What’s it really like to live in the Palestinian village of Beit-Ur al-Fauqa, where Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s elderly grandmother and other family members live? Are conditions there as bad as she has claimed?
If you look at the Facebook profiles of people who actually live there, you’ll discover that things are actually not so bad at all.
Achiam Tlaib, for example, drives a brand-new BMW. On his Facebook account, you can see that his family lives in a very comfortable three-story building.
Raja Tlaib shared on his Facebook account pictures of himself posing next to his new Mercedes, wearing an expensive suit. He also has pictures showing him working out in a gym that has the latest equipment.
Mawaid Tlaib uploaded pictures of his vacations in Italy and other places, and Anas Tlaib has a very expensive Mercedes.
Samach Tlaib drives a BMW, and Niaf Tlaib drives a Corvette convertible and uploaded pictures posing next to his new home under construction, also three-stories high.
Many of them also post pictures showing them visiting places inside the Green Line (pre-1967 Israel): Jaffa, Akko, Tel Aviv and so on. So perhaps all those checkpoints that supposedly make Palestinian life so miserable are just a myth?
In fact, even the World Bank said in 2014 that the village is one of the richest in the region. The poverty rate in the village stood at 7.4 percent in 2014, compared to the overall rate of 21 percent in the Palestinian Authority.
Only a handful of villages have a lower poverty rate in the P.A., and employment in the village is also among the lowest in the P.A. But perhaps the most important statistic is this: The rate of social mobility in Beit-Ur al-Fauqa is among the highest in the P.A.
According to a 2017 P.A. report on the quality of life of Palestinians, the village has 230 households. The report says that 215 structures are considered private residences, and four of them are actually single-family homes, attesting to their wealth.
More than 115 of the households are in apartments that have five bedrooms or more, and 65 of the households have four bedrooms.
And, of course, all the structures are privately owned. According to the report, almost every home has satellite TV, and most have LCD screens in their living rooms. Almost everyone in the village has access to the Internet and a mobile phone. Half of the families own a car.
Is everything perfect? No, and the security situation in Judea and Samaria obviously has its drawbacks. The checkpoints placed by the Israel Defense Forces to prevent terrorist attacks mean that the population’s potential is not fully tapped.
But if this is what occupation looks like, perhaps Tlaib and her radical friends got it all wrong.
Akiva Bigman writes for Israel Hayom.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.