The Bedouins of the Negev are considered to be the most impoverished community in the entire State of Israel, lagging far behind any other sector. The State Comptroller’s Report released Aug. 4, points to several failures by state institutions in dealing with the longstanding problems of the Bedouin community. It also notes that many of the issues compounding these problems can be attributed to the Bedouin sector itself.
Yet while the report is scathing, there is a glimmer of hope for the Bedouins. The five-year plan for the community, approved by the government Aug. 2 as part of the state budget, provides twice as much funding for the sector as it did in the past. The demand for greater investment in the Bedouin was initiated by the Arab Raam Party, which is part of the coalition. Much of Raam’s support comes from the Bedouin community.