But there is another issue I want to underscore. Unless you have driven from Jerusalem to Efrat to Tekoa, please don't whine about the conditions of the Palestinians, because what you will see on the drive I just mentioned, are fabulous homes all along the Palestinian territories, and the few Israeli outposts in the area have very very modest homes built with their own hands and that of their neighbors.To get an idea of what Cobb is writing about, take a look at Arab Mansions, a post by Shiloh Musings written back in March 2007.
It's very annoying and inaccurate that people who aren't familiar with the facts on the ground here in the Shomron, north of Jerusalem, Israel, have such a totally distorted view of things.Here are the pictures she took:
My neighbors and I live in small, modest homes. Yes, that's the truth. The large, enormous mansions north of Jerusalem all belong to Arabs. For the longest time, I had been thinking of trying to sell a photo-story showing those elegant structures. Then finally during Succot, I mentioned it to a neighbor who said that he'd love to drive around with me, while I took pictures. thanks ms! So we went off one day and were amazed at how many gorgeous mansions were between Shiloh and Jerusalem.
At the time, Jawa Report linked to the Shiloh Musings post and noted:
Not that I'm against Arabs living in mansions--I'm all for anybody living in as large a house as they can afford, restricted only by their conscience--but I do think this is a glaring example of both the media and Palestinian agitator hypocrisy. When was the last time you saw any images of Palestinians which weren't of "refugee camps" or of kids being "oppressed by Israel"?West Bank Mama linked to the post as well, and in the comments Israel Medad writes:
Pointing out the big, opulent Arab houses was always part of my “preliminary” Hasbara tour, bringing journalists and diplomats out to Shiloh during the 80s, but then Oslo came along and we stopped going through Ramallah where it was a lot easier to see these houses, especially at the southern entrance, along, what else, Palestine Street. In fact, during one of our “making-our-presence-felt” tours in 1989, we walked out of Psagot and down into Ramallah right through an entire neighborhood of houses three times bigger than I could ever afford to build (the rest of the walk we were dodging IDF soldiers who were informed of a bunch of crazy Jews walking through the town. We made it to the Mitzpah, a great archeological site, and half-way to Givat Ze’ev before they caught up with us leaving them with no alternative but to simply walk alongside us as there were no roads in that area to drive us out).And of course, not to be left out, in Gaza--there's the Aldeira Hotel
And the Roots Club:
Then again, maybe the members of the flotilla just want to try out Gaza's Olympic-size swimming pool
Gaza's first Olympic-standard swimming pool was inaugurated at the As-Sadaka club during a ceremony on Tuesday held by the Islamic Society.Good to know that Gaza--The World's Biggest Open Air Prison Camp™--is surviving.
Gaza government ministers, members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, leaders of Islamic and national governing bodies, as well as club members and athletes were among those at the opening ceremony, where Secretary-General of the Islamic Society Nasim Yaseen thanked the donors who helped realize the project. [emphasis added]
UPDATE: Here is a video of Ramallah in 2006: