Sunday, March 29, 2009

Palestinians Punish Youth Orchestra - For Playing In Front Of Holocaust Survivors

For any of you who still don't understand why the vision of a two state solution, with a `democratic Palestinian state living in peace next to Israel' is a fantasy, this story from the AP might just open your eyes a bit.

The American Jewish Committee and Israeli heiress Shari Arison, Israel's wealthiest woman had funded a group called Strings of Freedom, a small Palestinian youth orchestra based in Jenin led and taught by conductor Wafa Younis, an Israeli Arab living in Israel.

Today it was disbanded, Younis has been barred from entering Jenin and the small studio where she taught the 13-member Strings of Freedom orchestra has been boarded up.

Their crime? They played a concert for elderly Holocaust survivors in Holon, Israel:

Adnan Hindi of the Jenin camp called the Holocaust a "political issue" and accused the orchestra's conductor of unfairly dragging the children into a politics.

The dispute underscores Palestinian sensitivities over acknowledging Jewish suffering, which many fear could weaken their own historical grievances against Israel. Ignorance and even denial of the Holocaust is widespread in Palestinian society.

At last Wednesday's concert in Holon, most of the Holocaust survivors did not know the youths were Palestinians from the West Bank, a rare sight in Israel these days. And the youths, who range in age from 11 to 18, had no idea they were performing for people who lived through Nazi genocide — or even what the Holocaust was.{...}

"She exploited the children," said Hindi, the head of the camp's "popular committee," which takes on municipal duties. "She will be forbidden from doing any activities ... We have to protect our children and our community."

"The Holocaust happened, but we are facing a similar massacre by the Jews themselves," Hindi said. "We lost our land, and we were forced to flee and we've lived in refugee camps for the past 50 years."

Yes, I'm sure all of you have noticed the Palestinians being rounded up and herded into gas chambers, or shot and tossed into mass graves. And of course, you've noticed every single Palestinian, man, woman and child forcibly loaded into boxcars by the Israelis and sent to camps behind barbed wire.

And of course, none of the Palestinians left voluntarily, taking those famous house keys with them and waiting for their Arab brothers to massacre the Jews. Right?

Sarcasm aside, people like Mr. Hindi have no idea what a real genocide looks, feels and smells like. The closest they've ever come is at the hands of their Arab brothers, like King Hussein of Jordan during Black September, or the Kuwaitis after the first Gulf War.
Younis, the conductor, denied the issue was political, saying camp officials wanted to take over the orchestra to get its funding.

"They want to destroy this group. It's a shame, it's a tragedy. What did these poor, elderly people do wrong? What did these children do wrong?" she said

While I'm certain Ms. Younis knows the answer, I'll provide it here. In the eyes of the 'moderate' terrorists of Fatah, with whom Adnan Hindi is affiliated, what those elderly Jews did wrong was to simply survive. They thus provide a living human witness to the lie that Fatah apparatchniks like Hindi have been indoctrinating the masses under their control with since the days of St. Arafat - that the Israelis are 'nazis' and the treatment of Palestinian Arabs and Jews during the Holocaust was the same, an important step in deligitimizing and isolating Israel.

What the children did wrong, and why Ms. Younis has been barred from further contact with them is because such interaction between Israelis and Palestinians messes with the programming these kids have received since they were old enough to go to school, to the mosque, listen to the media or attend one of those infamous Palestinian 'summer camps' .

You see, to live in peace next to someone, you have to acknowledge their humanity and educate your people for peace. On the other hand, if you're merely biding your time until your enemy is sufficiently weakened and worn down that the jihad has a better chance of success, you use whatever propaganda tools you have at your disposal to demonize and dehumanize your enemy to your populace, take whatever concessions your enemy foolishly grants you and wait for the right time to strike.

This unfortunate story is just a window into a far more important truth.

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