A Particularly Cruel Ramadan Demolition

English after Hebrew-After particularly cruel Ramadan destruction (It used to be thar demolitions were frozen during Ramadan) , l Araqib is requesting financial assistance after particularly cruel demolition. Contact Aziz El Turi at . 0507814906. If you have a problem donating directly, Torat Tzedek will accept donations. אל עראקיב זקוק לתרומות לאחר הריסה אכזרית ברמאדן בשיא החום. נא ליצור קשר עם.אזיז אל טורי: 0507814906 . אם יש קושי לתרום, אפשר דרך "תורת צדק ע"ר" אתמול יחידת יואב ביצע בשם ההמדינה היהודית הריסה אכזרית במיוחד של הכפר של אזרחים סוג ב'-קריא לא יהודים-אל עראקיב. פעם לא הרסו ברמדאן... לא הסתפקו בסתם עוד אחד מהכ-140 הריסות. החרימו גנראטור ומקרר.הרסו את הקרשים לבנייה מחדש.אולי היו מתוסכלים כי שייח סייל סירב לשיחרור מוקדם מה 10 חודשים בכלא עבור "פלישה" לאדמותיו בתנאי שהוא לא חוזר לביתו, והמדינה היהודית החליטה להסלים את הדיכוי.של אזרחיה הלא יהודים/ות. אולי מהשהו היה מתוסכל בגלל פיזור הכנסת.. אולי זה ניסוי לבדוק איך יתמודדו בלי קורת גג ברמדאן. אולי סתם רוע לב של קצין אחד.... Yesterday, during Ramadan and in the intense summer heat, the Yoav police unit didn't content themselves with just "another/" of the some 140 demolitions if the Negev Bedouin village of Al Araqib since 2010. They confiscated essential equipment, such as their generator and refrigerator. They destroyed all of the boards they usually rebuild with. Perhaps, after Sheikh Sayakh refused early release from his 10 month jail sentence for "trespassing" on his own land, the Jewish State decided to ramp up their oppression of her non-Jewish citizens. Maybe somebody decided to take out their frustration over the dissolution of the Knesset. Maybe somebody wanted to experiment to see how they would cope without shelter during Ramadan. Maybe it was the banal whim of a particular officer....?

פורסם על ידי ‏‎Arik Ascherman‎‏ ב- יום שישי, 31 במאי 2019

Yesterday, during Ramadan and in the intense summer heat, the Yoav police unit didn’t content themselves with just “another” of the some 140 demolitions of the Negev Bedouin village of Al Araqib since 2010. They confiscated essential equipment, such as their generator and refrigerator. They destroyed all of the boards they usually rebuild with. Perhaps, after Sheikh Sayakh refused early release from his 10 month jail sentence for “trespassing” on his own land, the Jewish State decided to ramp up their oppression of her non-Jewish citizens. Maybe somebody decided to take out their frustration over the dissolution of the Knesset. Maybe somebody wanted to experiment to see how they would cope without shelter during Ramadan. (Once upon a time Israel froze demolitions during Ramadan.) Maybe it was the banal whim of a particular officer….

The residents of Al Araqib have appealed for financial assistance. In Israel you can reach Aziz Al Turi at 050-7814906. I can be reached via the “Contact Me” option above this post. How long will they have to endure demolition after demolition, crushing legal debts to defend themselves when accused of “trespassing,” and for their current major appeal that the State unsuccessfully tried to prevent the courts from hearing,  to prove their ownership of their lands?  .

This week in Israel we are reading the first Torah portion of Numbers, “BaMidbar,” meaning “in the desert.” Outside Israel, the last portion of Leviticus is being read “Bekhukotai.” Bekhukotai is one of the portions in which we read of the blessings for obeying God, and the curses for disobeying.  It struck me that we have decided to wreak the very curses God threatens on the residents of Al Araqib (and so many others.):

“I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass.  And your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield her produce, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruit…. And I will make your cities a waste, and will bring your sanctuaries unto desolation…  your land shall be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste.” (From Leviticus Chapter26)

Before the Jewish State focused its might on making Al Araqib desolate, it was not a desert (midbar) They had fruit trees and grazing lands for their flocks.  Although the ostensible reason for wiping Al Araqib off the face of the earth (except perhaps their cemetery with graves going back to 1914) is to plant trees and create a KKL/JNF forest.  Like Birnam wood in Macbeth, the forests encroach like advancing soldiers. Like so many JNF forests around Israel, the plan is that there will be trees where there was once a village, with only the cemetery at its heart reminding us that once there was a thriving community.  In the meantime, Al Araqib’s fruit trees have been destroyed. Their earth is as brass, having been made into a desert.

The Al Turi tribe has documents starting around 1908 documenting a series of purchases of their lands from the Al Nukbi tribe.  At first, the nascent Jewish State acknowledged the existence of the village. There was a polling booth there for the first Knesset elections.  In  1953 they were ordered to move “temporarily,” but never allowed back.  A handful nevertheless returned. Although the residents say they were never informed, it turns out that the State expropriated their lands.  Although today Israel does not recognize the Bedouin land ownership documents they once recognized (not to mention the Turks and British before us), expropriation is only used when the State recognizes the ownership of the land. Otherwise, it is sufficient to declare the lands in question as “State Land.” The residents of Al Araqib say that they discovered their land had been expropriated when some 20 years ago the KKL/JNF forests began to threaten them.  Realizing their lands were being stolen, many returned and rejoined the handful that had maintained a presence through the years. A small, thriving village sprung up, but was destroyed in July 2010. However, under the brave and audacious leadership of Sheikh Sayakh, they surprised the State by refusing to give up.  And the ongoing saga of demolition after demolition, and arrest after arrest, began.

The promise God repeatedly made to our patriarchs and matriarchs is that through us all the nations of the earth will be blessed.

The desert God speaks where God speaks to Moses at the outset of this week’s Torah portion is the Sinai desert. We are still encamped at the foot of Sinai, although we are about to continue our journey to the Promised Land.  Although today we are in the Land, we are also in the period between Passover and Shavuot, in which we count the days from Egypt to Sinai.  Perhaps this is to teach us that, even if we are already in the Land, we must still aspire to make it to Sinai.  The last sentence of Leviticus in Bekhukotai is “These are the commandments that God commanded Moses at Mt. Sinai.” When we arrive/return to Sinai, we will remember that we are to bring God’s Blessings to others, not God’s Curses.

Shabbat Shalom

About the Author
Rabbi Arik Ascherman is the founder and director of the Israeli human rights organization "Torat Tzedek-Torah of Justice." Previously, he led "Rabbis For Human Rights" for 21 years. Rabbi Ascherman is a sought after lecturer, has received numerous prizes for his human rights work and has been featured in several documentary films, including the 2010 "Israel vs Israel." He and "Torat Tzedek" received the Rabbi David J. Forman Memorial Fund's Human Rights Prize fore 5779. Rabbi Ascherman is recognized as a role model for faith based human rights activism.
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