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FOOL THAT I AM
FOOL THAT I AM

by Amos Gvirtz



For the past eight years, nearly, I have been taking an active part in the struggle for the rights of Bedouins in their unrecognized villages in the Negev , and yet I did not participate in the demonstrations protesting the Kahane racist-extremists` visit in Rahat (Bedouin town). On the other hand, I recently visited the Bedouin village Twayel Abu-Jarwal in the Negev , two days after its demolition for the n-th time by agents of the State, officials of the Ministry of the Interior and the Israel Land Administration.

Not the Kahanists expelled the Bedouins in 1948 and in the 1950s, but rather the agents of the Government of Israel, led by Mapai (Labor party). Not the Kahanists expelled the Bedouins from their villages, robbed their lands and enclosed them in the restricted `Sayag` area, but rather the national leadership of the young Jewish State. Not the National Unity party led the government that denied the Bedouins their right to construct their homes, and be supplied with water, power, education, health services etc. � the government led by the Labor party did all of that. Not Kahanists are the ones conducting the current campaign of destruction of Bedouins` homes in the unrecognized villages � it is Israeli government officials who do that.

Not Kahanists destroy Bedouins` crops � Israeli government officials do that. Not Kahanists expropriate the Bedouins` livestock � Israeli government officials do that too. If Kahanists were to murder Bedouin citizens of Israel , officers of the Israel police would be assigned to flush out the perpetrators and bring them to trial. But when police officers are the killers, the Israel police are assigned to defend them and prevent their prosecution and sentencing at court.

The Bedouins in Israel have committed a terrible crime: they dared to be born Bedouins in the Jewish nation-state! And for this crime they are paying.

The persecution that Bedouins suffer at the hands of Israel `s governments will not let up until they leave - `willfully`.

Now I might be prosecuted for inciting against the State of Israel. After all, the government has never declared this as its purpose. It built them townships where they are entitled to build their houses legally, where they do have running water, electricity, schools, clinics, roads, sanitation etc. But all this they get after being expelled, for the most part, and dispossessed of their lands. In order to bequeath them with all of its bounty, the State demolishes their homes and villages, destroys their crops, expropriates their flocks, denies them water, power, roads, etc. And these Bedouins � how foolish of them� - hold on to the remains of their lands and refuse to be urbanized. They do not realize that progress lies in those townships, and insist on maintaining their life in agrarian villages. And those who have been fortunate enough to receive the blessings of progress from the state, in those townships, enjoy record unemployment and crime rates� How foolish.

And fool that I am, think that it is not progress that the State grants them, but rather dispossession of the remains of their lands, so that these lands finally pass over to Jewish hands. Because after all this is the Jewish nation-state in which we live. And the Kahanists merely yell out loud precisely that which the state has been carrying out on the sly. Not a single newspaper in Israel has publicized the demolition of an entire village for the 25th time in one of its inner pages. After all, these are merely Bedouins.

But when the Kahanists display their loud provocations, and require that the State do what it has been doing in any case, the media are full of them. And I, fool that I am, do not get it�

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