Tuesday, July 10, 2012

578 Shin Bet born out of Occupation (1967 war). Bedouin displacement from ancestral lands

Shin Bet born out of Occupation (1967 war). Bedouin displacement from
ancestral lands

Newsletter published on 12-02-2013

(1) Shin Bet born out of Occupation following 1967 war (launched by Israel)
(2) Arsonists burn Beitar HQ in Jerusalem after it signs two Chechen
Muslims to play
(3) Israel furious over State Dept study clearing Palestinian textbooks
of demonizing it
(4) Bedouin have no rights in Israel - displacement from their ancestral
land in the Negev

(1) Shin Bet born out of Occupation following 1967 war (launched by Israel)

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-gatekeepers-20130202,0,3635564.story

Dror Moreh's 'The Gatekeepers' sheds light on Israel's Shin Bet

Former leaders open up as never before to director Dror Moreh, whose
'Gatekeepers' delivers a harsh appraisal of the agency's role in the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

By John Horn, Los Angeles Times

February 1, 2013 , 4:15 p.m.

Israel's Shin Bet — think of it as a combination of the CIA and the FBI
— prides itself on secrecy. So when documentary filmmaker Dror Moreh
approached one of its past leaders some three years ago to discuss the
agency's role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he expected silence.

But as in so much of life, timing is everything. When Moreh contacted
Ami Ayalon, who headed the domestic counterterrorism agency from
1996-2000, the left-leaning Ayalon was ready to talk — and to help Moreh
secure interviews with the other five living former Shin Bet leaders.

Eventually, Moreh recorded more than 70 hours of interviews with the six
men who served as heads of Shin Bet from 1980 to 2011. They not only
walked the filmmaker through Israel's intelligence operations but also
opened their hearts to him.

"I knew I had dynamite in my hands," Moreh said of completing the
interviews.

The resulting film, "The Gatekeepers," delivers an extraordinarily frank
assessment of both the agency's tactics (there's no morality in war) and
a harsh appraisal of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip
(nothing short of a two-state solution will fix the problem).

Toward the film's end, one Shin Bet leader even concludes that Israel's
occupation of territories claimed by Palestinians is not that different
from what the Germans did during World War II.

One of five feature-length documentaries vying for an Oscar and opening
in limited theatrical release this weekend, "The Gatekeepers" is far
from a talking-heads assembly. Instead, Moreh injects the film with
kinetic cinematography, including satellite imagery, stylized
photo-driven reenactments and archival footage that takes "The
Gatekeepers" into a nearly narrative direction.

"Film is not just about content but what you show cinematically, how you
affect the audience with what you show," Moreh said. "I knew my biggest
task was to make sure the look of the movie was as good as what was said
in the film."

But it is what the Shin Bet leaders admit, rather than the way in which
Moreh films them, that gives "The Gatekeepers" its true impact.

While the six leaders are dissimilar politically, personally and
professionally — "I don't think they like each other so much," the
director said — they ultimately come to say slightly different versions
of the very same thing: Even if Israel is winning most of the battles it
is losing the war, and the moral price of the occupation is incalculable
and unacceptable.

"It's a very negative trait we acquired," said Avraham Shalom, who ran
Shin Bet from 1980 to '86. "We became cruel."

Shin Bet was born in the wake of the Six Day War of 1967, when 1 million
Palestinians were placed under Israeli military rule essentially
overnight. When terrorism started, as Shalom almost fondly recalls, "It
was lucky for us. We had work."

That work included espionage, torture and an array of controversial
decisions. In the rearview mirror, it all looks worse. "When you retire,
you become a bit of a leftist," Yaakov Peri, Shin Bet's leader from 1988
to 1995, says in the film.

The film focuses closely on a 1984 event known as the Bus 300 incident
in which two Palestinians who had hijacked a bus were caught, beaten and
executed before being tried, with Shalom's blessing. And it revisits one
of Shin Bet's biggest intelligence failures, when Prime Minister Yitzhak
Rabin, perhaps the last best hope for lasting peace between Israelis and
Palestinians, was killed in 1995 by a radical, right-wing Orthodox Jew.

One of the more straight-speaking Shin Bet leaders, Carmi Gillon, who
ran the organization from 1994 to '96 and quit after Rabin's
assassination, said he was initially reluctant to answer some of Moreh's
questions, particularly about the targeted killing of Hamas bomb maker
Yahya Ayyash by Shin Bet in 1996. But he changed his mind after seeing
how well-informed the filmmaker was.

"I never spoke about the details" before, Gillon said in an email
interview. "After I understood how much information Dror already had, I
decided to cooperate."

A cinematographer by training, the 51-year-old Moreh has directed
several documentaries previously. The most prominent was his 2008 film
"Sharon," a profile of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Moreh said he was compelled to make "The Gatekeepers" by Errol Morris'
documentary "The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S.
McNamara." That film, about the U.S. secretary of defense from 1961 to
'68 who oversaw America's plunge into Vietnam, won the Oscar in 2004.
"When I saw the movie for the first time, I was amazed, first and
foremost, by the access — that Morris found people who could testify as
to what really happened."

As it turned out, Ayalon was a fan of "The Fog of War" too, which helped
open the Shin Bet doors.

Moreh said he also was motivated by what he was taught (and doubted)
growing up in Israel: that the only impediment to peace were Arabs, who
only wanted to "annihilate the state of Israel" and that "we are
fighting because there is no choice." Moreh had been frustrated that "so
many missed opportunities" for peace had slipped away, and believed that
no one other than the Shin Bet leaders could explain what was really
happening on the ground.

"I don't know if it's started a dialogue yet, but I know the audience is
listening," Moreh said of the early reaction to "The Gatekeepers,"
adding that he is presently adding Arabic subtitles to the film so that
it can be shown to everyone who has a stake in the crisis. He is also
planning on expanding the movie into a five-hour television series in
Israel.

Moreh says the film has been performing strongly at the Israeli box
office; it's been showing in about 15 cinemas around the country. "It's
done as well as some Israeli narrative films," the director said. But he
is eager for it to be seen more broadly.

"Any decision-maker in America I hope will see the film. I think
[Secretary of Defense nominee] Chuck Hagel and [Secretary of State] John
Kerry should see it. And I dare say that President Obama should see it too."

Gillon echoed the sentiment.

"The importance for me is the message the film gives to the Israeli
public. The message is that occupation is bad for the future of Israeli
society from all aspects — humanistic, economic, moral, etc…I can assure
you that all six former heads and some 95% of my colleagues and workers
from the Shin Bet from over three decades all agree with the overall
conclusions of the film."

john.horn@latimes.com

(2) Arsonists burn Beitar HQ in Jerusalem after it signs two Chechen
Muslims to play


Kristoffer Larsson <krislarsson@comhem.se> 10 February 2013 22:00

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2013/feb/10/beitar-jerusalem-counts-cost-arsonIsraelis
shocked by racist football chants bringing shame to a once proud team

Arsonists torched the offices of Beitar, the Jerusalem club whose recent
signing of two Chechen Muslims has provoked an uproar

Harriet Sherwood

The Observer, Sunday 10 February 2013

The blackened remnants of prized football trophies stood on a shelf in
the torched office. On the desk a jar of sweets, still wrapped in gold
foil, had melted into a sticky clump. Charred team photographs were
scattered over the floor amid singed football shirts.

Memorabilia from Beitar Jerusalem football club's 77-year history had
been housed in the office. "It's all gone, all our history is gone,"
said one of the staff sweeping scorched detritus into plastic sacks,
pausing to draw on a cigarette and shaking his head in dismay.

A blaze at 5am on Friday at Beitar's premises was probably ignited by
burning material pushed through a high window facing outside the
grounds. Police said evidence suggested it had been a deliberate arson
attack. "We're looking into possible connections with recent decisions
by the management," said spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

He was referring to the signing last month of two Chechen players, a
move that has plunged Beitar into a national and international furore
and triggered widespread calls to rein in the virulent racism of a hard
core of fans. The problem for these Beitar supporters is not that the
new players are Chechens; it is that they are Muslim.

Beitar, the only Israeli club to have never signed a player from the 20%
of the country's population that is Arab, has a long history of racism
among its supporters, with a favourite chant being "Death to Arabs".
Before the arrival of Gabriel Kadiev and Zaur Sadayev, fans held aloft a
banner at a match reading: "Beitar forever pure."

Since joining the club, the two players have been verbally abused and
spat at. They have been forced to travel to and from training under
police and private security guard protection. A Beitar supporter – one
of four later arrested and charged – turned up at the training ground
wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words "Mohammed is 100% dead".

Beitar's owner, Arcadia Gaydamak, refused to bow to the fans' pressure.
"As far as I'm concerned, there is no difference between a Jewish player
and a Muslim player," he said. His stance, however, was weakened by
coach Eli Cohen who drew a distinction between European and Arab
Muslims, saying: "The fans here have a problem with Arabs living in the
Middle East."

Condemnation of the hardcore fans' behaviour has been swift and harsh.
Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Friday's apparent arson attack
was "shameful", adding: "The Jewish people, [who have] suffered boycotts
and persecution, should be a light unto other nations."

Beitar's manager, Itzhik Kornfein, told Israel Radio on Friday: "This
has gone beyond sports and this has ramifications for Israeli society
and for how we look to the world."

Earlier, President Shimon Peres said the entire country was shocked, and
former prime minister Ehud Olmert, a Beitar fan for more than 40 years,
said that he would no longer attend matches because of fans' behaviour.
"Ultimately, this is a matter that concerns all of us. Either we remove
this group of racists from our field and cut it off from the team, or we
are all like them. Until that happens, I will not go to games," he wrote.

Israel's attorney general, Yehuda Weinstein, said police would take
action against any "manifestation of [racism] that crosses the line into
a criminal act". The Israeli Football Association imposed a 50,000
shekels (£8,595) fine on the club for the racist slogans of its fans and
ordered the closure of the eastern stand of its stadium, where hardcore
fans congregate, for five matches. Some commentators have decried these
punitive actions as inadequate.

Now attention is focused on Beitar's match this evening against Bnei
Sakhnin, the only top division team from an Israeli-Arab town and
regarded with sporting pride by Israel's Arab minority. There is a
history of animosity towards Bnei Sakhnin among Beitar fans; its players
are regularly taunted as "terrorists".

Ahmed Tibi, an Israeli-Arab member of parliament, said he would attend
the match under police guard. "Every time I go to a Beitar match, they
shout at me 'Ahmed Tibi is a terrorist' and other offensive things." He
described Beitar as "the most racist club in the world. No other club
bans players on ethnic grounds." Bnei Sakhnin, he said, promoted
coexistence in sport, with a handful of Jewish players. "Jews and Arabs
are playing together. It is the total opposite of Beitar."

Amid heightened tension, Jerusalem police say there will be a heavy
security presence before, during and after the match, including
undercover units, mounted police and crowd-control specialists. They
will be particularly anxious to avoid a repeat of a violent rampage last
March by several hundred Beitar fans at a shopping mall close to the
city's Teddy stadium, in which Palestinian staff and customers were
abused and assaulted. No one was arrested.

That was blamed on a nucleus of extremist Beitar fans, known as La
Familia. The group, created in 2005, routinely make monkey noises at
black players and chant anti-Islamic and anti-Arab slogans at games.
They reportedly booed during a minute of silence for the assassinated
prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and have been accused of assaulting
Palestinian maintenance staff at the club's grounds. They have also
verbally abused Kornfein, Beitar's manager, for speaking out against
racism in football.

A day or so before the Chechen players' arrival, one of their number
told an Israeli paper: "I'm a racist. I hate Arabs … If they bring in
Muslims, the fans will burn down the club. That can't happen. Arabs and
Beitar Jerusalem don't mix."

At Beitar's grounds, hours after the office was torched, club supporter
Yaniv Pesso, 43, denounced La Familia. "They are stupid. They are a very
small number, like a little mafia, but they have a big voice." Sport,
politics and religion should not be mixed up, he said. "I don't like
Muslims, but sport is sport."

Beitar, however, is not just about sport. In Israel, football clubs have
always been associated with political parties or movements, and Beitar's
alignment is with the nationalist right. Its name is shared with a
Zionist youth movement linked in the 1940s to Herut, a rightwing party
founded by Menachem Begin, which later merged into today's ruling Likud
party, led by Netanyahu.

Its fans are predominantly Mizrahi Jews, who came to Israel from other
countries in the Middle East and north Africa, and who have always felt
excluded from and shunned by the Ashkenazi – or eastern European –
elite. Mizrahi Jews make up about 40% of Israel's 8 million population.

In contrast to Beitar, for example, Hapoel Tel Aviv, a club based in
Israel's most liberal city, is still associated with the historic
workers' movement and today's political left – and Ashkenazi Jews.

In the mid-1970s, Beitar won its first national championship and Likud
became Israel's ruling party for the first time, with Begin becoming
prime minister. Rightwing nationalism, both on the terraces and in
parliament, was ascendant.

According to Avraham Burg, a former speaker of the Israeli parliament,
the club should be viewed from three perspectives. "The small picture is
that every football club has a group of very extreme fans who are
fanatical about the spirit of the club. The spirit of Beitar is
interpreted by this group as ethnic, religious, racist, xenophobic,
Islamophobic.

"The mid-sized picture is that of Jerusalem. These days it is a
narrow-minded, limited, self-confined city, where the two communities
[Jewish and Arab] are separated.

"The big picture means asking if this is a symbol of a larger problem in
Israel. The answer is definitely yes. It's a combination of racism and
xenophobia, but a racism that is connected to religious extremism."

But Tamar Herman of the Israeli Democracy Institute said the racism of
Beitar's fans was not representative or typical of Israeli society.
"Football clubs develop a certain subculture that does not necessarily
reflect the entire society around them," she said.

Anti-Arab feeling in Israel, she added, was different from European
Islamophobia. "It's based on a conflict of interests. It's not because
they are Arab or Muslim, but because of a constant struggle over
ownership of the land. In Europe, Islamophobia is not based on a
political, historical and military conflict."

Back at Beitar's grounds, where the club's junior team was practising
penalty shots in the afternoon sun, manager Barbara Barashi said she was
ashamed by the apparent arson attack. "I don't want people to think
we're all like that. I teach the boys that everyone is equal."

(3) Israel furious over State Dept study clearing Palestinian textbooks
of demonizing it


Kristoffer Larsson <krislarsson@comhem.se> 10 February 2013 08:46

“The harshest criticism, however, has come from the Israeli government.
In a press release issued before the study went public, the Ministry of
Education attacked the very concept of examining both sides’ textbooks
in tandem.”

http://mondoweiss.net/2013/02/supporters-palestinian-demonization.html

You could become ‘another Goldstone’ — friendly warning to Yale prof
whose study cleared Palestinian textbooks of demonization charge

by Philip Weiss on February 8, 2013 29

An important new study funded by the State Department that exonerates
Palestinian textbooks of demonizing Jews has been rejected by Israel,
because it contradicts a central propaganda point. And now the State
Department and the Reform Jewish leadership seem to be walking away from
the study!

According to a long report in the Forward by Naomi Zeveloff and Nathan
Jeffay, the study is now an "orphan." First the Israelis sandbagged the
study:

The harshest criticism, however, has come from the Israeli government.
In a press release issued before the study went public, the Ministry of
Education attacked the very concept of examining both sides’ textbooks
in tandem.

Then once the Israeli government attacked the report, the Israeli body
that commissioned the study disavowed it--

it was the Israeli government’s fierce response that forced the Chief
Rabbinate, a member of the council [of religious institutions that had
commissioned the study], to walk away from the study.

And once the Israelis trashed the study, even the Americans associated
with it seem to have backed away. In particular notice the weaseling by
the Reform Jewish leadership:

The U.S. State Department, which fully funded the study, has refused to
comment on it. And the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, which
sent out a press release February 5 announcing that it would host a
Washington rollout for the study, has now called that release’s
distribution an accident.

Bruce Wexler is the Yale psychiatry professor who led the study--along
with Israeli and Palestinian counterparts. And Wexler, who is Jewish,
has been warned that he could be excommunicated for his role in the
study, just as Richard Goldstone was.

Wexler, meanwhile, rejected the notion that mutual effacement by either
side of the other [which the study found was perpetrated in textbooks on
both sides] ... constitutes demonization. That, he said, occurs when one
side uses a broad brush to negatively depict “the character of a
people,” and not just “some bad action” by its government or citizens.

Dehumanization, Wexler said, “is very different from leaving [the enemy]
off a map.”

Elihu Richter, executive director of the Genocide Prevention Program of
the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health and Community
Medicine, and one of the three dissenting members of the project’s
advisory committee, thinks otherwise. “I warned [Wexler] all along, ‘You
don’t want to become another Goldstone,’” Richter said.

Today on WNYC's Brian Lehrer show, Wexler said he was "shocked" by the
response to the study. I am sure that Richard Goldstone was also
shocked. Goldstone, an eminent former South African judge, issued a UN
Human Rights Council report in 2009 saying Israel had deliberately
targeted civilians in Gaza and then disavowed much of the report after
the South African Jewish community ran him through the gauntlet a few times.

Wexler seems to be just as upstanding as Goldstone. Here is something
about his background, from Zeveloff:

“Having grown up as a Jew when the State of Israel was born, and reading
about Israel in the newspaper, I felt that there were ideas in my book
relevant to trying to address the difficulties Israel finds itself in
now,” Wexler said.

Wexler started an NGO called A Different Future, which publicized the
voices of moderate Palestinians and Israelis through speaking tours and
media appearances. It was Wexler’s work with this group that brought him
to the attention of the CRIHL.

Well aware of the contention surrounding the incitement issue, Wexler
decided to approach the study as a scientist. Borrowing methods from the
field of psychiatry, he seeks to document both emotions and the
intensity with which they are expressed.

On his radio show today, Brian Lehrer stood up for the study as a
peacemaking effort. He said that the study was an effort to change
things on the ground, by softening hatred between two sides and getting
them past the "endless skirmishing" over who was the bigger victim and
who the bigger bad guy. This is a standard line from liberal Zionists; I
would guess that Wexler himself shares it: if you can get the two sides
to put away their resentments, you can move toward a solution. Whatever
the degree of hatred on either side, the problem is that this is bad
history; the two sides have vastly-unequal power, and the Palestinians
have been repeatedly victimized. One side colonized the other's land;
violently expelled and/or encouraged to leave 750,000 people who were
then not allowed to return to their property; and has continued to
colonize the other's land since 1967. No doubt the victim has resorted
to violent terrorism on many occasions; but there's no equity in the
victim department here.

(4) Bedouin have no rights in Israel - displacement from their ancestral
land in the Negev


http://972mag.com/revisions-to-prawer-plan-for-negev-bedouin-expose-the-farce-of-law-in-israel/65324/

Revisions to Prawer Plan for Negev Bedouin expose the farce of law in Israel

The latest revision to the Prawer Plan, which will eventually displace
tens of thousands of Arab Bedouin from their ancestral land in the Negev
(Naqab), in some ways improves its tone toward the Bedouin. But the Arab
Bedouin community has resolutely rejected the Prawer Plan, and Benny
Begin’s latest report reminds us succinctly that the law was never
intended to be a friend to the oppressed.

By Nadia Ben-Youssef

Published February 3, 2013

On the day after the Israeli elections, outgoing MK Benny Begin finished
writing his recommended revisions to the Prawer Plan. The Minister
without portfolio had been charged with responding to public grievances
about the government-approved plan and its implementing legislation,
which together aimed to displace tens of thousands of Arab Bedouin from
their ancestral land in the Negev (Naqab). In the cabinet meeting on
January 27, the Begin report was quickly approved and incorporated into
the Prawer Plan, with the prime minister calling the decision “brave”
and Minister Begin calling the revised plan “an expression of the
Government’s goodwill and readiness to reach a solution.” But despite
the pretense of generosity attached to the revisions, the amended Prawer
Plan, which has been rejected by the Arab Bedouin community, retains
both its discrimination and injustice.

Begin’s 13-page report (translated here in English) is the minister’s
single response to the grievances of “over 1,000 Negev Bedouin, as well
as their relevant groups and organizations” who participated in a
three-month public consultation period in early 2012. The government
called the consultations, which were held after the Prawer Plan and the
draft Prawer Plan Law were already approved by the government,
“unprecedented.” In the 10 months following the end of consultations,
Minister Begin was able to craft a sophisticated response that
demonstrated careful attention to language and tone. Gone are the
explicit statements designating the Bedouin as squatters or legitimizing
permission to evict them with “reasonable force.”

Thus the tone — if not the substance — of the Begin report is greatly
improved, essentially by adopting key principles from the 2008 Goldberg
Commission Report. Begin quotes Goldberg’s description of the Bedouin as
citizens of the state and concedes, as did Goldberg, parts of Bedouin
history. The Begin report acknowledges that after the establishment of
the State of Israel some Arab Bedouin tribes were forcibly evicted into
the Siyag (meaning “fence” in Arabic, the Siyag is an area of land in
the northern Negev from which the Bedouin needed an exit permit until
1966) and that some had lived and held land in the Siyag for “many
years” prior to 1948. Finally, Begin brings back the famous line of the
Goldberg report:

…proposed is to recognize, as much as is possible, each one of the
unrecognized villages which has a minimal mass of residents, such as
will be determined…and on the condition that such recognition will not
contravene the district master plan.

Of course, the Begin report does not mention the names of any of the
villages that will be recognized, though neither did Goldberg or Prawer,
ostensibly because “it is not possible to specify.” In reality, the
condition “that such recognition not contravene the district master
plan” drastically reduces how many of the 35 unrecognized villages could
possibly be recognized. But for the first time Begin does tell Bedouin
citizens of Israel the names of some of their villages that will be
destroyed.

Using the unrecognized village of Wadi el-Na’am (and four other
surrounding villages of the large Al-Azazme tribe) as an example, Begin
notes that the villages’ 14,000 residents will be displaced without
delay because of the danger emanating from the industrial plants of
Ramat Hovav and Ramat Beka. Naturally, there is no mention that Wadi
el-Na’am was created by Israeli military order in 1953 (during the
concentration of the Bedouin into the Siyag) nor that the toxic Ramat
Hovav plant was established long after in 1979, nor that in 2008 the
state began developing a new city for military families in the same
“shadow of danger.” Without specification, Begin mentions that in
addition to Wadi el-Na’am, the Prawer Plan will also displace 3,000
other families (roughly 30,000 people), raising the
government-acknowledged minimum number of displaced people from 30,000
to at least 44,000 people.

In one of the more condescending passages of the report, Begin notes
that in the long run, forced displacement “can be a blessing” that will
make it possible for Bedouin children to “leap in time into the midst of
the twenty-first century.” Littered with Orientalist goodwill, Minister
Begin wants (and knows) what’s best for the Bedouin community. With
relatively minor changes, what’s ‘best’ is still the Prawer Plan. One
such change is a slight augmentation in the amount of compensation
available for an Arab Bedouin who is deemed eligible to claim ancestral
land in the Negev. Begin recommends against capping compensation at 50
percent of the amount claimed, as was approved in the Prawer Plan, and
instead to augment that cap to 62.5 percent. While the Bedouin still
cannot receive their claimed ancestral land as compensation, Begin
suggests that, when possible, the government should provide “comparable”
land, as opposed to the generic
“desert landscape” guaranteed in the Prawer Plan. But Begin affirms
both the strict five-year timeline, after which any unresolved land
claims will be automatically registered in the name of the state, as
well as the severe restrictions on the process of judicial review for
demolition and eviction orders.

The Arab Bedouin community has resolutely rejected the Prawer Plan,
including the latest revisions, as the imposed plan denies the
realization of their rights to their ancestral land and the recognition
of their historic villages, while affirming the state policy of home
demolitions and deliberate denial of basic services. The Prawer Plan
neither acknowledges the traditional land system of the Arab Bedouin nor
does it offer an equal opportunity for Bedouin citizens to determine
their own future and choose a place of residence that suits their
desires. Begin states simply that such historic justice is not possible.

In a series of paragraphs that is enough to inspire a young human rights
lawyer to throw in her hat, Begin writes – after acknowledging that yes,
the Bedouin were displaced to the Siyag, and yes, they lived and held
the land in the Negev before the state was established – “Nonetheless,
the legal framework, as an outcome of the Lands Law (5729-1969) and of
other land laws, and as determined in case law, does not make it
possible, as a rule, to accept the ownership claims of the Bedouins.”
While admitting that laws could be changed to allow Bedouin claims to be
recognized, Begin continues that “this kind of change is not justified
and in any case, because we must propose a pragmatic solution to the
dispute over the land, it must be assumed that this kind of change is
not to be expected.”

Begin reminds us succinctly that the law was never intended to be a
friend to the oppressed. The legislation for implementing the Prawer
Plan is no exception. And once the draft law reaches Knesset, I have no
doubt (even in a “centrist government”) that it will pass. Nor do I
doubt that it will be challenged, but it will not be enough. The
discriminatory plan must be cancelled now; no law should be allowed to
deny justice.

Nadia Ben-Youssef is a human rights lawyer living in the Naqab and
serving as an international advocacy consultant for Adalah – The Legal
Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.

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