Tony Greenstein | 19 January 2017 | Post Views:

2 Palestinian Israelis killed as Bedouin village is destroyed to make way for a Jewish town

No new Palestinian towns have been built since Israel’s creation [Menahem Kahana/AFP]

There are those who naively believe that the illusory ‘two states’ will
provide a solution to the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.  That all that is required for peace is the
achievement of  a Palestinian state.  Even were such a state possible, which it isn’t,
then it would not address the racism that Israel’s 1.5 million Palestinians

within Israel
Israeli Palestinians are considered a ‘demographic threat.’  In blunt language, there are too many of
them.  Israel is a Jewish state, not like
the UK is a Christian state, where religion is a constitutional anachronism
with no political meaning.  In Israel being
Jewish means possessing privilege.  You
get to live in better accommodation, you get paid more, you don’t suffer racial
discrimination.  Um al Hiran was a
village established in 1956 when the Bedouin were evicted from the south of the
Negev.  They were placed here against
their will.  Now today they have been
violently evicted again by the bulldozers of the Jewish National Fund and the
militarised police.   Two Palestinians
have been murdered.  According
to Al Jazeera
, the driver of the car was met by a hail of bullets from the Israeli
The lying statement of the Police said that:
A vehicle driven by a terrorist from the Islamic Movement intended
to strike a number of officers and carry out an attack,”
Rosenfeld, police spokesperson, said in a statement.
However, Raed Abu al-Qiyan, an Um Al Hiran activist, denied that
the driver of the car was seeking to harm police.
The man was a member of his Bedouin clan by the name of Yacoub Abu
al-Qiyan.  Raed  told AFP news agency:  “The Israeli
narrative is a lie. He was a revered school teacher.
“He was in his car and they shot at him from everywhere.”  Al Jazeera’s report told how Israeli authorities regularly
carry out demolitions of Bedouin homes they deem to have been built illegally.  However for Arabs in Israel, building permits
are nearly impossible to obtain whereas Jewish Israelis are given preferential
plans to demolish the whole of  Um Al Hiran and replace it with a Jewish
village by the name of Hiran.
Um Al
Hiran is just one of about 40 “unrecognised” Bedouin villages in
Negev scheduled for demolition despite being home to tens of thousands of
A Bedouin woman reacts during a protest against home demolitions on January 18, 2017 in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran. MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP
of their “unrecognised” status, many of them are denied access to
electricity, water and other municipal services.
in January, Palestinian citizens of Israel announced a nationwide strike after
Israeli authorities demolished 11 Palestinian homes in the city of Qalansawe in
central Israel.
homes were also demolished on the pretext that they were built without a
This is
the naked racism of the ‘Jewish’ state. 
During this demonstration the mild mannered head of the Joint Arab-Jewish
list in the Knesset was treated no differently from anyone else.  He was hit twice by rubber bullets.
Those who
support a ‘Jewish’ racist state in Israel, whether it is Jeremy Corbyn or the Jewish
Labour Movement have a lot to answer for. 
Israel is Jewish in the same way as South Africa was White or Nazi Germany
was Aryan.  It is a badge of racial
18 January 2017
Here is another image (copyright: Keren Manor) that
conveys the situation of Palestinians – these ones Palestinian
citizens of Israel – more completely than any words. The man on the ground is
Ayman Odeh, a member of the Israeli parliament, the head of the Joint List, the
third largest party in the parliament, and the highest-ranking Palestinian
politician in Israel.
Israeli police have just shot him with
rubber-tipped bullets, not once but twice – including to the face. Odeh is
one of the least confrontational politicians
among Israel’s large Palestinian minority, a fifth of the population.
His message is consistently one of peace and amity between all
Israeli citizens, whether Jews or Palestinians. That does not seem to have
protected him from the shoot-first, ask-questions-later approach of Israel’s
security services towards Palestinians.
This image should be as shocking as seeing a
bloodied Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn crawling in the dirt, watched
impassively by US or UK police.
Um Al Hiran is home to several Palestinian Bedouin families [Menahem Kahana/AFP]
Context is important too. Odeh had joined the 1,000
inhabitants of Umm al-Hiran – all Palestinian citizens of Israel – early this
morning in a demonstration to stop demolition crews destroying the 150
homes of their village in the Negev. Israel allowed these
families to move to the area of Umm al-Hiran in the 1950s after it had
driven them from their original, and much more substantial, lands during the Nakba.
The pretext then for expelling them was that Israel needed their
ancestral lands for an exclusively Jewish kibbutz.
That all occurred during a military government that
ruled over Israel’s Palestinians for nearly two decades. More than 60 years
later, exactly the same thing is happening again, but this time in front of the
cameras. Umm al-Hiran is being destroyed so that an exclusively Jewish
community, with the same name of Hiran, can be built over these
families’ homes. Israel never issued Umm al-Hiran with a master plan, so
now it can be declared illegal and its inhabitants called “squatters” and
“trespassers”. The families are being ethnically cleansed a second time – not
during hostilities or in a time of war, but by their own state in a time
of peace.
They are far from alone. Thousands of
other families, and their villages, face the same fate.
The truth is nothing has changed from the 1950s.
Israel still behaves as if it is ruling militarily over its Palestinian
citizens. It is still a Jewish state, one that privileges the rights
of Jewish citizens over Palestinian “citizens”. It still treats all
non-Jews as a threat, as an enemy.
Israel is not a normal kind of state. It is an ethnocracy, and one driven by an ideological variation of the ethnic nationalisms that tore apart Europe a century ago.
Odeh is a leader who campaigns for peace and equality between Jewish and Palestinian citizens. 
Today, he got his answer. His face is bruised, bloodied and bowed, crawling through the dirt. This is the language of a Jewish state.
The prime
minister won’t go quietly. Bulldozers are the ultimate refuge of the criminal
Bisharat Jan 18, 2017 8:37 PM
A Bedouin
woman reacts during a protest against home demolitions on January 18, 2017 in
the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran
In the
eyes of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu all Arab citizens are terrorists, or,
put euphemistically — they’re all a “demographic problem.” That’s been his
theory forever, even when he was finance minister, and in light of the latest
campaign by former senior security officials to keep Israel “Jewish and
secure,” this legacy is not solely his.
Here are
a few words about the demographic threat that “our forces” took care of on
Wednesday in Umm al-Hiran. His name is Yakub Abu al-Kiyan, and he is a math
teacher in Hura’s high school. His wife is Dr. Amal Abu Sa’ad, his brother
Jabar is an Education Ministry inspector, and another brother Hamad is the
principal of a school in Hura.
Koby, an
activist in the Negev Coexistence Forum, reported on today’s encounter with
this “threat.” He said that from the start police were aiming loaded weapons at
“I heard
a few shots, and then I saw a white van start to move away from the policemen,
not towards them,” he said. “After he started to move, he [the driver] was
surely scared and tried to get away, the barrage of fire from the policemen
started. They surrounded the truck, fired from all directions, some from in
front and some from behind; at that point the driver was apparently wounded,
lost control, continued down the hill, and that’s when the policemen were hurt.
As far as I could tell, the driver was wounded and wasn’t in control of the
So this
is the equal treatment referred to by Netanyahu, who conducts expulsions
broadcast live, which will be remembered as the shame of the Jewish people for
generations. This time it is impossible to declare, as in days of yore, that
the Arabs are “rising up to destroy us,” or fled of their own free will.
Today all
the authorities of the state of the Jewish people, from the government to the
Supreme Court, are partners in a chilling action: Arabs out, Jews in. In dark
times in history, the slogan was different, but the idea was the same: “Juden,
raus” — Jews, out. I apologize for the free association working overtime on
this insane day.
the early years of the state, the Abu Al-Kiyan tribe was expelled from its
lands in Hirbet Zubala, which they had cultivated for generations. After a
period of wandering they were ordered in the 1950s by the military government
to move to the Wadi Yatir area, where they established the village of Atir Umm
al-Hiran. For the 60 years since, they’ve been fighting for recognition of
their village, whose lands they occupied by government order.
But there
is no shame. The government, with the backing of the Supreme Court, decided to
expel the 1,000 residents, destroy the homes that were built with sweat and
tears, and move the residents to a different village, which itself is
overcrowded. Replacing them will be members of the chosen people.
The poet
Mahmoud Darwish once wrote under similar circumstances, “Hooray for the
conqueror of the village … Hooray for the tyrant who subdues the girl with eyes
lined in blue.”
A few
days ago Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel released his five-year plan as tidings
for the Bedouin of the Negev. Attorney Sana Ibn-Bari managed to expose the
plan’s intent to uproot unrecognized villages, so we now understand the plan’s
true purpose. This is what the state is toward the Arabs; a state of
in Haaretz last Friday, Yossi Verter predicted that Netanyahu wouldn’t go
quietly. He will leave scorched earth behind, and the Arabs will be the first
to feel his anger over the suspicions concerning his lust for power and love of

is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Bulldozers are the ultimate refuge of the
criminal suspect. It’s important for those Jews who refuse to be part of this
spectacle to make their voices heard.

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Tony Greenstein

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