26 January 2017


A VIEW of Umm Al-Hiran, the Beduin village in the southern Negev Desert demolished by police last week.. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Ari Briggs, Regavim

In the continuing series on why terminology matters, screaming from the front page of The Jerusalem Post on January 16 was the following headline: “State pressures Beduin to leave Negev village to make way for Jewish town.”

This type of headline has only been seen previously in the likes of the The New York Times: “Village of Bedouins Faces Eviction as Israel Envisions a Village of Jews” (May 16, 2015) and Haaretz: “Supreme Court Allows State to Replace Bedouin Village With Jewish One” (May 6, 2015).

"[…] Justices Rubinstein, Hendel and Barak-Erez rule in their final judgment in 2015 (3094/11) that the petitioners have no ownership of the land, and that their settlement in that location was only temporary according to the lease agreement they signed with the state during the Fifties.

“We are dealing with a Beduin tribe that moved to the area in dispute about six decades ago, in accordance with the directives of the authorities. Although they lived there legally, at no time did the tribe acquire ownership of the land according the property law of our legal system; they built extensively on the land without any permits, and this is illegal. Most of the tribe moved to Hura, a Beduin settlement with a regulated and connected infrastructure; the remaining respondents must be evacuated from their homes, while offering them the option of moving to Hura.
“Clearly, when it comes to evacuating those who have been living in an area for many years, we are not speaking of ‘deportation’ or ‘forfeiture.’ Instead, the projected evacuation involves multiple proposals for moving, building, compensation and the possibility of homes either in the town of Hura (to which most of the residents of these illegal villages have moved) or to the town of Hiran, which is about to be constructed. They are being offered preferred ‘general’ conditions of purchase based on seniority, a designation apparently being offered as compensation for their investment in their prior, albeit illegal, construction.”

“[…] According to George Orwell, in a democratic society if clarity in language collapses, he predicts that the society itself will collapse. We need to ensure this doesn’t happen by holding politicians and the media to account for the terminology they use. 
The use of the term “Jewish town” is incorrect, libelous and extremely damaging to Israel.

Its use should be halted and retractions and apologies should be made.

Source: JPOST

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