We are constantly working to inform the public in Israel and abroad about the injustices committed towards the Bedouin society in the Negev/Naqab, as we believe that the long-term violations of social and human rights are also made possible due to the lack of public interest in the community, and the lack of accurate public information. The Israeli public is being fed false information.
Join us to learn about the Bedouin society and to meet the leaders of the unrecognized villages. Come and visit the Negev/Naqab from their point of view, get to know the roots of the southern struggle for civil equality, and see the injustice and human rights violations in your own eyes.
NCF’s activists speak every year to dozens of diverse groups in various frameworks. We will also be happy to talk to you about the situation in the Negev/Naqab, the human rights violations of the Bedouin community and the history of the struggle in the country’s southern region. To coordinate a lecture, workshop or home class, please contact us at: [email protected]
The products of our documentation projects are presented in a variety of spaces in Israel and abroad.
Yuṣawiruna – Photographing for Human Rights Project, are an original and exceptional testimonies from the Negev/Naqab. Our team work alongside an amazing group of women from the unrecognized villages in various photography classes and training. Together, the women form a wide network of human rights defenders. They share their everyday lives , both the good and the bad, and the project enables them to take a larger part in their communities’ struggles for recognition.
The children in our documentation project Through a Child’s Lens, are witnesses of the harsh reality, and cameras are a source of strength for them.
Recognized- Documenting Life in the Negev, is NCF’s video documentation project. In 2015, NCF started to distribute video cameras and train volunteer photographers in the unrecognized villages to document, from their perspective, the human rights violations that occur in their villages.
NCF works to promote civic equality in the Negev/Naqab – to eradicate racist policies and to end discrimination against Bedouin citizens in all spheres of life. For this purpose, constant work is done with policymakers in the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament), government ministries, local authorities, and among various level of decision-makeing. We hold meetings and lectures, invite them out for tours and meetings with Bedouin residents from the region, distribute position papers, speak in various Knesset committees and more.
In the past, publications and reports that we wrote led to discussions in various committees in the Knesset and important visits to the Negev/Naqab of these committees. For example, during 2016, members of the State Audit Committee participated in a tour with NCF and held discussions following the report Community under Attack: The Human Rights Situation of the Bedouin Community in the Negev .
In previous years, the organization took part in extensive actions against the Prawer-Begin plan, opposition to the plan in the public sphere and in the Parliament, which eventually led to the cancellation of the plan.
The Coalition for Strengthening the Negev Cities
Government Resolution No. 748, entitled “Examination of the Establishment of New Settlements in the Naqab”, was adopted on November 22, 2015, with the aim of promoting the establishment of five new community settlements in the Negev/Naqab in order to increase the population in the area and attract additional communities to settle in the Negev/Naqab. The proposed plan had far-reaching implications for the future of the Negev/Naqab in general, and for Arab Bedouin citizens in the area in particular. Therefore, the Coalition for Strengthening the Negev Cities opposes the said plan and called to stop all plans for new settlements immediately. Instead, the organizations demanded authorities expand and strengthen existing settlements in the Negev/Naqab, which are in need of infrastructure, as well as to act for the recognition and planning of the unrecognized Bedouin villages, which are in desperate need of basic infrastructure, planning and development plans.
Fortunately, on July 24 2008, the Committee for Planning Issues in Jerusalem decided to disqualify four of the six settlements that the Ministry of Construction and Housing sought to establish in the Negev/Naqab.
The establishment of small communities for the rich, most of them exclusively for Jews, is harming tens of thousands of Bedouin in the Negev/Naqab who have been struggling to be recognized for decades, since the establishment of the State of Israel.
MAZON Fund is an American fund that operates in the United States and Israel to fight the causes of hunger and poverty.
The Coalition’s Acitvities:
The Negev Bedouin community suffers from abject poverty and food insecurity and is at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder in Israel. In cooperation with a large number of organizations, the Forum for Coexistence works to improve the economic and social situation of tens of thousands of Bedouins in the Negev with the help of local lobbying and advocacy, such as the employment of Arab Bedouin women, improving access roads and public transportation.
Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages
Arab-Bedouin Women Employment Conference
The Bedouin communities in the Negev/Naqab suffer from economic hardship and severe poverty. A major difficulty is reflected in the labor market, where many members of the community suffer from inferiority in competition for job placements, exclusion and discrimination, among other reasons. As women from an ethnic minority, Bedouin women in the Negev/Naqab are subject to dual discrimination and exclusion, which forces them into poverty, unemployment or low-wage employment and under inappropriate conditions.
About the conference:
The Arab-Bedouin Women’s Employment Conference was supported by MAZON Fund . and in cooperation with Yedid in Rahat and Sidreh, the Desert Embroidery Society.
As part of the conference, we discussed the main obstacles that make it difficult for Arab -Bedouin women in the Negev/Naqab to integrate into the labor market. In addition, we presented to the general public testimonies of Bedouin women from the recognized villages, the governmental townships and the unrecognized villages, about their daily struggles with discrimination, racism, poor education, lack of public transportation and lack of jobs.
The conference was attended by women and professionals from various government ministries and members of the Knesset (MK Ida Touma Suleiman, Chairperson of the Committee for the Advancement of the Status of Women and Gender Equality in the Knesset); MK Ahmed Tibi, MK Michal Rozin, Meretz faction).
MK Michal Rozin signed the conference: “I believe that you should have proper representation. I want to see a Bedouin woman not only in the local authorities, but also in the Knesset, and even in the government, inshallah! “
As part of our advocacy project promoting Arab Bedouin women’s employment, NCF found that the Ministry of Education intends to stop funding the program to complete education that mostly serves Arab Bedouin women from the Negev/Naqab (95% of the participants).
The program provides primary education for non-literate women, as well as completion of education up to a matriculation certificate for women who dropped out of school or did not have access to basic education.
NCF initiated a public campaign, which included a petition (in partnership with Zazim), signed by more than 620 citizens; a letter on behalf of five organizations (Sidreh, Shatil, Adva Center, AlHuquq Center) to the Minister of Education Naftali Bennet, Minister of Economy Haim Katz, Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel. A second letter on behalf of six Members of Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) was also sent to the Minister of Education; the distribution of a position paper and other publications in the media.
During an initiated deliberation in the Education Committee, MKs Merav Ben-Ari, Mossi Raz, Yossi Yonha, and Said al-Harumi, more than 10 MKs from all the political spectrum, demanded that the funding be restored for the program and acknowledged the necessity of such programs for Bedouin women.
*This campaign is still in action due to the upcoming elections.