In the Negev, a few dozen right-wing activists, reportedly residents of the south and students at yeshivas in the area, set up a new outpost overnight Tuesday on state land close to the Bedouin city of Rahat.Two prefab structures were brought to the location, which the activists declared as a “new community” named Ma’ale Paula in memory of the wife of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion. Ben Gurion had advocated for Jewish communities to be established in the Negev during the early years of the state.Activists said that Ma’ale Paula was set up because of “the conduct of the government and the abandonment of the Negev to a Bedouin takeover,” a reference to illegal Arab construction in the region.Two people were arrested, the Kan public broadcaster reported.A complaint against the outpost was filed by the Israel Land Authority, the Israel Police said in a statement.
The right-wing, pro-settlement Regavim group said in a statement that some 3,500 illegal buildings are constructed each year by the Bedouin community.“Worse than the lack of law enforcement is the selective enforcement,” the group said, according to Kan.
In 2013, I went on a tour of the Negev with Regavim. The group is not a bunch of anti-Arab, right-wing fanatics as they are often portrayed in the media. They want to find a humane and legal solution to the problem of the Bedouin in the Negev, and they admit that the Israeli government has not treated the Arabs fairly over the decades. But still, the Bedouin build thousands of illegal structures and villages in the Negev every year, and besides my own video, I have not seen any English language news reports that describe the issue accurately at all.
This is not the most professional video I've ever done, but it is still the best description of the complexities of the intersecting problems of Bedouin ignoring the laws of the state that they are citizens in, Israel trying to find solutions - including giving them land for free, the criminal acts of destroying infrastructure meant for Arabs, and even polygamy. The sheer amount of illegal building in the Negev is mind-boggling and the news media rarely reports it.
Today, the problems is much worse than it was when this was made nine years ago.
You will not regret spending.the 12 minutes to watch this video.