http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/363133

'Day of rage': UK protests Israeli plan to evict 70,000 Bedouins

Posted Nov 30, 2013 by Layne Weiss
Over 50 public figures in the United Kingdom including artists, musicians, and writers, have added their names to a letter protesting a plan by Israel's government to remove 70,000 Palestinian Bedouins from their homes.
A protester rolls a burning tire towards Israeli police during a demonstration showing solidarity wi...
A protester rolls a burning tire towards Israeli police during a demonstration showing solidarity with Bedouin Arabs who are against a government displacement plan for Bedouins in the Southern Negev desert
With permission by Reuters / Baz Ratner
Critics have condemned this act as "ethnic cleansing," The Guardian reports.
The letter is part of a day of protest over the Prawer-Begin plan, which is expected to get final approval by year's end.
The signatories — including actor Julie Christie, singer Brian Eno, and artist Antony Grimley — are demanding immediate actionfrom the British government. They are calling for "harsh measures" rather than the "usual diplomatic rhetoric," Infowars reports.
“There can be no ‘business as usual’ with a state which is preparing to ethnically cleanse 70,000 people. It’s time to start challenging Israel’s racism and apartheid policies,” the letter reads.
According to The Guardian, Actor David Calder said, "The Israeli state not only practices apartheid against the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories, but it seems they have no hesitation in practicing apartheid on their own citizens – in this instance, the Bedouins. When is the west going to find these actions intolerable?"
According to Israel, the goals of the Prawer Plan are the economic development of the Negev desert and the "regulation" of Palestinian Bedouins living in villages which are not recognized by the state.
The people in these villages will be moved to designated towns while plans for new Jewish settlements are executed.
The Israel government says this plan allows for Bedouins to live in modern homes, work regular jobs, and send their children to mainstream schools. Additionally, they will be offered compensation for their move.
The human rights group Adalah says "The real purpose of the legislation [is] the complete and final severance of the Bedouin's historical ties to their land."
The "day of rage" featured a day of protests across the UK and demonstrations from Palestinians. Despite opposition, however, Israel still plans to vote on the Prawer-Begin bill at the end of the year, Infowars reports.
Even some Israeli media has condemned the plan.
“These are Israeli citizens – citizens in a ‘democratic’ state, some of whom have even served the country militarily – who are now having their homes destroyed,” David Harris-Gershon wrote in his blog for the Tikkun Daily.
“The plan [is] to regularize Bedouin settlement in the Negev’, but it does nothing to solve problems and regularize our settlements – it stipulates only destruction,” said Fadi El-Obra, a 29-year-old from Rahat, speaking against the Prawer Plan to the International Solidarity Movement.
UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon issued a statement on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People calling for Israel to call off plans to expand building in the settlements. Both sides agreed to restart peace talks after a three-year stalemate. In spite of this revival of negotiations, very little has been accomplished.
Protesters put a police barricade over burning tires during clashes with Israeli police during a dem...
Protesters put a police barricade over burning tires during clashes with Israeli police during a demonstration showing solidarity with Bedouin Arabs who are against a government displacement plan for Bedouins in the Southern Negev desert in the village of Hura in southern Israel November 30, 2013
With permission by Reuters / Baz Ratner
Israeli police use a water cannon to disperse Israeli Arab protesters during a demonstration showing...
Israeli police use a water cannon to disperse Israeli Arab protesters during a demonstration showing solidarity with Bedouin Arabs who are against a government displacement plan for Bedouins in the Southern Negev desert in the northern city of Haifa November 30, 2013
With permission by Reuters / Baz Ratner
Israeli police detain a protester during a demonstration showing solidarity with Bedouin Arabs who a...
Israeli police detain a protester during a demonstration showing solidarity with Bedouin Arabs who are against a government displacement plan for Bedouins in the Southern Negev desert in the northern city of Haifa November 30, 2013
With permission by Reuters / Ammar Awad