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Rabbi: Bedouin Attack Part of a Pattern of Violence

The attack on a Jewish woman in the Negev is part of a pattern of Bedouin violence, says former Negev resident.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 5/21/2013, 10:25 AM

Bedouin rally in Negev (file)
Bedouin rally in Negev (file)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

An attack on a Jewish woman in the Negev on Monday was part of a greater pattern of Bedouin violence against Jews in the region, according to Rabbi Avichai Ronsky, a former IDF Chief Rabbi and former resident of the Negev.

On Monday, Bedouin men threw a massive stone at an Israeli woman’s car as she drove near Kfar Retamim. “She was a hair’s breadth away from serious injury,” Rabbi Ronsky told Arutz Sheva.

The incident was far from a one-time event, he said. Just days earlier a Bedouin mob attacked a car in which a Jewish man and his heavily pregnant wife were traveling. The mob surrounded the car and beat it with metal bars.

The attackers fled only after the Jewish man pulled out a gun.

Most Israelis are unaware of the scope of violence in the Negev because it goes unreported by the media, Rabbi Ronsky said. Many residents do not bother to publicize attacks because they are not yet aware that responding too quietly can provoke further violence, he said.

Jewish farmers in the region have come to rely on the Hashomer Hachadash (New Guard) civilian defense group, he related. Without its help, he said, Bedouin attacks would make farming impossible.

The fact that residents must rely on a civilian defense group is absurd, he said, as protection of Zionist agriculture is supposed to be one of the reasons for the state of Israel’s existence. “Those in power need to wake up,” he said.

He called for Minister of Internal Security Yitzchak Aharonovitch and senior police commanders to come visit the region and see the situation for themselves.

The recent surge in violence may be linked to the Begin Plan, which would legalize many illegal Bedouin towns in the region, he said. The fact that criminal seizure of land was rewarded may be leading Bedouin tribes to attempt the same thing a second time by trying to force Jews out and create yet more illegal settlements, he said.