rides to the polls
we want to tell you about our experience on Election Day with residents of the unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev.
we had the immense honor of meeting some of the hundreds of volunteers, who came from all over the country to drive thousands of fellow-citizens to the ballot-box. we met the impressive local activists who led this inspiring initiative, and also the Bedouin women voters themselves, who insisted on their democratic right to vote. That day in the Negev we saw that civic solidarity, women-led and feminist organizing, and joint Jewish-Arab struggle can turn out thousands to overcome fear and hatemongers.
The unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev have endured sustained marginalization, neglect, and decades-long discrimination - and voting rights is just one expression of it. Bedouin women in these villages suffer from a twinned oppression and too often their voices go unheard. These are exactly the voices that the far right seeks to shut out - but because of you and many Zazim members like you, we didn’t let them. We raised the needed resources to hire on-the-ground coordinators and recruit volunteers who, together with this initiative’s leadership, made it possible for thousands of Bedouin women to have their voices heard.
The future is frightening from where we’re standing. And the election results are likely to impact our ability to continue to act. Even as an opposition party, the Likud has already taken legal action against us three times - and now that they’re back in power, they likely will try again. That’s why we need you now, more than ever before.
Elections Committee approved a petition that the Likud submitted against us together with extreme-right organization Im Tirzu -- in the final moments before the election, an injunction was issued against Zazim. But to our great joy, volunteers took it upon themselves to head to the Negev independently in order to offer lifts to their fellow citizens, bringing Bedouin men and women to far-off polling stations. They proved the point, pure and simple -- civic solidarity can’t be crushed, and people power cannot be stopped.
The Likud tried the same trick this time around, too, seeking to silence us by claiming that we were actively encouraging voter turnout in the Arab sector. Except this time, the Elections Committee and the Israeli Supreme Court rejected their petition outright. We are proud of what we do and we know all too well that the Likud will work hard to injure or outlaw us because our activism makes major impacts. We need to keep challenging those in power -- but to have the backbone to take on the titans, we need the back-up and the backing of a broad movement giving consistent support.. The vast majority of our budget comes from small donations, and because of this, our ability to act effectively and strategically, over the long-term as well as the short, depends on monthly donations from members like you. Do you have our back? Click here to give us the backing we need to confront those in control.