by Jonathan Azaziah
Both the English and Arabic thesauruses and dictionaries are going to need to be adjusted so “steadfastness” and “sumoud” have Al-Araqib as synonyms and alternative definitions. The Bedouin Palestinian village in occupied Al-Naqab–referred to by the terrorist ‘Israelis’ as “the Negev”–has just been demolished by the Zionist occupation for the 133rd time. The 132nd demolition was just three weeks ago on August 16th. It’s just about unfathomable to the human mind that anyone, especially a people as besieged, oppressed, colonized and brutalized as Palestinians, can still find the heart and soul just to wake up in the morning–let alone resist–after your livelihood has been ripped out from underneath your feet. Or better yet… Bulldozed. But somehow, that is exactly what the indigenous of Al-Araqib continue to do. 133 atrocities but they remain undeterred. They keep defying; keep fighting; keep living.
Al-Araqib, once home to 35 families and almost 500 people from the Touris and Uqbis but now reduced to just 22 families of about 225 people, was first demolished on July 27th, 2010. The Jewish National Fund, the historical central organ of the Zionist ethnic cleansing project, wants to exterminate the village and replace it with yet another hideous, alien, soon-to-be-triggering-brush-fires forest. That’s why the innocents of Al-Araqib are being tortured; why they’ve been subjected to 133 Nakbas: A patch of colonizer “greenery” to further the fallacious and idiotic myth that the Jews “made the desert bloom”. In reality, the Jews have made the desert bleed between the crimes against the Bedouin Palestinians as well as the erection of the illegal Dimona nuclear site and mutilated Palestine’s landscape–which was ACTUALLY green and ACTUALLY lush once upon a pre-Zionist time–into a dystopia.
With a cemetery dating back to 1914 and records showing that they paid taxes to both the Brits and the Ottomans, long before ‘Israel’ was even close to becoming a reality, the Bedouins of Al-Araqib are determined to stay. Forever. As Al-Araqib’s leader Sheikh Sayah al-Touri said in 2015, “We will not leave, we have documents proving this is our land and we will not leave.” Then last year he doubled down, “No matter what, we will remain on our ancestors’ lands.” The Sheikh, his son Aziz and numerous other community activists are currently in ‘Israeli’ custody for the “crime” of refusing to be eradicated, while those still on the front lines continue to be denied access to Al-Araqib’s six water wells and threatened with more destruction, more agony and more repression on a daily basis. When the next set of tents and makeshift homes go up in an inevitable act of defiance and commitment to simply STAY, how long before the ‘Israelis’ demolish the village for the 134th time?
And make no mistake, it isn’t only Al-Araqib that is under threat. There are over 40 Bedouin villages in and around Al-Naqab that some 200,000 Palestinians call home which the usurping Zionist entity calls “unrecognized”, i.e. Goy, and seeks to “redeem” and annex as part of the artificial Jewish “state”. The Bedouin Palestinians’ plight is a reminder that Zionist designs don’t just put Al-Aqsa in danger and build settlements in Al-Quds; that Zionist designs don’t just blockade and massacre Gaza; and Zionist designs don’t just deepen colonization in the West Bank. Zionist designs are targeting the ’48 Lands just as much as anywhere else in occupied Palestine. Zionist designs are total, they’re regional and they’re international.
It’s also far from random that just as Al-Araqib was crushed for the 133rd time, the Bedouin Palestinian community of Khan al-Ahmar just east of Al-Quds, sandwiched between two criminal Jewish outposts, was locked in to be razed by the ‘Israeli’ Supreme Court. The people are already without water and electricity and will soon be without roofs over their heads once IOF’s murder machines run through. Like so many other Palestinians, they’re about to be two-time refugees. Khan al-Ahmar was founded just after the Nakba following the expulsion of thousands of Palestinians from Al-Naqab by fanatical, hateful Jewish militias. Now, such terror is at their doorstep again. By the grace of ALLAH (SWT), Khan al-Ahmar’s residents will find it in their beings to emulate Al-Araqib and fight back.
Steadfastness/Sumoud. This is Al-Araqib personified. Imagine if the heroism of this tiny village was internalized and duplicated by Moustazafeen all across the world. It wouldn’t just be ‘Israel’ smashed into little shards like it was hit with one of its own bulldozers, thus freeing Palestine from the River to the Sea as well as the whole of the Arab-Islamic world. It’d be every form of oppression that stems from the Jewish Power Matrix and the Rothschild Octopus at the head of it. Indeed, we should all be like the Palestinians of Al-Araqib. Resist. Reject. Remain. When confronted with annihilation, the very breaths we take are a towering, thundering victory over our enemy.