Bedouin soldier in Israeli uniform at Land Day festival in Negev
Published Tuesday 01/04/2014 (updated) 02/04/2014 19:58
BEERSHEBA (Ma’an) – An Arab Bedouin soldier from the Negev who serves in the Israeli army on Sunday showed up in the audience during a festival marking Land Day in the Negev village of Surin.
The soldier's appearance was taken as very provocative by the audience.
Palestinian Bedouin member of the Israeli Knesset Talab Abu Arar delivered a speech during the commemoration urging Bedouin soldiers who serve in the Israeli forces to take off their military uniform in protest against confiscation of Bedouin lands and demolition of their houses in Negev.
There are very few Bedouin soldiers in the Israeli army, he added, highlighting that the phenomenon of Arabs joining the Israeli army has reduced considerably.
Speaking of Land Day, he said it was a memorial which reminds the Palestinians that they should pledge to hold on to their land. Israel, he added, has been confiscating lands every day and demolishing houses.
“This state is waging war against us. On this occasion we remember the blood of six of our martyrs … from whom we learnt that we should sacrifice our blood to protect the land.”
If Israel doesn’t grant us our rights completely, added Abu Arar, “we will take them by force. We have the needed weapons to fight for our rights,” he said explaining that unity amongst Palestinians living in Israel was the best and more efficient weapon.
Addressing Bedouin young men who join the Israeli army, he said that “those who wear the military uniform must take it off in protest against land confiscation and home demolition. How can you wear a military uniform when you see your mother mercilessly left homeless in the open?”
Another efficient weapon, said the member of Knesset, is the economic boycott.
“We can start with Israeli companies and stores which do not employ Arabs. We will use this weapon to get Israel to understand that we are not weak.”