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Feb 5, 2014

Thanks to your help, Bedouin rights are on the public agenda

Diplomats partake in field visit to the Naqab
Diplomats partake in field visit to the Naqab

Thanks to your contributions, between October 2013 and January 2014, Adalah conducted over 20 study tours in the Naqab (Negev) for foreign diplomats, representatives of international human rights organizations and development agencies, inter-faith groups, students and academics, and journalists.

Adalah’s study tours brought guests to unrecognized Arab Bedouin villages and government-planned towns, and provided a platform for Palestinian Bedouin community leaders to voice their most pressing concerns. The study tours focused on villages that are most “at-risk” of being demolished by the discriminatory Prawer Plan, and highlight Adalah’s legal efforts to safeguard the land, and civil and social-economic rights of Bedouin citizens of Israel.

These study tours provided the Bedouin community with access to opinion-shapers and decision-makers who influence the Israeli and international public discourse. Two highlights of Adalah’s recent study tours include:

Tour for Hebrew-language bloggers: In November 2013, together with our partner the Negev Coexistence Forum (NCF), Adalah organized a study tour for 12 Hebrew-language bloggers on the situation of the unrecognized Bedouin villages. The participants included journalists from the leading Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, photographers from Activestills, and other freelance bloggers. The participants produced articles and blogs that were widely shared and read by Hebrew readers, helping to raise awareness of the human rights challenges facing the Bedouin community.

Field visit for diplomats: In December 2013, Adalah joined partner organizations the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights, and NCF, in organizing a tour for 20 ambassadors and representatives of foreign embassies in Israel.  Following a tour to several of the Bedouin villages most threatened by demolition, the diplomats participated in a panel with the civil society experts and Bedouin representatives about the history, legal claims and planning opportunities for the community. The panel discussion focused on halting the Prawer Plan, and the diplomats expressed great interest in raising the community’s opposition to the plan to the government of Israel.

As a result of these activities, the grave human rights situation in the Naqab has received extensive attention both locally and internationally.  We’ve seen extensive media coverage (examples of English can be found here), and international actors are also remaining vigilant as the Israeli government continues to deliberate on the implementation of the Prawer Plan.

These tours are made possible through your contributions via Global Giving – thank you!

As we head into 2014, we hope that you will help us reach our goal of raising $20,000 so that Adalah can offer more study tours for media and decision-makers, continue to provide human rights workshops to Bedouin citizens, and support the community through legal representation to save their homes and stop the Prawer Plan. Please join us, and also ask your friends to stand with Adalah, stand for Justice!

Guests discuss concerns of Bedouin citizens
Guests discuss concerns of Bedouin citizens
Hebrew bloggers share writing ideas after tour
Hebrew bloggers share writing ideas after tour

Links:

Oct 16, 2013

Human rights activists know their rights thanks to your help

Mufeed Swelem: "Now I know my rights"
Mufeed Swelem: "Now I know my rights"

Hoda Anu Obayed, 24, Lakiya: "It was an amazing workshop. I am happy I could come. Now, I am more powerful and I feel strongerIt's essential information for activists. I know more about my rights, what I am allowed to do and what I cannot do. I can work much more effectively and directly contribute to my community."

Mufeed Swelem, 23, Seveg Shalom: "I am glad and proud to have attended this workshop. I was arrested during the July events. Now I know my rights and I feel more confident. Next time, I will inquire as to why I am being arrested and whether or not the arrest is illegal. I will be more careful. Many thanks to Adalah and the NCF for all of this information!"

On October 1 2013, Adalah, in partnership with the Negev Coexistence Forum (NCF), held a human rights workshop for 15 young Arab Bedouin activists, 11 men and 4 women, in the unrecognized village of Khashem Zanneh. The activists, from recognized and unrecognized villages, are struggling against home demolitions and for better living conditions and access to state services, especially in at-risk villages threatened by the Prawer Plan.

Adalah Board member Attorney Hussein Abu Hussein led the workshop for  the activists on  their rights to demonstrate, including how to obtain a demonstration permitwhat their rights are if they are ,arrested and investigated, including access to lawyers and translators. Activists in the Naqab need this information as they are struggling and demonstrating against the Prawer Plan.

The activists took home "Know Your Rights" pocket guides, Adalah's Myths and Misconceptions about the Arab Bedouin, and information on discriminatory laws targeting Palestinian citizens of Israel.

The workshop was made possible in part through your support via Global Giving - - thank you! We more than doubled our original goal and raised over $10,000 in just one month!

We are now trying to raise $20,000 before the end of the year so that Adalah can offer more workshops, provide more study tours for media  and decision-makers, and support the  activists through legal representation to save their homes and stop the Prawer Plan. Please join us, and ask your friends!

Participants discuss what they
Participants discuss what they've learned
15 activists took the human rights workshop
15 activists took the human rights workshop
 
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