A documentary film by Lipika Pelham about Shlomo Lecker, lawyer for the Jahalin.
Israel says that it is planning to remove and relocate 2300 Bedouins from the Judean desert, east of Jerusalem.
The plan will eventually evacuate an estimated 27,500 Bedouins living in the West Bank, which Israel occupied in 1967. They were displaced from the southern Negev desert around 1950 shortly after the creation of Israel. In what’s seen as a gradual process since the 1970s, state-sponsored Jewish settlements mushroomed up all along the desert, limiting the Bedouins’ nomadic way of life. Over the past four decades they were pushed down the valley close to a hazardous highway while Jewish settlements and outposts dotted the Judean hilltops. The Bedouin shacks are routinely demolished by the Israeli Civil Administration on the grounds that they are built without (impossible to get) ‘building permits’.
Shlomo Lecker is an Israeli lawyer who defies all stereotypes. He is a Jew who fights for the Arab Bedouins. He is an Israeli who challenges the Israeli judiciary. The film explores Lecker’s personal relationship with his clients – the lone Israeli who claims that he has a Bedouin soul. The twist in the story and the interesting polarities of his character are revealed when the director confronts him in his house – formerly abandoned by Palestinian refugees in 1948.
‘Land for the Nomads’ narratively observes issues that are between the personal and the national, the modern and the traditional, the exotic and the familiar, with irony and humor that make the film accessible to a wider audience.