Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bedouin village razed for third time in two weeks

The village of Al-Araqib was destroyed on July 27 (links here and here) and destroyed again last week by the Israeli Land Authority. The villagers have rebuilt after each demolition because this is the land that they know and they have nowhere else to go. Europe and the Middle East have been experiencing a heat wave (thank God it's cooled down a bit) which made rebuilding a necessity to provide some shade in the scolding Negev Desert.

Sickeningly, but not surprisingly, the village of Al-Araqib was destroyed again, for a third time, in the early morning on August 10, 2010.

Joseph Dana, an Israeli-American activist and filmmaker, was present in Al-Araqib during the latest round of demolitions. Here is a excerpt from his account:
We, Israeli and international activists, were invited to sit in these tents through the night and sip coffee in the cool desert night with the villagers. They told us about their livelihood now that the village is constantly facing demolition. Some talked about their military service in the Israeli army and their disbelief that the country they served could behave in such a way as to destroy their entire village. Others expressed hope that at least some Israelis understood the grave nature of their government and were standing arm in arm with them.

As the night closed and the light began to change, the first sounds of the demolition crew could be heard far off in the distance. Before we had time to blink, 200 fully clad police officers were on microphones telling us to leave and that any violence would be met with harsher violence. As soon as the voices on the microphones stopped, the bulldozers began to work. The place we had been sitting and having coffee through the night was leveled before our groggy, disbelieving eyes. We barely had time to register the fact that the village was being leveled, as the police began pushing us away from the living structures with extreme force.

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