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



Note: This ad was published in Israel’s major daily newspaper, Haaretz, on September 13th, 2010, on the day the Bedouin village Al-Arakib was demolished for the sixth time.


A horror show as brutal as the one that took place in the Bedouin village of the Al-Touri family in Al-Arakib, in which no less than 1500 police, special forces and mounted police entered the village armed to the teeth as though setting out to fight the bitterest of enemies, has not taken place since Land Day in 1976 and the events of October 2000.

All of those forces and their bulldozers arrived at the village to uproot 300 residents, the elderly and the infant as well, and tear their homes down to the ground. Since then they have repeated the show three times, each time with the same violence.

Even if it is true that they came with legally signed orders, it is no less true that the Bedouin residents and the state are locked in a dispute over ownership of the land. This is not the way to settle a dispute that is still under discussion in the courts. The Bedouin residents have documents and proof of their traditional rights to the land and of their residence there for hundreds of years, from the time of the Ottoman Empire and the British Mandate, prior to the establishment of the state of Israel.

The state of Israel is the one who enacted discriminatory laws against the Arab population in Israel, and by way of those laws expelled them from their villages, moved them elsewhere, robbed them of their lands and transferred ownership of those lands to the state.

The arbitrary policy of demolishing homes is meant to sow fear in the residents so that they will leave their villages and give up their right to live on their land. This policy violates the basic rights to shelter, to life, and to well-being; rights which the state ensures for the Jewish population in Israel, but ignores them in regards to the Arabic population. It is unnecessary to mention that the right to housing is anchored in international law, particularly in treaties on social, economical and cultural rights that Israel has signed and ratified.

Insistence on the laws that the state has enacted in opposition to these treaties is malevolent, foolish and short-sighted. Instead of coming to a mutually satisfactory agreement with the Arabic-Bedouin community on the ownership of the land and on the type of settlement preferred, the state holds fast to its intention of concentrating all the Bedouins in yet another crowded township, plagued with unemployment and neglect in every area of life.

There is nothing to compare with this in any other state in Western countries: so great a number of tax-paying citizens that are denied their basic rights to water, electricity, infrastructure, health services and education, as they are denied to 90,000 Bedouin citizens of the state of Israel who live in 45 unrecognized villages in the Negev.

With very little effort, fairness, goodwill, and an understanding of the needs of the Bedouin community, it is possible to arrive at an agreement on all the disputed issues that will be mutually satisfactory and will benefit all the residents and communities of the Negev. Prolonging the present situation, or unilaterally forcing the situation will carry with it a real and substantial danger for all the residents of the Negev, Jews and Arabs alike. It is unthinkable that the state would encourage and invest in all kinds of settlements for Jews in the Negev, including single-family farms rich in acreage and public resources while – denying the principle of equality it ignores the needs of the Bedouin community and its future development.

Before the situation gets worse, before calamity strikes; we call on the government to stop, to rethink its policy and to arrive at an agreed solution with the Arab-Bedouins in the Negev.

Ronit Matalon
Amos Oz
Sami Michael
Avraham B. Yehoshua
David Grossman
Yousef Abu-Zayd
Sheikh Sayah A-Touri
Atiyya Al-Assem
Shulamit Aloni
Prof. Naomi Chazan
Nathan Zach
Prof. Anat Biletzki
David Tartakover
Prof. Oren Yiftachel
Anat Matar
Gadi Algazi
Prof. Ilana Krausman
Adv. Dan Yakir
Rachel Michael
Yehoshua Sobol
Prof. Aryeh Arnon
Dr. Mordechai Bar-On
Prof. Moshe Shoked
Rabbi Arik Ascherman
Dr. Edna Lumski-Feder
Prof. Uri Ram
Adv. Rawiya Abu-Rabi’a
Haia Noach
Hasan al-Malhi
Yaakov Manor
Rim Chazan
Amos Gvirtz
Prof. Ruth Butler
Prof. Amiram Goldblum
Yair Yanov
Dr. Sarah Helmann
Dr. Alla Shainskaya
Prof. Itzhak Nevo
Prof. Iris Parush
Nouri al-Ukbi
Prof. Ruchama Marton
Miri Barak
Jonathan Pollack
Silan Dallal
Michal Rotem
Prof. Marwan Dweiri
Adv. Michael Sfard
Prof. Aeyal Gross
Prof. Daniel Bartal
Dr. Dan Filk
Prof. Neta Ziv
Prof. Avner Ben-Amos
Adv. Avigdor Feldman
Dr. Awad Abu-Freih
Khalil al-Amour
Mickey Fischer
Mahasen Rabus
Eilat Maoz
Noam Tirosh

The NGOs’ that contribute to this ad are: The Coalition against Racism in Israel, Shatil, Coalition of Women for Peace, Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality, Recognition Forum


01-04-24 - 28.03 – Wādī al-Khālīl is an unrecognized village near Shoket Junction: A house was demolished and its residents were asked to relocate to a different city.

29-03-24 - 29.03 – Sa’wah: One building was demolished today

All Demolitions