Beduin land claims in the Negev - the truth

November 24, 2016 23:03

By Steven Plaut

For years Israel’s radical Left, led in this by the extremist
anti-Zionist cheerleader for terrorism Oren Yiftachel (professor of
geography at Ben Gurion “University”), has been attempting to convert
most of the entire Negev into a Bedouin mini-state. And if the Israeli
far Left has its way, Bedouinstan will yet be a mini-state in which
Jews will be prevented from living. Ben Gurion University could be
its capital!

The Bedouin of the Negev were migrating transient nomads who passed in
and out of borders over centuries, moving into and out of the Negev
from the Sinai peninsula, from Saudi Arabia and from Jordan. They
traditionally owned no land at all, and land ownership was an alien
notion for them.

Today, in the year 2011, Negev Bedouins are claiming legal title to
the bulk of land in the Negev, and the radical anti-Zionist Israeli
Left is solidly behind them. How did this develop?

Kalman Liebskind, the great columnist in Maariv, devotes much of his
weekend column to this matter. The answer is astonishing.

The story begins in the early 1970s, under various Labor Party
governments. The regime was interested in maintaining amicable
relations with the Negev Bedouin, but also in defining and settling
legal claims for lands. In reality the Bedouin legally owned nothing.
They just moved their camps and tents around the desert. But the
government was willing to strike a deal whereby the Bedouin could be
granted actual legal ownership over some land, while ending illegal
squatting elsewhere.

In order to conduct the negotiations, the government allowed any
Bedouin who wished to do so to file a claim that his family, his
ancestors, had lived on a certain parcel of land, and his claim would
be considered, together with conflicting legal evidence, once some
overall arrangement would be negotiated. To file such a “claim” the
Bedouin was required to produce no documentation, simply to fill out a
form with an unsubstantiated assertion. These assertions were about
as believable as would be my own claim to own all of Manhattan because
my ancestors traded beads for it with the locals.

No one took the Bedouin “claims” seriously, but the intention was to
use them as a symbolic starting point for negotiations and eventually
allow the filers of the phony claims to retain a few percentage points
of their “claims.” That would provide the Bedouin with adequate lands
and they could settle down into real jobs and real houses if they so
chose. The initial Bedouin “claims” were for 200,000 acres.
Including lands on which kibbutzim, moshavim and other Jewish towns

While no one really considered the Bedouin claims as anything more
than fiction, the state sought a modus vivendi with them in which some
portion of those claims would be accepted as legit. In exchange
Israel thought it could limit the space in which Bedouins would
concentrate and sprawl and also halt the widespread illegal squatting
by Bedouins on other lands they clearly do not own.

As you can imagine, that was a great plan that could only go wrong.
It went super wrong once land values all over Israel shot up into the

The Israeli government offered to accept the 20% of the imaginary
Bedouin claims as legit if the Bedouins would relinquish the rest of
their fictional claims. The Bedouins of course demanded that Israel
grant 100% of the fictional claims. The Israeli government as usual
was worn down by salami tactics and by its devotion to appeasement.
So at the moment there are “talks” between the government and the
Bedouin to grant them 50% of their fictional claims.

Originally the willingness to strike a deal with the Bedouin was in
large part thanks to the perception that they were more or less
patriotic Israelis who often serve in the security forces. But that
perception is decades out of date. Meanwhile the Negev Bedouin have
been turning increasingly anti-Israel. PLO flags wave in the Negev
Bedouin city of Rahat, and the municipality there refuses to employ
any Jews. Some Bedouins have been involved in espionage and
terrorism. The two worst anti-Israel pro-jihad Knesset members today
are Bedouins.

Meanwhile, Yiftachel and the tenured extremists are running around the
world claiming that Israel is trying to “steal Bedouin lands” and to
deny the Bedouin their “rights.” The only solution, insists
Yiftachel, is international sanctions and pressure upon Israel to
grant the Bedouins 100% of their fictional claims.

The willingness of the government to appease and coddle anti-Israel
radical Bedouins is best illustrated in the amazing story of the
bribery of Taleb a-Sana by Yitzhak Rabin, also discussed in
Liebskind’s column. From one of the small Arab fascist parties,
a-Sana should have been jailed years ago for anti-Israel activity. He
makes no attempt at disguising his detestation of Israel and Jews.
Now it turns out that back when Yitzhak Rabin was still trying to
shove his “peace accords” with the barbarians through the Knesset, he
needed a-Sana’s vote to duck a motion of non-confidence (which would
topple the government and force new elections). Rabin’s junta struck
a dirty deal with a-Sana and his family, turning over 38 acres of
prime state-owned land on which a-Sana built a huge mansion and on
which he runs a sort of ranch. A photo of the mansion accompanies the
Liebskind column. The Ewing family of Dallas lived in a tenement by
comparison. In exchange, Rabin got his vote and survived the motion.
If I tried to erect a window pane on a porch I would have the
government inspectors breathing down my throat and threatening me
within 24 hours.

The a-Sana family members were granted an additional 70 plots of land.
A-Sana was also paid “compensation” for giving up a series of
illegally constructed homes erected on public lands by his family and
a freezing of various suits and indictments against a-Sana and his
family for illegal construction. The “deal” was brokered by Benjamin
“Fuad” Ben Eliezer, a minister in the cabinet, at Rabin’s request.

The Oslo “Accods” then produced thousands of dead Israelis.

November 24, 2016 23:03

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