The Tragedy of an Illegal Hothouse

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.

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