This Saturday, November 30, Arab-Palestinians in Israel and Left activists will rally against plans for the ethnic cleansing of the Naqab/Negev, at Houra and Haifa in an internationally-observed “Day of Rage.” There are planned demonstrations across Israel and Palestine as well as in cities around the world, in a show of global solidarity against Israel’s government now infamous Prawer Plan.
November 30’s Day of Rage comes hot on the heels of an escalation in protests by Arab-Bedouins on the ground, with a strike last Sunday across the Negev to protest a visit by right-wing Members of Knesset involved in the implementation of the Prawer Plan. Security forces clashed with demonstrators, leaving four injured and two detained.
During the visit Sunday, Interior Committee head MK Miri Regev, who believes that “the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish People”, said “We will not allow anyone to threaten the state.” Other displays of protests continued, such as demonstrations of students in Israeli universities last week, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv University, Haifa University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Technion and several cities and localities, among them Haifa, Jerusalem, Jaffa and Taybe.
The Israeli government is worried about the international condemnation that Prawer is attracting. The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the European Parliament have deemed the Prawer Plan discriminatory, and publically urged for its withdrawal. The international community is echoing the calls of the Bedouin community, who are demanding meaningful consultation and participation in the decision-making process that will determine their futures. The Arab-Bedouin community, together with civil society, have proposed an Alternative Master Plan that, on the basis of equality, recognizes the Bedouin villages in their existing locations, using the traditional land system as a foundation for future planning. The community has presented the plan to the government several times, but in response, is witnessing an increase in home demolitions coupled with government approval to build new Jewish towns, Jewish National Fund forests, and industrial or military projects on Bedouin land.
Protests will be held throughout the world – in Palestine demonstrations have been organized for Hebron, Gaza Strip, Jerusalem and Ramallah. Other demonstrations will be held on Saturday in Beirut, Cairo, Amman, Tunis, London, Berlin, Dundee, Prague, Paris, Missouri, Ontario, Seattle, Turin, Cardiff, Brussels, Strasbourg (in front of the European Parliament), Hague, Cork, Hamburg, Dublin, Rome, Toronto and other cities.