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Bedouins' politics of place and memory: A case of unrecognised villages in the Negev

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Abstract

Israeli laws and the state's dominant discourse depict Bedouins as rootless nomads and classify the Negev as historically dead, no-man's land. This characterisation implies that the Bedouins from the Negev have no ties to the land and therefore cannot claim ownership of it. It also transforms residents of 'unrecognised villages' into trespassers on state land whom the state must evict. This article examines how the subordinated Bedouin population asserts its agency and, contests the systemic marginalisation. It explores Bedouins' counter-narratives and practices through which an alternative understanding of 'Bedouinity' emerges, and through which the Bedouins challenge the state's policy and colonisation of the community's everyday life.

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... This population of $200,000 people lives in both recognized towns and villages, and settlements that are unrecognized by the state of Israel. Jewish Israelis tend to view the Bedouin as primitive, nomadic people whose culture awaits civilization (Hall, 2014;Shamir, 1996), and often as ''trespassers 'gnawing away at the country's land reserves,' who have to be prevented and punished'' (Hall, 2014, p. 149). ...
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