BULLDOZERS entered the Bedouin village of Bir Hadaj in Negev in Israel on Wednesday as authorities intend to demolish six houses belonging to the Abu Marhil family, which house more than 50 people, for a fourth time.

News of the pending demolitions came a day after the village of al-Araqib was demolished for the 116th time since 2010.

According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), more than half of the approximately 160,000 Negev Bedouins reside in unrecognized villages, which, in addition to lack of access to basic services, have been the targets of repeated demolitions. Bir Hadaj was officially recognized by the Israeli state in 2004.

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Former UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, released a report on the treatment of the Bedouin in the Negev in 2011 — shortly before the Israeli cabinet approved plans to relocate 30,000 Bedouins from 13 unrecognised villages to government-approved townships — stating that Bedouins in the permanent townships “rank on the bottom of all social and economic indicators and suffer from the highest unemployment rates and income levels in Israel.”
B McKenna
Dumbarton

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Modern Money Theory contains answers to Indy

AT last! An article from someone who understands tax, currency and where money comes from (Indy Scotland could have a bright future — but it needs its own currency and a modern tax system, The National, August 3). I sincerely hope that there are people within the SNP who will read this and absorb the wisdom contained within it.

We don’t want to hear the usual questions during the next independence referendum such as ‘What currency will you use?’, ‘What about the deficit black hole?’ and the big lie ‘How will you pay for this?’ Prof Richard Murphy knows the answer to these questions because he knows about Modern Money Theory.

The Wikipedia entry on this subject is not too bad. Prof Murphy’s books are excellent as well.
Brian Stobie
By email

AS a layman I’ve always felt it was essential we had our own currency if we were to be truly independent. Professor Murphy shows why this is indeed so. I hope he can spell out how we go about setting up our own central bank and how much of the work needed can be done ahead of independence so that we have our own currency on day one. It’s vital we have the knowledge to be able to talk confidently to the doubters about this. I’m convinced the currency issue lost us the referendum. Don’t let that happen again.

Catriona Grigg
Embo

I HAVEN’T seen much support expressed for Carolyn Leckie’s suggestion that there be commitment to crowd-fund a constitution, though I would back this approach myself (July 31, The National, We need to be patient and most of all to listen). There have been some attempts but so far with little impact. Again there is a Nordic precedent with Iceland doing exactly that through Facebook and community meetings, the story being told in the film “Blueberry Soup”. Their Government didn’t back the eventual outcome though, so commitment would be important.

I do hope Kevin McKenna has widespread support for his exhortation that the Scottish Independence Convention takes the prime leadership role as we move forward (August 2, The SNP need to stop letting Ruth Davidson dictate when and where they can use the word independence). It also needs to become an organisation that we can “join”, or publicly identify with in some way, and have a national structure or at least a nationally representative board.

Inherent is his call for the SNP to assertively take back the indy debate from Ruth Davidson, et al. MacDiarmid comes to mind, “For we ha’e faith in Scotland’s hidden poo’ers, the present’s theirs, but a’ the past and future’s oors.”

John C Hutchison Fort William I WELCOME David Mundell’s intention to help boost the Scottish whisky industry as he has talks with the Scotch Whisky Association. Perhaps he could encourage this industry to be less parochial and take a leaf out of Tunnock’s foreign marketing strategy in burying their Scottish identity and re-branding Scotch whisky as a distinctly British product as, according to Boyd Tunnock, this name has more impact when selling to foreigners.

Harris Tweed, Stornoway Black Pudding, Caithness Glass and even Scottish Salmon would all benefit from being less parochial and enjoy wider fame if given a Great British makeover.

The Edinburgh Festival is clearly a name that few would recognise outwith the Royal Mile so a name change would see it recognised far and wide. The Great British Culture-Fest would resonate and attract tourists and performers from around the world.

James Mills Johnstone DOES the might of the Union know no bounds? Even in the National crossword we can find their influence! On Tuesday (August 1) 12 across was: Town official (6); Answer: Mayor (Of course some may say?). Met Fife’s Lord Provost Jim Leishman the day in Dunfermline glen and although he’s a Unionist he wid hae skelped ma lug if A`d cried him the mayor!

Wullie Oliphant Dalgety Bay I READ with some concern yesterday of the plans to create a motorsport heritage museum on the Rest and be Thankful. I live 10 miles from “The Rest” and use it regularly. Over recent years the A83 road at the Rest and be Thankful has become increasingly unstable and the Scottish Government has spent £millions on landslide prevention. Although expensive it is generally regarded as a temporary measure which has not always been effective as there have been several road closures in recent years at considerable cost to the economy.

The Rest is an area of outstanding beauty and I have several German and French friends who come regularly for both physical and spiritual renewal. It is also steeped in history. The A83 until 50 years ago was called the Great Western Military Road and was built to bring troops from Dumbarton Castle to the West Highlands, as military intelligence at the end of the 18th century indicated another Jacobite rising was imminent.

During the 19th century it took Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to Inveraray for a holiday with the Duke of Argyll. The old Military road in Glen Croe is now used as an emergency road when the A83 is closed by landslide. Building any sort of memorial to the motor car here must rank as worst idea of the year.

Alan Clayton Strachur