This week, we received the call via email from several Israeli human rights organizations to send letters to officials in the Israeli government commending them on their “new willingness to come to an agreement with the Jahalin” and asking the officials to “please” transfer the families in a humane way. As Palestinian human rights groups, with a long history of working with the Jahalin, we were shocked to know that forced transfer could even be considered humane and surprised that the Israeli groups would ask for our endorsement of such a policy.
Transfer violates all natural human rights and cannot be justified under any circumstance. If human rights organizations accept transfer then they, not only encourage the Netanyahu government to go ahead with its policy of eviction, but are party to it. Forced eviction has been a policy that the Zionist movement used continuously in Palestine to rid the land of its indigenous populations -- such a crime can never be justified.
The Jahalin Bedouin lived in the area between East Jerusalem and the Dead Sea for more than forty years, after being evicted from the Palestinian Negev, and have the right to keep living in their land despite the illegal settlements built in the occupied territories. We all must call for a full stop to the policies of transfer and eviction under any circumstance, not bring ourselves to plead with the Civil Administration to “allow them to build tin shacks.” The Jahalin issue is about people, land, and justice, not about how to practice transfer.
We, the members of the Lobby for Human Rights in Jerusalem, call the Israeli organizations that beautify transfer to reassess their position and not negotiate or retreat from advocating for fundamental human rights.