‘Problem of Ego and Ignorance’: Israel to Crackdown on Bedouin Polygamy – Report

Middle East

For decades, Israeli authorities have turned a blind eye to the old custom that remains widespread in the country’s Bedouin community. According to statistics, up to 30 per cent of Bedouin men currently practice polygamy.

israel has announced a crackdown on polygamy among the country’s Bedouins, warning that suspected polygamists will be prosecuted from now on.

The campaign was initiated by the Israeli Justice Ministry Director General Emi Palmor who was quoted by the AP news agency as saying that she will seek to enforce the law, a process which she said should be supported by “input from the community”.

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“The Bedouin community is the only place in this country where polygamy is legitimate, out loud, exposed, and no one is ashamed. It’s a delicate issue, but it has to end”, Palmor said, adding that she has spent two years researching the issue and discussing it with Bedouin activists.

Moreover, she said the campaign is in line with the government’s push for developing the country’s southern Negev desert where most Bedouins currently live. Citing investment in southern Israel, Palmor said the government came to realise that “if we want to build industry and army bases and make the south grow, the progress must include the Bedouin”.

She rejected allegations that her campaign is politically motivated, citing support from Bedouin…

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