AGAINST RACISM COVER IMAGES: Vardit Goldner

Twayil Abu Jarwal, Israel, 2007

Jewish girl on a solidarity visit to a woman whose Bedouin village dwelling was among those destroyed by Israeli authorities.

Background to the Bedouins issue in Israel: Approximately 50,000, or half of the Bedouin citizens of south Israel, live in the Negev in villages, which the Israeli government refuses to recognize as legal settlements, though many of them existed even prior to the founding of the state of Israel and other villages were transferred by the Israeli authorities from other locations to their present locations in the 1950s. Being unrecognized by the State, these villages are deprived of any official town plans (and consequently of building permits) and of basic infrastructure – water, electricity, sanitation, transportation, as well as education and health services. The Israeli government has been persistent in its plans to evacuate these villages and concentrate their residents in townships without allowing them to maintain their rural and agricultural way of life. The State imposes sanctions on the villagers, demolishes their homes, destroys their crops and denies them access to water sources.

This particular village in the photo: Dwellings of this Bedouin village, Twayil Abu Jarwal, have been demolished by Israeli authorities 12 times between May 2006 and the date the photo was taken (December 2007), and another 14 times as of the end of 2009. After each demolition by the authorities, the inhabitants returned and built new dwellings on their own lands. Finally the inhabitants gave up. The photo was taken during a solidarity visit, and it shows a local sitting with a young guest. It seemed so human and warm, how they both managed together, talking, laughing and playing without understanding each other’s language. Later JNF planted a thorny trees forest on the village’s lands so the inhabitants could not rebuild their homes there anymore.

Vardit Goldner

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