This N.Y. Times video of the Bedouin inhabitants of Al Araqeeb, chronicles the violent extinction of their village and their struggle to revive it. I’ve posted here on the deeply moving story filled with the barbarity of 1,500 Israeli soldiers with helicopters and other advanced weaponry being deployed to roust 400 poor Israeli Bedouins from the ancestral land. But the dogged determination of the victims not to accede to the thief attempting to steal their inheritance from them, is riveting.
The most disgusting aspect of this video is the interview with the Israel Lands Administration flack who looks into the camera and with a straight face claims that these Bedouin, who possess a 1929 deed to the land, and tombstones in the local cemetery dating back decades or more, came to Al Araqeeb in 1999! As the song says: “Who do–who do ya think you’re foolin’?”
In 1948, Israel disappeared anywhere from 700,000 to 1-million Palestinian residents in the Nakba. Afterward, they systematically erased their villages and any sign of their former existence. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the Bedouin actually have always been loyal citizens, never viewed by the State as a threat. Those who enlist in the army are known as some of its best trackers, protecting Israel from terrorist infiltrators. And this is how a grateful state repays their loyalty. It steals their land, sending them to live in official Bedouin “reservations,” in which they are divorced from everything they hold dear.
What clearer use of the term ethnic cleansing can there be but in this stem and branch uprooting of this indigenous population from its lands by the Israeli government? A shande fahr di Yidn (“a shame in front of the Jews”).