Friday, August 25, 2017

Bedouin in Israel Have Their Nationality Revoked

Anyone who followed the issue of Bedouins in the Negev desert in Israel knows that there has long been an argument in that country over their status and rights. While the problem of the status of Bedouin Israelis has many unique characteristics, the Bedouin lack nationality throughout the region. In many cases, their lack of status stems from a wide-spread failure to register Bedouin nomads and former nomads during the colonial and post-colonial period coupled with discrimination against the Bedouin as nomadic "outsiders" lacking ties to any state, despite clear evidence of Bedouin families having long-standing ties to various states in the region, including Israel.

Now, the Israeli government is apparently stripping many Bedouin of their nationality, often without a hearing, claiming that they were "improperly registered" in the past. In many cases, this argument about registration is over documents from the British Mandate period, before the Israeli nationality law was even passed. As the linked article in Haaretz makes clear, the revocation of nationality is only targeted towards Bedouin Israelis.

It's to be hoped that litigation on behalf of the families involved can help resolve the issue.