Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality
פורום דו-קיום בנגב לשוויון אזרחי
منتدى التعايش السلمي في النقب من أجل المساواة المدنية

NCF in the Media 2015

Why is JNF UK throwing a Bedouin-themed party?+972 Magazine, 10 November 2015

“The JNF’s forestation projects have become a tool to kick Bedouin from unrecognized villages off their land, destroy their villages, and push the residents into townships,” says Michal Rotem, of the Negev Coexistence Forum.

Shin Bet threatens Bedouin activist, offers money to prevent protests, +972 Magazine, 3 November 2015

The Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality issued the following response to the summonses and interrogations: “Summoning central activists from the Bedouin community, as well as human rights activists, to Shin Bet interrogations constitutes a fatal blow to the Bedouin community’s right to protest, organize, and struggle for its future. It is inconceivable that the the Bedouin workers in an Arab-Jewish organization be summoned to a Shin Bet interrogation on a regular basis, months after starting the job, and be harassed by the authorities”.

The Bedouin children trying to stop bulldozers with their cameras+972 Magazine, 6 September 2015

Despite the fact that the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality organizes its yearly photography workshops during the summer, it was clear that this year it was of utmost importance to do it in the summer, despite the heat.

Those who came to last week’s protest against the bulldozers, which are working hard to build the new Jewish town, were surprised to find children with cameras strapped around their necks, documenting the demonstration from every possible angle.

Bowing to Right-wingers, City Halls Cancel Gaza Film Screenings, Haaretz, 14 July , 2015

The movie was instead scheduled for screening at the Mifgash Multaka cultural center, the home base of the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality in Be’er Sheva.

Haya Noah, director of the Negev Coexistence Forum, told Haaretz that the film is about a method of treating trauma. “If Arabs and Jews can’t talk about that, what will they let us talk about? I think that the municipality is afraid, we’ve reached a situation where there’s a lot of fear; it’s hard to know what the next step will be. I’m disappointed at this conduct, I didn’t think that the mayor of Be’er Sheva would allow such a thing to happen.”

Demolitions in Israeli Bedouin sector increase by 54%Haaretz, 9 July 2015

Haia Noach, executive director of the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality, told Haaretz, “There is a clear trend of inspectors giving a person a demolition order and threatening to fine him if he doesn’t tear it down himself. There is a campaign of threats against residents, a modus operandi that has no [just] basis.”

In fact, the state cannot fine a person for not demolishing his home under an administrative order – only if a court order was issued to do so. Noach noted, however, “Under an administrative order there isn’t much time until the demolition, so a person considers whether and how to demolish [the structure]. It’s a very humiliating process but they prefer to do it themselves than have dozens of policemen come and demolish their home, which is a trauma for the family.”

Israel’s Bedouin refuse to go quietly as state attempts to oust Umm al-Hiran villagers, The Independent, 13 June 2015

The Bedouins and their supporters are ramping up a publicity campaign. Haia Noach, CEO of the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality – a joint Arab-Jewish group – is among the Jewish Israelis working closely with those in Umm al-Hiran. They bring groups of Israelis to the unrecognised villages to enhance awareness of the situation.

Ms Noach, herself a native of the Negev desert, believes the government’s policy towards the Bedouin is failing. “It is not sustainable. You have to create some sort of equality … unless you want people to live in bubbles.”

Israel destroys Bedouin village for 84th time, Electronic Intifada, 22 May 2015

Michal Rotem, who works for Dukium, the Negev Forum for Coexistence, said Israeli police arrived at al-Araqib after a day of demolitions in the Naqab. “They just finished their day in al-Araqib,” she told me.

The reality exposed by Bedouin women armed with cameras, Haaretz, 13 May 2015

Abu-Joda’s photographs appear in one of the four recently published photography books that document life in four unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev from a feminine point of view: Za’arura, Atir, Wadi al-Na’am and Alsra. The books, which are accompanied by an exhibition on display at present at Multaka-Mifgash, a Jewish-Arab cultural center in Be’er Sheva, were produced by the Negev Coexistence Forum and created during a project operated by the organization Human Rights Defenders, in which about 30 Bedouin women from the unrecognized villages participated.

 Israeli Arabs planning ‘day of rage’ protests against demolition of Bedouin town for Jewish one, Haaretz, 7 May 2015

Haya Noach, executive director of the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality, said the court’s decision stems from “establishment racism.”

“The state decided to build a new town, and only afterward checked and saw that there’s already a town there and they are going to harm them,” she said. “One can’t forget that these are people who came there on the order of the state, not on their own.”

Bedouin Demand Israel Recognize Negev Villages, The Militant, 20 April 2015

“The state demanded all kinds of complex legal requirements,” Michal Rotem, a spokesperson for the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality, who helped organize the march, said by phone from Beersheba March 30. “They made it impossible for the Bedouin to prove their land rights. The government then argued that since no one owned the land, it belongs to the state and built Jewish villages there.”

Supreme Court gives al-Araqib the right to fight for its land+972 Magazine, 13 April 2015

As far as the state was concerned, not only do the indigenous people of the Negev have no right to land, they didn’t even have the right to argue in court that they do. The Supreme Court rejects that position.

Civil Society and Politics March for Negev Bedouin Recognition, IPS, 4 April 2015

For the CSOs and activists working day in day out in the field, mobilisation remains key. “I would say that the real challenge remains mobilising both the Jewish and the Bedouin community,” Michal Rotem of the Negev Coexistence Forum, a Jewish Arab NGO working in unrecognised villages, told IPS.

“Politicians come and go but it is the NGOs’ role to bring more communities and groups into the struggle and to maintain engagement.”

‘You killed my son’: Cop who shot Bedouin man is back on the job, +972 Magazine, 5 March 2015

When Khaled al-Ja’ar called the police to report drug dealers in his neighborhood, he never thought they would kill his son. Now he is turning to Israel’s top court to demand that his son’s killer, who has since been released and put back on the job, be arrested and prosecuted.

Coming home from kindergarten to discover Israel demolished your home, Haaretz, 28 February 2015

From the 2013 report of the Southern Directorate for Enforcing the Land Laws, as uncovered by the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality, which documents the demolitions and helps the Bedouin in their struggle: “Total: 46 demolition days – implementation (including four days of earth turning). Results of activity: 697 demolitions.” Between July 2013 and June 2014, there were even more: 859 “results of activity.” On Sunday of this week another eight “results of activity” were proudly chalked up.

Negev Bedouin Resist Israeli Demolitions “To Show We Exist”, IPS, 20 February 2015

And yet according to a recent report titled ‘The House Demolition Policy in the Negev-Naqab’, published by the Arab-Jewish Negev Coexistence Forum (NCF) non-governmental organisation, the situation in Al Araqib is far from unique.

NCF advocates for civil equality in the Negev-Naqab and is the only NGO methodically documenting house demolitions affecting Bedouins.


13-02-24 - .Bīr Haddāj, a Bedouin village located west of Route 40: Today, a few buildings were destroyed by the authorities

06-02-24 - .Saʿwah (formerly Mūladaʾh) is a recogznied village located south of Route 31. A house was demolished by the authorities

All Demolitions