them little.
    For an update on Gaza:

  9. turcopolier says:

    Since I am not a Muslim and I do like tribesmen I don’t give a damn what the hadith says. pl

  10. turcopolier says:

    The Bani Sakhr are the strongest and probably most numerous beduin tribe in Jordan. They don’t really exist anywhere else. they have been closely associated with the Hashemite monarchy from its inception just after WW1. In the fighting against the Wahhabi Ikhwan they were often led by John Glubb. Religion? They are Sunni Muslim but of an independent mind. I was once at at dinner party at a night club in Amman with a group of Jordanian officers, their wives and several cadets from West Point. There were was a lot of drinking and dancing. The ladies were all stylishly dressed in a western way. At one point in the evening I asked my host, a major general and a Beni Sakhr tribesman if he was at all concerned about the public image for more fervent people in the restaurant. He laughed and said “We are the sons of the rock (Beni Sakhr). We made Islam with our lances. If they f–k with us we will break it.” pl

  11. turcopolier says:

    “Is the difference just in the necessary compromises imposed by the living conditions of a nomadic lifestyle?” No. The beduin vary a lot. The Ikhwan were also beduin. pl

  12. jr786 says:

    لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ
    I hope these Beduin rise up in revolt against the zionists, in which case they have my complete support. Until then, they suffer as all the Arab Muslims in Palestine do.
    Maybe they use some of their well-honed smuggling skills to start getting some help to their fellows.

  13. turcopolier says:

    “lakum diinakum wa lii diin” fine. I’ll take my religion any time, any time. your attitude is responsible for much evil in the world. pl

  14. jdledell says:

    Pat – I have been received by the Jahalin tribe of bedouin and spent many wonderful days and nights with them. One thing I noticed about the bedouin is once they consider you a friend, they totally embrace you. I have not been able to get that kind of total friendship with other Palestinian arabs – there always seems to be some holdback.
    One of the things I have done for many years is to distribute free walkers, crutches and wheelchairs among the disabled arabs. Being disabled myself from polio, I simply could not tolerate the sight of people getting no mobility help mainly in the West Bank. This is the reason I have had so much exposure to bedouin and arabs in spite of my crappy arabic skills.
    It is always a ridiculous game to get import permission from Israel for mobility aids. The subterfuge always gets the adrenaline going. However, it has become much more difficult since the 25 wheelchairs and 50 pairs of crutches I had purchased were confiscated from the Mavi Marmara and they traced back my involvement.

  15. jr786 says:

    My attitude, eh? My response is from the Qur’an, as I thought you would know. It is the typically correct thing to say in response to things like your earlier comment about the hadith I referred to. It’s called adab.

  16. turcopolier says:

    I have a degree in adab arabi. I don’t care if it is from the quran. As this line is interpreted by many, it is an invitation to bigotry and hostility. pl

  17. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The piece of the Quran that you have quoted, I believe, is referring to unbelievers in God, His Books and His Prophets – the heathens and the idol-worshippers comes to mind.

  18. It’s just sad and frustrating how the Israeli government treats people like this and gets away with it. It’s even sadder that many on the right can find ways to rationalize even this sort of crap as ok, because it’s the Israeli government doing it.

  19. Edward Amame says:

    More evidence that Israel is an apartheid state, just like Jimmy Carter and Max Blumenthal have called it.

  20. CTuttle says:

    Col. Lang, did you see this Salon article…?
    Money quote: “The younger Blumenthal was ready for the onslaught, which, he says, has played out with absolute predictability. While en route to his parents’ D.C. home (sorry, Mr. Dershowitz, Sid has yet to disavow his progeny), Blumenthal spoke on the phone to Salon about life in the Israel lobby’s cross hairs, and the unique challenges and importance of critiquing the Israeli government’s sugar-coated state narratives, buoyed by its unquestioning supporters in the U.S.”

  21. CTuttle says:

    Here’s Max at yesterday’s big brouhaha in DC, Col…!
    Max’s command of the facts is most impressive…!

  22. CTuttle says:

    One more on Max’s DC frou-frou, from FP’s The Cable…
    “I Hate Israel Handbook” Author Welcomes His Haters

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