July 9, 2018
The Real Story behind the Bedouin Village in Khan al Ahmar – Naomi Kahn (JNS)
Khan al Ahmar is an illegal outpost, created and supported by the Palestinian Authority, the European Union and EU member-states, in complete violation of international law.
I’m sure there are many hard-working, tax-paying citizens of Israel (and other countries all over the world) who would love to be given an all-expenses-paid, fully developed plot of land and paid tens of thousands of dollars by the state to move in. In fact, several years ago, another branch of the Jahalin Bedouin clan agreed to precisely this treatment and voluntarily relocated; the families that remained in Khan al Ahmar agreed to move as well, but were bullied by their “representatives” into retracting their consent.
The Jahalin Bedouin are an offshoot of a larger tribe based in southern Israel, in the Arad region. After a blood feud broke out within the tribe, some of the families were forced out and migrated north, squatting in their present location after the 1973 Yom Kippur War. From day one, they knew that this would not be a permanent solution for their needs.
Some 80% of the residents of Khan al Ahmar are employed in nearby Israeli communities – and have been for many years. Shepherding is a hobby for most, since the Bedouin of Khan al Ahmar abandoned their nomadic existence generations ago.
Four separate lawsuits were filed by the PA and the EU in an effort to block the relocation of the Jahalin – and all were found to be baseless. Israel is doing precisely what any other government would do if people attempted to build an illegal outpost on the outskirts of the capital city. In fact, French and British government policy regarding nomadic populations is clear: forcible deportation – not negotiation, and certainly not all-expenses-paid relocation or land giveaways.
Israel will not be “wiping the community off the map.” The community will remain intact, its traditional culture and lifestyle fully protected in a location only four miles away, with electricity, running water, a government-built schoolhouse, and many other modern conveniences that the Jahalin have never had.
The writer is director of the International Department at Regavim.
(Click on the article’s title to see the whole article…Ed.)