July 2, 2012 |
Negev Desert, Israel - It was night in the Negev Desert, and our bus driver Mich'ael had just turned onto a narrow dirt road. I was on Day 6 of a 10-day culinary Birthright trip and was exhausted. My 29 colleagues and I had spent the earlier part of the day exploring the old city streets of Jaffa, making our way down cobblestone walkways, through hidden alleys and into small shops. I had tried to stretch my weary legs as much as possible before boarding our bus for the 90-minute drive south to the next stop on our journey, an overnight stay with a Bedouin tribe . Birthright is a free educational trip to Israel for Jewish youth ages 18 to 26, provided by a group called Taglit Birthright.
July 28, 2010 |
For the sixth time in a decade, farmer Ismail Mohamed Salem watched Israeli bulldozers raze his home in this disputed Bedouin village. Hours later, he sat next to the rubble and vowed to rebuild — yet again. "This is my land," said Salem, 70, as his grandchildren lay sleeping on straw mats next to the demolished structure, now a 20-foot pile of twisted aluminum, broken concrete and splintered wood. "Why should I leave?" Salem's home was among 45 demolished early Tuesday as part of a long-running dispute between Arab tribes in the Negev desert and the Israeli government.