Moral Low Ground


U.S. Christians Funding Ethnic Cleansing in Israel’s Negev Desert

The Israelis started destroying Al-Arakib last July. Since then, they’ve razed the Bedouin village in the Negev Desert seven times, destroying every home, uprooting every olive tree, confiscating every animal, and scattering the residents– who have lived there long before the state of Israel ever existed– to the mercy of the cold desert winter.

The Bedouins, an ancient nomadic desert people, are being violently expelled to make way for more Jewish settlers. Shockingly, the Bedouins are legal Israeli citizens.  But they’re Muslims, not Jews.  The Judiafication of the Negev is in full swing and the 155,000 Bedouins, who already lived in abject poverty (many don’t even have running water or electricity), are as good as gone.

There is a term for the forced removal of an entire people from their land. It’s ethnic cleansing.

Israel says the Bedouin villages that are destroyed were “illegally built.” There are two big problems with this. First, the Bedouins have been living in the Negev before Israel existed. Second, playing along by Israel’s rules and assuming the villages are “illegal,” who is Israel to lecture anyone on the legality of settlements? The whole world– even the Israel-can-do-no-wrong United States— has condemned Israel’s illegal settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

Israel was largely founded through ethnic cleansing. There were 750,000 Palestinians living in what is today Israel who were violently expelled in a vicious campaign of terror that saw Arab villagers massacred if they refused or were too slow to leave. The Jewish National Fund then planted forests and built parks where Palestinian villages once stood in order to erase any memory of the rightful owners who once lived there.

This “plant-a-forest” tactic is once again being employed by those who would expel every non-Jew from Israeli soil. This time they’ve got help: a fundamentalist Christian group called GOD-TV has donated a million trees to plant in the Negev where Bedouin villages once stood. GOD-TV has 20 million viewers in the United States and counts among their featured preachers many who believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible, which ironically states that all Jews must convert to Christianity before Jesus returns to walk the earth or be condemned to ‘hell.’

But that’s not stopping Israel from accepting their help. They could use all the assistance they can get. After all, ethnic cleansing is no walk in the forest.

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