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      Demographic War: ’Suicidal Democracy’ Lets Bedouin Conquer Negev

      ‘Suicidal democracy’ lets Bedouin conquer the Negev, a regional leader charges. National religious Jews are trying to build a new community.
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 9/26/2009, 11:41 PM

      Israel news photo

      Government policies of ‘suicidal democracy’ are allowing the Bedouin to conquer the Negev, according to Ramat HaNegev regional chairman Shmuel Rifman. He told Israel National News that building new Jewish communities can stop the takeover.

      “Wherever Jews try to put down stakes, the Bedouin suddenly appear,” he said. The booming Bedouin population, which grows particularly quickly due to polygamy, claims that national lands belong to them by ancestral tradition.

      “We have become a suicidal democracy,” Rifman declared. "The government allows anyone to take over national land, and ministers fear a confrontation with the Bedouin. This is anarchy.

      "What country decides not to take control over its own land and allows Bedouin in the Negev and Arabs in the Galilee to do so? This occurs only in Israel.”

      Rifman praised the Jewish National Fund (JNF) for trying to drive a wedge into the Bedouin expansion, particularly north of Be’er Sheva towards the Bedouin city of Rahat. He explained that the JNF’s planting trees and preserving river beds are two methods that have slowed down the Bedouin takeover.

      The best way to keep a Jewish majority in the Negev is by building more Jewish communities, Rifman said. He announced that three national religious couples, in which the husbands are former elite combat soldiers, are planning to establish a town to be named Kfar Ratamim on an abandoned kibbutz.

      “We need 15 more communities,” according to Rifman. “This is not easy because we face four obstacles - the courts, environmentalists, leftists and government attorneys.” However, he pointed out that there is growing demand every year to create new towns in the Negev.

      Last week, the government said a new hareidi religious community will be established near Tel Arad, where Bedouin already have taken over hundreds of acres of government land, some of which is adjacent to an army training camp.