Are Australia Jews Contributing to the Demolition of Bedouin Villages in the Negev?

By Paul Rubner

The report of the recent demolition of the Bedouin village of Al-Araqib in the Negev, started 27/7/2010, which appeared on the website of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, (http://www.icahd.org/?p=5425) states that “according to Dr. Yeela Ranaan of the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages in the Negev, destruction of the villages in al-Araqib has been occurring since the 1950s. She notes that the Jewish National Fund [JNF] plans to plant a forest on the village lands, and that the current actions are part of a larger government policy to displace the indigenous Bedouin from the land.”

(See also the Haaretz editorial of 8/8/2010:
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/displacing-the-bedouin-1.30… )

I find this especially disturbing as an Australian Jew, because the local branch of the JNF (Jewish National Fund) is currently appealing to Australian Jews to donate funds for planting forests in the Negev. (http://www.jnf.org.au/index.cfm?Action=project)

Are Australian Jews who donate to the JNF contributing to the demolition of Bedouin villages, and thus to the unjust treatment of Bedouins, many of whom are Israeli citizens and longtime residents of the Negev?

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