Jerusalem Report

The Beduin view

The government must not relocate the Negev Beduin without providing for a better economic and social future.

The Beduin are particularly enraged at having been excluded from the planning process
Photo by: FLASH 90
The violent demonstrations by the Negev Beduin in late November were an authentic expression of their deep discomfort with the proposed “Law for Beduin Settlement in the Negev.” The so-called “Prawer Bill,” (named for Ehud Prawer, the government official who headed the committee that drafted it), is expected to come up for ratification in the Knesset soon. The Beduin, who constitute one-third of all the Negev’s residents, oppose it for three main reasons.

For one, they see the bill as yet another attempt by the state to relocate them without providing for a better economic and social future. The half of their estimated 200,000 population living outside the governmentally “recognized” Beduin towns fear being uprooted from familiar homes and surroundings, only to end up in unfamiliar places without social guidance, effective schooling, vocational training and specific economic horizons – needs that the Prawer Bill fails to address.

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