Target: Arial Atias, Minister of Housing and Construction
Goal: Prevent destruction of rural villages
Despite passionate opposition, the Israeli government is moving forward with plans to build seven Jewish towns in northern Negev. The development would destroy five Bedouin villages in the process, displacing more than 8,000 villagers.
Citing intentionally understated claims made in the initial project proposal, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and other rights groups, have called upon the Israeli High Court to intervene. The plans for the 45,000 acres described the area as, “empty of population,” with only, “sparse Bedouin scatterings.” Apparently these thousands of Bedouin people, many of which live in villages founded years before the establishment of the State of Israel, don’t constitute a legitimate populace.
In addition to the potential displacement of peoples, the development project also lacks sound fiscal and environmental rationale. Seven more suburban towns would vastly decrease the amount of open space in the area and spike population levels. A spike in population inevitably burdens the environment, as levels of waste and carbon emissions become increasingly untenable. The plan also costs upwards of $300 million, money which could be invested to strengthen existing communities in Negev.
The Israeli government must not be allowed to blatantly discriminate against the Bedouin people. Instead, plans which foster equality and co-existence, which invest rather than destroy, ought to be discussed. Sign this petition and call upon Israeli officials to halt construction plans in Negev.
Dear Arial Atias,
It is imperative that plans for development in the Negev region are halted immediately. Approval of the seven town housing project blatantly discriminates against the Bedouin villagers who inhabit this area. Vastly understated claims were made in the initial proposal describing, “sparse Bedouin scatterings,” and a land, “empty of population.” There are villages established even before the State of Israel and over 8,000 Bedouin in this supposed “empty” region.
In solidarity with these villagers, numerous rights groups, including the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, have called upon the Israeli High Court to intervene in this development process. The project would have enduring environmental consequences in addition to the high monetary cost. This money could be invested in the current communities, creating thriving settlements where both Jews and Bedouins could reside.
I urge you to cease development and prevent the destruction of these Bedouin communities. Call off the construction project and seek solutions which create opportunity and equality for all.
[Your Name Here]