On Clowns and Illegal Hothouses


I know I promised to pontificate on this week’s UN World Conference on Racism in Geneva, but I don’t know that I have anything to add that hasn’t already been said about this particular circus. (And I mean this literally – see above.)  For what it’s worth, I found Cecilie Surasky’s dispatches for Muzzlewatch to be the most incisive and helpful reporting on conference doings.

On a completely unrelated topic, I noticed this small news piece in yesterday’s Ha’aretz:

Five Border Policemen were wounded on Thursday in a clash with hundreds of residents of the Israeli Arab town of Kafr Qasem.

The violence broke out when security forces arrived to demolish a concrete surface upon which a hothouse was due to be built illegally. They were met at the scene by about 400 Kfar Kassem residents who had turned out to protest the move.

I suppose its just a minor news story in the scheme of things – still, it did remind me that the media’s impact is often less powerful for what it says than for what it leaves out. In this case, that would be the fact that almost all new building in Israeli Arab villages is technically “illegal” since Israel has made it virtually impossible for its Arab citizens to receive building permits.

From a New Israel Fund report:

There is a lack of planning for Arab neighborhoods and towns that has led to ongoing difficulties in obtaining building permits, and as a result, the demolishing of illegal buildings in the Arab sector. Since 1948, almost no Arab neighborhood or town has legally been permitted to expand.

Also left out of the article is any mention of this particular village’s  tragic history – and why a demolished hothouse is really just the latest chapter for the citizens of Kafr Kassem. Click here to learn more.

3 thoughts on “On Clowns and Illegal Hothouses

  1. Rabbi Brant Rosen Post author

    Myths and Facts?!! Just about the most simplistic analysis of the Israel-Palestinian conflict you’ll ever find. (In college we used to call it “Myths and More Myths.” )

    I notice that Bard has nothing to say about the Kafr Kassem massacre. I guess even he would have to admit that the truth of it is beyond dispute.

  2. Ann H.

    I actually wasn’t disputing your information on Kafr Kassem. I was merely complimenting you on your use of the Jewish Virtual Library, whose executive director is Mitchell G. Bard, the author of Myths and Facts.


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