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Tel Aviv University
In pictures: Thank you TAU Prof. Gadi Algazi for helping to organize Land Day demonstration in Al Arakib

On March 30, 2011, Tel Aviv University Prof. Gadi Algazi helped to organize a Land Day demonstration in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Al Arakib.   According to facebook, Algazi was one of the principle organizers of this rally and this could be demonstrated by the fact that one of the speakers at the Land Day event publicly thanked Algazi for his contributions.  

Other organizers included the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality and the Recognition Forum, where academics Avner Ben Amos of TAU and Julia Chaitin of Sapir College are active members. 

According to the facebook event page, the “Rally Noting Land Day in Al Arakib” sought to bring awareness to the fact that “tens of thousands of Arab citizens are living in villages” that are not “recognized by the government,” which thus “deprives” them of basic services.   The facebook page calls this a policy of “blatant discrimination” that seeks to force Arabs from their “historic lands” and traditional way of life.   This rally calls for a “struggle” against this “discrimination” that would lead to the recognition of the unrecognized Bedouin villages.   

On the bus going to Al Arakib, there were a number of Arabs, some of whom wore Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality tee-shirts in addition to some Solidarity against Fascism student activists and even someone who works for Machsom Watch.  Once in Al Arakib, there were a number of speeches in Arabic, as well as a couple of speeches in Hebrew.   

Some of the speakers spoke about shahada, the Nakba, and the intifada.  Others complained about the destruction of the illegal Bedouin homes in Al Arakib, described how this affected Bedouin children, and also compared this to what happens in places like Sheikh Jarrah and Hebron.   Palestinian flags and keffiyahs were to be seen every where, as well as tee-shirts and stickers saying “We are all Al Arakib.”   There were Arabs shouting out Allahu Akbar and Palestine in between the speakers!   Arab children were displayed waving signs in Arabic with all of the names of the unrecognized Bedouin villages while waving Palestinian flags.  

In fact, people even sang the Palestinian national anthem.   


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