David Halbfinger’s recent article, “As Israel Pushes to Build, Bedouin Homes and School Face Demolition” (The New York Times, June 24, 2018, co-authored by Rami Nazzal) begins with a statement that sets the tone for what is to follow: “The herders are being herded.”

The implication, of course, is that Israel is treating the innocent, unfortunate Jahalin Bedouin of Khan al Ahmar like animals, but the facts of the case indicate precisely the opposite: I’m sure there are many hard-working, tax-paying citizens of Israel (and other countries all over the world) who would love to be “herded” into an all-expenses-paid, fully developed plot of land and paid tens of thousands of dollars by the state to move in. In fact, several years ago, another branch of the Jahalin clan agreed to precisely this treatment and voluntarily relocated; the families that remained in Khan al Ahmar agreed to move as well, but were bullied or patronized by their “representatives” into retracting their consent and have been dragged through Israel’s courts ever since.

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