Desert tree planting sows discord within Israel’s coalition

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Thu, 2022-01-13 00:15

SAWE AL-ATRASH, Israel: Government-sponsored tree planting in an Israeli desert has set off violent protests by Bedouin Arabs who see the forestation as discriminatory encroachment by the state, sowing discord within Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s ethnically mixed coalition.

Coming days before the Jewish arbor festival of Tu Bishvat, the drive to turn the sandy expanses of the southern Negev green hails back to Israel’s founding pioneer narratives.

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