The following activities are planned for 2012, subject to funding:
Direct Action and Community Empowerment
- Form a Knesset lobby group and organize demonstrations as part of a joint effort with other local representative bodies, including the Steering Committee of the Negev Arabs, NCF and Rabbis for Human Rights.
- Mobilize Bedouin and Jewish activists to assist the communities and individuals affected by oppressive Israeli policies.
- Join legal actions filed by other civil society groups against the Praver-Amidror Plan or, alternatively, against the JNF’s afforestation actions in Bedouin villages.
- Launch a photography project to document the lives of residents of unrecognized villages and the effects of home demolitions therein.
- Continue NCF’s Video Advocacy Project and the Visual Literacy Project in Bedouin villages. The former project is a digital storytelling initiative that will provide a group of Bedouin children with the skills, equipment and platform needed to use video as a means to bring about positive social change. The initial phase of the project will involve a series of workshops with ten children to capture their images and edit their materials into short films.
- Offer English and computer classes to assist Bedouin activists to better engage with the media.
Public Outreach and Engagement
- Arrange protests and solidarity visits to affected villages. This includes the weekly Sunday afternoon protest on the main highway into Be’er Sheva to draw attention to the plight of Al Arakib.
- Issue petitions against plans by government and other organizations (for example, the JNF) which discriminate against the Arab-Bedouin villages.
- Continue to run guided tours, with an emphasis on villages under demolition threats, in order to provide students, journalists, diplomats and embassy representatives with a better understanding of issues in the Negev.
- Build the Multaka-Mifgash Cultural Center to serve as an Arab-Jewish meeting place by hosting cultural events and seminars.
- Provide seminars and workshops about Bedouin culture and history and government policy.
- Hold joint celebrations of the Muslim holiday Iftar and the Jewish holidays of Sukkot and Tu Bishvat, with the aim of opening a dialogue between the Bedouin and Jewish residents of the Negev-Naqab.
- Offer spoken-Arabic courses to encourage greater communication between residents in the Negev. Each class will run for 12 weeks.
- Distribute a calendar featuring photographs taken by Bedouin children.
- Host conferences and workshops in Tel Aviv and in unrecognized Bedouin villages to raise awareness and understanding about the Praver-Amidror Plan and its consequences.
Reporting and Information Dissemination
- Liaise with Israeli and international media offices and issue press releases.
- Distribute regular electronic and printed newsletters and updates to NCF members and followers. Additionally, we will continue to utilise social media tools (e.g. Twitter and Facebook) to provide rapid updates following major events. The NCF will be at the forefront of bringing to light violations against the Negev residents through acting as a watchdog on government actions.
- Release a report to coincide with International Human Rights Day on December 10, 2012.
- Release a report to coincide with International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21, 2012.
International and United Nations Advocacy
- Submit a report to United Nations’ Human Rights Council pursuant to the Universal Period Review. Israel will be reviewed by the HRC during its 15th session in early 2013.
- Send a representative to the 11th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (in New York in May 2012) and to the 5th session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (in Geneva in July 2012). The NCF intends to send a Bedouin representative to each UN event in order to bring attention to the violations committed by Israel against its Bedouin citizens, and meet with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- Submit a shadow report to the Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination and attend the 80th session. The CERD will review Israel between 13 February to 9 March 2012.
- Submit an alternative report to the Human Rights Committee on the state’s implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
- Build on previous correspondence with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing to provide information on human rights abuses as they occur. It is hoped that during 2012, Prof. Anaya may be granted permission to conduct a state visit (which was already formally requested in 2010). Additionally, NCF will be participating in the country visit of the Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, Ms Raquel Rolnik, in February 2012.