The Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel are among the indigenous Palestinian Arabs who remained on their lands (in the Naqab (Negev)) after the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. The Bedouin, who number 200,000 and 30% of the population in the Naqab, have lived on their ancestral lands for hundreds of years practicing a traditional lifestyle based on agriculture and the raising of livestock. They are demanding recognition of their land ownership rights, claiming less than 5% of the total land of the Naqab, as well as the right to pursue and preserve their unique culture. However, the Bedouin have historically been denied these rights and nearly 70,000 live in 35 "unrecognized villages" which pre-date the establishment of the State of Israel but where they are denied basic services including water, electricity, health and education. As a result, the Arab Bedouin community has the worst health and socio-economic outcomes in the country; Bedouin women are particularly disadvantaged by the lack of government services, and in the unrecognized villages 80% of women are illiterate and 90% are unemployed.
27 October 2011 | 6:30 - 8:00 PM | Jerome Greene Hall 103
The speakers in the panel have been actively involved in promoting and protecting the rights of the Arab Bedouin to their ancestral land and their basic human rights through the various channels of law, advocacy and local empowerment. Panelists:
Director, Bedouin Rights ProgramAssociation for Civil Rights in Israel
Dr. Thabet Abu Ras
Director, Negev Project, Adalah
Director of Education and Community Development, Sidreh Association
Program Coordinator, Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality in Israel