What CNN forgot to mention about ‘the Middle East’s only democracy’
By Ben White | Pulse Media | February 5, 2010
The following extracts are taken from an email update (4 Feb 2010) by Yeela Raanan for the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages in the Negev (they have a website here and a Wikipedia entry here):
On Tuesday this week the Government of Israel destroyed crops in the Bedouin village of Al-Mazraa. “Crops” hardly defines the one inch high wheat that the community has managed to grow in the desert land. The Bedouin farmers do not have water allocations like their Jewish counterparts, and are dependent on rain. The annual average is 2 inches of rain.. This year was a better year, but even on a good year the wheat does not grow tall enough to be harvested and is used as grazing for the sheep of the residents of this village – one of the poorest communities in Israel. But the government officials were not pleased that this year was blessed with rain – and re-plowed the land to make sure the meager crop will be destroyed. The excuse – the land is not owned by the residents of the village (the land is disputed land – historically belonging to the Bedouin, but the government claims it belongs to the state). But the real reason is – they are Arabs. As Arabs – even though they are citizens of Israel – they are seen as our enemies.
The village of Twail Abu-Jarwal was destroyed completely three times. On October 26th, January 6th and again on January 21st.
In the village of El-Araqib homes have been demolished four times! On October 29th – two tents, on December 7th – 7 huts, on January 6th and 21st two huts each time.
In addition the Government of Israel demolished:
October 29th: two homes in the village of A-Sir
A house in the village of Al-Matbakh.
On November 5th: a house in the village of Tla-Al-Rashid.
A house in the village of A-Sawa
A house in the village of Al-Baht.
A house in the village of Zaarura.
On December 7th: A house in the village of Um-El-Mileh.
A house in the recognized village of Um-Mitnan.
On January 6th: A house in El-Batal
A house in Hirbat A-Zbala
On February 2nd: three shepherds’ shacks in the village of Al-Mazraa
A house in the recognized village of al-Foraa.
In each one of these homes a family lived, each family with a mom and children. And they still live in the same place, but their re-built shacks are shabbier, the life more miserable, and with a lot more resentment in their hearts…