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One way to tell the story of the Middle East as a whole is to describe the endemic struggle between peripatetic nomads and settled peasant farmers—a struggle attested already in ancient Mesopotamian documents. For centuries, all the political regimes of the region have tried, with varying success, to get the Bedouin to come to rest on the land. But in Israel and in the occupied territories we see, alongside this familiar policy, persistent attempts to uproot Bedouin populations who have already settled on the land, sometimes generations ago, and who usually have clear claims to ownership of these sites.
Read more here by David Shulman