The Bedouin Problem and the Solution – Mordechai Kedar (Middle East and Terrorism)
Israel is interested in solving the matter of illegal Bedouin settlements through legal procedures. However, the problem is not only an issue of land. There are tremendous gaps between the Bedouin culture and a state culture. If the state desires to solve the problem at its root, it must take care of problems that are a result of tribal culture.
The state must behave toward its Bedouin citizens in the Negev exactly as it does toward citizens in Tel Aviv. If a citizen in Tel Aviv is forbidden to build illegally on state land, a citizen in the Negev should not be permitted.
A Bedouin girl must learn that, according to state law as well as Islamic law, she has the right to choose a life partner for herself, even if he is from another tribe, and that she can marry him with the condition that he not take another wife after her.
The educational system must provide the youth of the Bedouin sector with information and awareness regarding the genetic dangers associated with marriage between relatives.
The writer is director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam at Bar-Ilan University.
See also How to Solve Israel’s Bedouin Problem – Moshe Arens
There were 18,000 Bedouin in the Negev when the State of Israel was established 65 years ago; now there are over 200,000. They are in the midst of a traumatic transition from their age-old nomadic desert lifestyle to living in an urbanized, high-tech society.
Assisting Bedouin to make this transition is not basically a legal problem or one involving claims to land ownership, but one of inadequate education. The move away from dispersed unrecognized villages will happen automatically once they acquire the skills needed for integration into Israeli society.
The writer served as Israel’s Minister of Defense three times and once as Minister of Foreign Affairs. (Ha’aretz)
See also Israel Suspends Beduoin Resettlement Plan – Ariel Ben Solomon
Former minister Benny Begin announced on Thursday that Prime Minister Netanyahu had accepted his recommendation to suspend Knesset consideration of a bill to regulate Bedouin settlement in the Negev. The bill involved a five-year economic development initiative for tens of thousands of Bedouin scattered in unrecognized villages. (Jerusalem Post)