Last night on one of the Arabic TV channels a Palestinian was talking about the Shu'fat refugee camp located a few miles outside of Jerusalem. He described it as "Jerusalem's largest Palestinian refugee camp", to emphasize his point that Shu'fat's slum-like conditions are the fault of Israel.
Last December I visited Shu'fat. He's right; it's not a place I'd like to live and I feel sorry for the people who do, especially the children. But I have a problem with his blaming it all on Israel. Shu'fat is no worse than Dar As-Salam in Cairo, or the slums of Casablanca. This is how poor Arabs live everywhere. In Gaza and the West Bank they blame it on the Israelis. Who do they blame in Egypt and Morocco?
Speaking of Casablanca, I once accidentally got on a bus there filled with French tourists being taken around the city. One of the tourists asked the tour guide, "Are there slums here in Casablanca?" His proud reply was, "Non, il n'y a pas de bidonvilles ici a Casa." (Absolutely not!). Along the entire length of the street was a high concrete wall. I knew that just behind that wall was a slum as bad as you'll see anywhere in the world. But in typical Arab tradition, the unpleasant is hidden from view and can easily be denied.