The 3,000 or so residents of Bir al Mshash are distinctly unmoved by the prospect of Israeli elections next March. The villagers, who like all their fellow Bedouin in the Negev desert are Israeli citizens, many of whom serve in the Israeli army, normally vote Labour. "I don't want to vote for any party now," says Ibrahim Abu Speyt, 48. "I want to boycott the elections."So why are they being moved?
The reason isn't hard to find. Two weeks ago, a 50-year-old problem came to a head for Bir al Mshash. Israeli police and ministry of interior officials arrived to put formal notices on 12 houses slated for demolition in what the villagers believe is the first of a multi-stage operation in which they will be moved off the land they regard as having been theirs since Ottoman times.
much of the Negev has long been earmarked for development for and by Jewish immigrants; more than 40 years ago the Israeli military leader and politician Moshe Dayan summed up with clarity the "sharp transition" he envisaged: "We must turn the Bedouin into urban labourers ... It means that the Bedouin will no longer live on his land with his flocks but will become an urbanite who comes home in the afternoon and puts his slippers on. His children will get used to a father who wears pants, without a dagger, and who does not pick out their nits in public. They will go to school, their hair combed and parted. This will be a revolution, but it can be achieved in two generations. Not by coercion but with direction from the state. This reality that is known as the Bedouin will disappear."Ah, but Moshe Dayan is dead now. The zionists are crowing that Israel has moved to the left. This ethnic cleansing of Israelis. shows how far Israel has moved to the left.