By Miri -
The other day I randomly got into a conversation with two guys. It turned out that they were Bedouin, working for the Ministry of Defense and living in Tel Aviv. Soon our discussion turned political when I referred to Israel's Arab population as Palestinians. "They are living in Israel, why do you call them Palestinian?" From there we soon ended up discussing the foundations and the general character of the Israeli state, with them trying to convince me that Israel was a good state, and that also as Bedouin they were much better off in Israel than in other countries. "What about the 30,000 Bedouin living in the unrecognised villages in the Negev and the plans to displace and resettle them against their will?" I asked them. They insisted it was the current government that was to blame, not the Israeli state as a whole.
|Bedouin protesting their displacement in the Negev|
|Bedouin Pal-Heib Unit during a military parade in Tel Aviv, 1949|
|Monument for Fallen Bedouin Soldiers in Alonim Reserve|
|Bedouin scouts on track|
It is indeed more than questionable whether the IDF, as a highly ethnically stratified institution, could possibly be the medium to improve the situation of those "minority soldiers" and make them equal to their Jewish Israeli comrades.
To learn more about the life of Bedouin communities, join one of our weekly tours to the Naqab and the West Bank. For more infomation click here.
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