News and views from an Israeli girl
In the last two decades, there has been widespread application of the term "indigenous" in relation to various groups worldwide. However, the meaning of this term and its uses tend to be inconsistent and variable. The expression derives from the interaction of different cultures—the meeting between the original inhabitants of a specific region (known variously as "first nations," "natives," "indigenes," or "aborigines") and new, foreign "settlers" or "colonizers," who imposed their alien value systems and way of life on the indigenous populations.
In Israel, the indigenousness claim has been raised over the past few years by the country's Bedouin citizens, a formerly nomadic, Arabic-speaking group centered in the southern arid part of the country, the Negev. They argue that Israel denies their basic indigenous rights such as maintaining their traditions and owning their own lands.
Does this claim hold water? What are its implications for Israel as well as for other nations?
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