Today, there was a massive, tragic accident in the Israeli Negev. Eight Bedouin women were killed in a bus crash with oversized agricultural vehicles. They had been returning from a pilgrimage to the Al Aqsa mosque. Unfortunately, Israeli mainstream media has concealed the most important, and shocking aspects of this tragedy.
There is an Israeli police unit (Yoav) whose mission is to expel Negev Bedouin from their native villages. The ultimate goal is, as in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, to Judaize the thinly settled Negev with new Jewish communities modeled after settlements. Part of their responsibility is to raze villages whose residents return after they’ve been expelled. Another aspect is to destroy the ability for the Bedouin to earn a livelihood from their traditional grazing of livestock on open land. The police do this by plowing under such fields which Bedouin have planted with grain, with huge excavators.
Activist Michael Kaminer wrote on his Facebook page:
Tractors of Death
What they never told you on today’s newscast. The Original Sin. Israeli police brought a dangerous tractor trailer carrying tractors onto a road on which it was forbidden them to travel. Their intent was to plow up the harvest and fields of the Bedouin in order to damage their livelihood. They were attempting to advance the racist Prawer Plan and prevent the Bedouin from working their fields.
Two police vehicles accompanied the trailers, one before and another behind. The racist Yoav police unit whose purpose is to take all measures necessary to restrict the Bedouin, is guilty for this murder and many other additional crimes over the years against them.
This picture shows the tractors after the fatal accident, and after they’d plowed up the grain field today…You can see on the arms of the tractors fragments of the window shades of the bus which they struck killing the victims.
Two such excavators were traveling on a road for which they had no permit (because they were oversized). In doing so, they struck the bus and sliced it completely down one side, killed eight riders and injuring 20 more. This is a micro-tragedy due to the deaths of these women, but a macro-tragedy in the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Bedouin from their ancestral lands.
The Hadash Party posted today on its Facebook page that they’ve long complained to transportation officials about the extreme danger of this road, on which there have been 37 deaths and 1,400 injuries in the past few years. The government has dragged its feet and this tragedy is the result. Why would authorities want to spend money on a highway largely serving “Arabs” and the “periphery” (the Israeli term for “the sticks”)?
Here are some ‘redolent’ comments from Israelis on the same page:
[Dead] Arabs. It’s all good.
Thank God no Jews were hurt.
May there be many more such accidents in Israel!
Not to worry, they’re Arabs.
I don’t understand. They’re Arabs? What’s the big deal? On to the next story…
So the Muslim women who curse Jews on the Temple Mount got what they deserved. Allah is indeed Great!
It’s all right. They’re Bedouin. Too bad they didn’t get the entire bus.
Now I’d like to offer some commentary directed at the negligent fools of this police unit who murdered these poor women. Though their unit is called “Yoav,” (יואב) it should really be called “Ahab” (אחאב). It was King Ahab who was so enamored of the vineyard of his neighbor that he had him killed in order to inherit his land. In 1 Kings, Elijah denounces Ahab: “Have you first murdered [Naboth] and stolen his land as well?” The historical record is an apt reflection on today’s horrid news: the police first steal the Bedouins lands and now they’ve even stolen their lives in an act of flagrant negligence.
Those of you following the plight of the Bedouin may’ve thought that the Israeli government had scraped the controversial Prawer Plan to relocate 40,000 indigenous residents from their villages to slum towns like Rahat, which are meant to concentrate the Bedouin in a more western, urban environment, i.e. to civilize them. In reality, Rahat has few jobs, few services, little infrastructure and inhabitants have turned to crime, drugs and other avenues to eke out a living. Though temporarily scrapped, as the settlements have shown, lack of an official plan or authorization has never stopped a determined Israeli ethnic cleanser from pursuing plans to rid the Negev of non-Jews.
This accident and Israel’s treatment of the Bedouin is a schandeh: a deep and shameful national disgrace.