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    Posted August 8, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    UN recognises struggle in the Negev against Israel’s Ethnic Cleansing

    On Thursday, August 1st,  two thousands Arab and Jewish demonstrators protested in opposition to the Prawer-Begin Bill. This Bill proposes to demolish up to 40-plus villages, requisition their lands and forcibly move their inhabitants to special townships. This would be an unprecedented acceleration of ethnic cleansing.

    * Previous mass clearances of Palestinians were achieved under cover of war  in 1947-48 and 1967 (which many in the international community believed were defensive wars). Other clearances have been gradual, under cover of  bureaucracy, “security” or spurious quasi-legal means.

    * Israel is now coldly and openly planning mass forced population displacement, and has seen it voted on in the Knesset. It is a measure comparable to Apartheid South Africa’s Group Areas Act, and in Jewish memory, to the Tsarist Russian pogroms that came to a head in the 1890s.

    * Also for the first time on this scale and in recent memory, it is planned to take place in the heartland of Israel against peaceful, law-abiding citizens who Israel claims have equal rights.

    * The arguments and language with which this has been presented in Israel are blatantly racist, where the Bedouin population is now referred to as “invaders of the Jewish state”.

    The protest last week took place at the Rahat Junction. The participants came from different Arab and Jewish localities in Israel in order to strengthen the protest against the governmental plan to demolish many of the Bedouin villages and relocate thousands to towns.

     Meanwhile, there was news of an important international recognition of the issue and of  The Negev Coexistence Forum, which has consistently backed the fight against demolition of the Begouin village of Al Araquib over the past 2 years.

    On August 1st, the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) announced that it had decided to adopt the recommendation of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to grant Special consultative status to the Negev Coexistence Forum. This status enables NCF to actively engage with ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, as well as with the United Nations Secretariat, programmes, funds and agencies by, for example, allowing NCF access to attend UN meetings, submitting written and oral statements to ECOSOC, and use UN facilities.  
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