'Ben-Gurion' to Netanyahu: If the Negev falls, Tel Aviv falls

'85,000 illegal buildings in the Negev wasn't part of Ben-Gurion's vision.' Activists protest Bedouin land grabs in southern Israel.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Regavim activist dressed as David Ben-Gurion
Regavim activist dressed as David Ben-Gurion

Activists from the Regavim organization, a watch-dog group which monitors illegal Arab construction, prepared a special reception for Prime Minister Netanyahu Sunday, for his arrival at the state memorial service for David Ben-Gurion in Sde Boker.

At the entrance to the complex, signs were hung indicating that in the last decade, 35,000 llegal structures had been added to the Negev’s alarming tally of lawlessness.

Next to the signs stood "David Ben-Gurion," who read excerpts from Ben-Gurion's historic speech of 1948, interspersed present-day data.

"What are we defending? I can not accept the suggestion that we refrain from protecting our interests in the desert – precisely because we must defend Tel Aviv. If we do not take a stand in the Negev - Tel Aviv will not stand."

"Subtracting twelve million dunams of desert land from the equation - is a non-Zionist equation, and this is a fight to defend Zionism, no less and no more."

“It is wrong to assume that the Negev will 'not run away'. If we do not take the desert now, not only will the Negev slip away – we will essentially be making a statement that we are abandoning it. If we fail to assert our presence here now it would be self-delusion to think that it will be given to us later."

"There are currently 85,000 illegal structures in the Negev. In the past decade, 35,000 new illegal structures have been built on the land of the Negev, "Ben-Gurion” added. "This was never the vision. We must bring the State back to the Negev.”