A group of Arab Bedouin young adults touched the hearts of Israelis late last week when they came together to repair a vandalized Jewish cemetery in the south of the country.
Last Wednesday, two Bedouin teenagers filmed themselves smashing tombstones and scrawling graffiti at the cemetery at Moshav Nevatim near Beersheva. They then foolishly uploaded the clip to the popular social network TikTok. Police quickly arrested one of the suspects and continue to search for the other.
A day later, the Desert Stars organization decided that police action and legal justice were insufficient, and sought to demonstrate to their Jewish neighbors that the Bedouins of the Negev Desert seek to live in peace and harmony.
Desert Stars describes itself as “building a generation of Bedouin leaders to promote a thriving Bedouin community and a strong Israeli society.”
In a video and images posted to Facebook, a team of Desert Stars volunteers were seen cleaning up, repairing tombstones, and fixing and painting damaged fences at the Nevatim cemetery.
While there are sporadic tensions, there is generally a promising coexistence between Israel’s Bedouin and Jewish communities. Many Bedouins even volunteer to serve in the IDF.
Last summer, a Jewish man sacrificed his own life to save two drowning Bedouin children. The outpouring of love from the Bedouin community for the family of this Jewish hero was incredible.
“There is no racism between us and the Jews,” the father of the rescued children told Israel Today at the time. (See the rest of the article: Words Don’t Make a Hero, Deeds Do)