Last week on Thursday, January 13th, Crown Heights Women for the Safety and Integrity of Israel, invited Naomi Kahn, the International Director for Regavim to join us for a lunchbreak conversation about events taking place in the Negev with the Bedouin.
Regavim is a public movement in Israel dedicated to ensuring a Jewish future in the Land of Israel by protecting its national lands and resources. Regavim’s research and recommendations are professional and well-regarded by the Israeli government.
Her recent Op-Eds about the Electricity Law had caught our attention, especially in light of the blatantly undemocratic way the law was pushed through by Israeli MKs who, at the same time, discriminated shamelessly against giving matching, equal access to Israel’s national electric, water and gas grids to Jews who live in Judea and Samaria.
And, as you will learn in the link below to our discussion, the Israeli government’s foolhardy and quick capitulation to Mansour Abbas’ demand to stop planting trees in the Negev exacerbates the lawlessness that pervades the Negev Bedouin community which is also closely affiliated with the hostile Muslim Brotherhood.
In any event, the Electricity Law will do little to improve the lives of Abbas’ Bedouin voter base because there is little to no political will by anyone in the government to implement or enforce it, not to mention that many Bedouin don’t even want it. After all, why pay for something when you can keep stealing it worry-free, which is what has been going on for decades in the Negev!
The Bedouin community in Israel is a mere 125 years old. Migrating northward from the Ottoman Empire’s southern Arabian Peninsula in the late 1800s, the Bedouin had little to no interest culturally or politically about Eretz Yisroel which was then considered an undeveloped backwater. It was only with the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 that suddenly the land became a valuable commodity to them. The Bedouin fought against Israel in the War of Independence but by 1966 were no longer deemed a threat as they realized they had more to gain than lose from the State. In an effort to bring a semblance of order to the Negev, Israel conferred upon them Israeli citizenship along with a basket full of land, money, goods and services.
Despite Israel’s generosity, the Bedouin philosophy that where one grazes one’s flocks, the area becomes his forever makes for “historic” land claims they use to justify building illegally without any planning or permits. Regavim meticulously checks every claim and has proven time and again that such assertions are no more than a fairytale.
While many Bedouin have taken advantage of Israel’s educational opportunities to become professionals, a huge lawless and law-breaking segment bilk Israeli taxpayers every year to the tune of billions of shekels in welfare checks made out to them.
Illegally practicing polygamy, Negev Bedouin traffic Arab girls in from around Israel and the region to marry and bear them large families for the purpose of obtaining even more handouts from the State of Israel.
Tragically these wives are often abused and discarded as so much trash to make way for the next poor girl who will garner her husband an additional package of meal tickets and other benefits. Many of these girls are from YESHA and have been brought up to hate Jews and Israel by their card-carrying PLO parents; in their misery they raise their children the same way.
Unbelievably, Bedouin are growing marijuana cash crops on IDF training grounds that were moved into the Negev. Yet next to nothing is done to stop it or prevent them from running lucrative businesses smuggling and selling this toxic, gateway drug all over Israel and the region – which is another reason, in part, why the Bedouin objected so violently last week to any forestation in the Negev that could interfere with their “livelihood”.
Overwhelming to say the least but readers can go to Regavim’s website and read their plan to restore Law and Order to the Negev: Plan-for-Regulating-Bedouin-Settlement-in-Negev.pdf (regavim.org)
Here is the link to listen to my conversation with Naomi last week.
Tamar Adelstein, Coordinator
Crown Heights Women for the Safety and Integrity of Israel