Ten years ago I was part of the 59 Productions team that produced The Unrecognized, a short documentary commissioned by Adalah, The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.
Our film examined the plight of Israel’s Bedouin minority, who live in villages that the state refuses to recognise. Despite being citizens of Israel, they are not provided with basic public services such as water, sanitation, education, healthcare, or transport infrastructure.
Appallingly, the problems outlined in the film persist a decade later. On the Huffington Post, Nadim Nashif and Dalal Hillou outline the current situation.
On May 5, 2015, Umm al-Hiran reached the end of the appeals process when the Israeli court system condemned the village to destruction. A Jewish-Israeli settlement named Hiran will be built in its place, and national-religious families wishing to live there will be provided with government subsidies.
Nearby Al-Araqib village has engaged in another form of non-violent resistance by rebuilding after demolition. Umm al-Hiran has a unique legal status among Bedouin villages in the Negev, but for villages like Al-Araqib, rebuilding is the only means they have to remain on their land: Al-Araqib villagers have faced intentional destruction of meager infrastructure and their entire community of homes around 83 times in five years. Yet they have rebuilt each time. Then in early May, the Israeli State sued Al-Araqib for $500,000 to cover Israel’s demolition costs. The persecution is relentless.
The Arab Bedouin minority are denied equal treatment by the state of Israel, for no other reason than their ethnicity. That’s racist, and its wrong.
Here’s the film: