Last Thursday, the Lapid-Bennett coalition succumbed to the demands of the Islamist Ra’am party to establish five more Bedouin communities in the Negev in exchange for Ra’am continued stay in the government.
According to the Regavim movement, the Lapid-Bennett government has already established five Bedouin communities, among them – Hasham Zana, Avda, and Rahma. These were added to 11 Bedouin communities that were established by the Olmert and Sharon governments, and the seven Bedouin towns that were established in the 1970s.
All of the above investments in Bedouin communities had one clear goal: to organize the Bedouin nomad population in the Negev in legal and regulated localities. But in practice, not a single new locality has proven itself, and not a single Bedouin nomad has moved into a legal municipality. Each time the Israeli government promises that the next established settlement will bring in the nomads, but none of that has ever happened.
Regavim states that the current reality reeks of anti-Jewish racial discrimination, as 330,000 Jews live in legal municipalities comprising 13,590 acres, while 200,000 Bedouin live in legal municipalities comprising 33,359 acres, almost 2.5 times the Jewish area. Add to this the 100,000 Bedouin nomads who control an area of about 161,000 acres, and you’ll quickly understand the extent of the criminal abandonment of national land to a subversive fifth column under a succession of left- and right-wing Israeli governments.
Regavim Director-General Meir Deutsch said in a statement: “The policy of whitewashing illegal Bedouin settlements is racist and absurd. There is no mandate for any government to grant additional territories to Bedouin settlement and there is no justification for whitewashing their illegal takeover of the Negev – to whitewash the illegal fortress in Ra’anana.”
That last reference was to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s home in Ra’anana, which some claim has been upgraded for security purposes, with the numbers thrown about going from NIS 160,000 to Nis 50 million.