Structural Violence and Political Transparency: A Case Study of the Bedouin Communities of Jordan vs. Israel
12 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2011
Date Written: June, 27 2011
The Bedouin occupy a special place in the world’s collective historical memory of the Middle East. They are often romanticized as the stoic, cunning, and striking desert nomads, quick to help a stranded foreigner or bestow the wisdom of an exotic noble savage. Their traditions and culture laid the foundation for the modern Arab tribalism, familial relations, and collective values (separate from Islam’s influence).
However, this romanticized Western view of the Bedouin is doing a grave disservice to a specific group of Bedouin. The Bedouin in the Israeli Negev are a people forgotten by the international community, ignored by the Palestinian Authority, and left to rot in illiterate unemployment. They lack political rights or even recognition in Israeli government, and they suffer under restrictions on movement and farming practices. In contrast, their Jordanian counterparts are fully integrated members of Jordanian society and government. This paper examines the differences in history, government, and society that led these two groups to end up so diametrically different, despite their geographic and familial proximity.
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