An Appeal – Stopping the Prawer Plan

An Appeal to stop the Prawer Plan

From Richard Bowyer

Dear Left Thinkers,

If you have been reading my posts on this page you’ll know that the Israeli government’s disgraceful treatment of its non-Jewish compatriots is something I have been deeply concerned about for a long time. On 25th June I posted about the Knesset’s decision to displace the Bedouin population of the Negev from their homes – the so-called Prawer Plan. If you haven’t read it please do; it’s another outrageous and appalling example of the ethnic cleansing carried out by the Jews in the Occupied Territories, having learned nothing from the pogroms and the Holocaust in their own history.

This photo is of Sheikh Abu Aziz, whose village, Al Araqib, has been bulldozed repeatedly by the Israeli government. Here’s what he has said about it:


“I have lived in my village, Al Araqib, my whole life. The Israeli government says my village is “unrecognised” – and so has bulldozed everything more than 50 times.

What does “unrecognised” mean? Of course they see the buildings, the olive trees, and the men, women, and children living here. You do not send bulldozers, helicopters, and soldiers to destroy something that you cannot see.

It does not mean they do not recognise the suffering it causes us. You cannot see people screaming and crying each time you remove them from their homes, and think it has no impact.

What it means is they do not recognise our legitimate rights as human beings to live in peace and dignity where we have always lived. It means they do not recognise that we are fully human.

Their insistence on destroying Al Araqib means they do recognise one thing: that much more than Al Araqib is at stake. Why go to all the trouble over one village, otherwise?

What the Israeli Government understands is that its power – I do not say legitimacy, I say power – comes from the refusal to recognise any opinion, any view of history, other than its own. If they demolish Al Araqib again and again, they will do the same to dozens of other Bedouin villages in the Negev as part of the Prawer Plan. They will not stop at the Negev. They refuse to let us live in our own land.”

It’s still unclear when the Knesset will have a second reading of the Prawer Plan. But there’s no doubt that international pressure is having an impact. 15,000 people have already e-mailed the Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, urging him to do everything he can to make sure the Israeli government understands that it would be a grave mistake to pass this displacement blueprint into law. If you are as appalled as I am by what the Israeli government is doing, please take a moment to send your own e-mail to him. Ambassador Michael Oren – – here is a suggestion for the wording:

“Dear Ambassador Oren,

The passing of the first reading of the Prawer Plan threatens disaster for the Bedouin people, and is a sad day for all who believe in justice, equality, and human rights. I urge you to use your influence to warn Knesset members against implementing the Plan while there is still time to avoid this human rights catastrophe.”

Thank you very much,


Update: There’s an Avaaz petition running too, if people would like to sign it:

See also Previous Post from Richard Bowyer “Open your Eyes, see the Prawer Plan”

Open your eyes: See the Prawer Plan

The Prawer Plan

By Richard Bowyer

Implementation of the so-called Prawer Plan, to displace Bedouin families from their villages in the Negev, has just been approved in the Knesset (43 votes to 40). Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel (inhabitants of the Negev desert since the seventh century) are among the most vulnerable communities in Israel. For over 60 years the indigenous Arab Bedouin have faced a State policy of displacement, home demolitions and dispossession of their ancestral land. Today 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens live in 35 villages that either pre-date the establishment of the State in 1948, or were created by Israeli military order in the early 1950s. The State of Israel considers the villages “unrecognised” and the inhabitants “trespassers on State land”, so it denies the citizens access to State infrastructure like water, electricity, sewage, education, healthcare and roads. The State deliberately withholds basic services from these villages to “encourage” the Arab Bedouin citizens to give up their ancestral land.
The Israeli government first approved the Prawer Plan (the brainchild of Ehud Prawer, former Deputy Chair of Israel’s National Security Council) in September 2011. It will result in the destruction of the “unrecognised” villages and the forced displacement of the 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens, so that forests can be planted, military bases can be built and new Jewish settlements can be established in their place. This plan was completed without consultation with the local community, and is a gross violation of the constitutional rights of the Arab Bedouin citizens to property, dignity, equality and adequate housing.

In March 2012, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination called on Israel to withdraw the proposed implementing legislation of the Prawer Plan, on the grounds that it was discriminatory. If Israel applied the same criteria for planning and development that exist in the Jewish rural sector, all 35 unrecognised villages would be recognised where they are.

In July 2012, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling on Israel to Stop the Prawer Plan and its policies of displacement, eviction, and dispossession.

Here is a full explanation of why this plan has to be opposed by all of us in the international community.

Israel simply cannot be allowed to continue its ethnic cleansing and its contempt for UN Resolutions and international outrage.