Somoud and her family have faced eviction, Israeli bulldozers, and now U.S. Congressmen that want to cut funding to the Palestinian Authority
Somoud, from al Hadidya / Reuters
Somoud is four years old. She is holding her sick sheep, waiting for it to be treated. Somoud was born into the Palestinian herding community of al Hadidya, one of the Bedouin groups eking out a living in the dusty Jordan Valley.
Israeli authorities ordered those in al Hadidya, including Somoud and 21 other children, to leave their home on June 21, 2010, claiming they were in a closed military zone. To date, this eviction hasn't occurred, but living in the Israeli-occupied territory is an uncertain proposition. There are now fewer than 100 people in al Hadidya, less than a quarter of those who called it home 14 years ago, following Israeli demolitions that destroyed 37 homes.
Some members of Congress, led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, are considering cutting aid to the Palestinian Authority, which uses the aid to support the Bedouins of al Hadidya, and others who are struggling to survive. The proposed cut would be in reaction to the Palestinian bid for statehood recognition at the UN, which the U.S. says it will veto. Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican from Florida, is preventing her House committee from considering approval of $192 million in humanitarian programs.
The Arab League on Sunday pleaded for Arab states to replace the U.S. aid.
The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg called the freeze "self-destructive." He wrote, "Those who would cut off the Authority's oxygen have to ask themselves: What will come next? A more agreeable Palestinian Authority government? Or chaos?"