Relocation, Relocation, Relocation
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When one thinks of population relocation the most obvious example would be Stalinist Russia. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s numerous ethnic groups like Azeris and Tartars were forcibly removed from their ancestral homelands and moved to other areas of the Soviet empire at the whim of a monstrous tyrant. Another population relocation was announced this Sunday. This relocation has been approved by the Israeli government. It involves the removal of 30,000 Bedouin peoples from 13 unrecognised communities in the Negev region of Israel. This is what Israeli paper Haaretz has to say about it. ‘On Sunday the cabinet approved a plan to relocate tens of thousands of Bedouin from unrecognised villages into communities with official status. As part of the plan, which includes financial compensation for people who can prove they have worked the land they lay claim to or offers of alternative land, some 20,000 to 30,000 Bedouin from 13 unrecognised communities will have to move to existing recognised towns.’ Well that’s not so bad then is it? The Bedouin people can now go into the towns with pockets bulging with cash in order to buy a nice house. Not surprisingly the compensation is not nearly enough. Neve Gordon reports that the rate of compensation is 5,000 shekels ($1,300) per dunam*, whilst half a dunam in a town such as Rahat costs 150,000 shekels ($40,300). The Bedouin people will move from one miserable existence to another. Here’s Neve Gordon again on the current living conditions of the Bedouin.
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