His father must be rolling over in his grave
Led by Minister without portfolio Benny Begin (who will not be an MK in the next government), the lame duck cabinet on Sunday approved the gifting of some 50,000 dunams of Negev land
to Bedouin tribes who have been squatting there for years.
The Cabinet voted Sunday to approve changes proposed by Minister Benny Begin in the plan to legalize piratic Bedouin settlement in the Negev. The changes are described by opponents in the pro-Jewish settlement NGO Regavim as "a historic mistake." The
changes still require approval by the Knesset in order to become the law
of the land.
The plan will add more Bedouin settlements to the list of those that
will receive official recognition, and increase the amount of land that
will be handed over to Bedouin as part of an agreement.
MK-elect Moshe Feiglin said that Begin was acting dishonestly
by bringing the plan to the government a short time after elections,
when he is about to leave his office as minister after being voted out
of Likud's leadership. He accused Begin of "abandoning the Jewish settlement enterprise in the Negev."
According to the government, however, Minister Begin's
recommendations were formulated in the wake of "unprecedented
consultations" he held among Negev Bedouin, during which he and the
Construction and Housing Ministry Authority on Formalizing the Status of
Settlement in the Negev officials met with over 1,000 Negev
Bedouin, as well as their relevant groups and organizations..
Regavim noted that Begin did not meet with its representatives.
In its decision, the Cabinet adopted the recommendations of the
commission chaired by retired Supreme Court Judge Eliezer Goldberg,
which proposed "to recognize – as much as possible – each of the
unrecognized villages in which there is a minimal mass of residents,
such as will be determined, and which will be able to bear municipal
status, and on the condition that such recognition will not contravene
the district master plan."
Regarding ownership claims, it was decided – inter alia – that
compensation, in land or money, will be given for all of the area in
question (and not just half, as determined by a decision of the previous
The recommendations still need to be approved by the incoming Knesset. Begin's father must be rolling over in his grave at the giveaway of the land of Israel.
Labels: Bedouin, Benny Begin, Negev