Sunday, March 29, 2009


Palestinians can be narrow minded embittered self righteous and self defeating too.

I previously reported on a really nice story about a Palestinian youth orchestra that played at an old folks center in Israel for aged Holocaust survivors. The encounter had been one meant to build good will, and it brought together two communities that hardly know each other. Each group ended up learning something about the other.

A nice heart warming story? Right?

Well not to the leadership of the Jenin refugee camp. In reaction they have disbanded the orchestra, and barred its Israeli Arab director from entering the camp.
Adnan Hindi of the Jenin camp called the Holocaust a political issue and accused conductor Wafa Younis of unknowingly dragging the children into a political dispute.

He added that Younis has been barred from the camp and the apartment where she taught the 13-member Strings of Freedom orchestra has been boarded up.

"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 move highlights the sensitivity of many Palestinians over acknowledging Jewish suffering, fearing it would weaken their own historical grievances against Israel.

"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."

...Hindi said Palestinians - especially in his hardscrabble cinder block refugee camp - had suffered at the hands of Israel and demanded their grievances be acknowledged first.

The refugee camp in the northern West Bank was the scene of a deadly April 2002 battle where 23 Israeli soldiers were killed, alongside 53 Palestinian militants and civilians, in several days of battle. The clash destroyed swathes of the refugee camp.

The camp's residents are descendants of Palestinians who were displaced during Israel's war of independence.

source - Haaretz
The orchestra was formed to help Palestinian youth from the Jenin camp get over the trauma of the trauma of the 2002 battle in the camp.

Wafa Younis, the now banned director of the orchestra was quoted as saying: "We didn't do anything wrong."

Indeed. In a game of who can be more stubborn and self righteous the Palestinians will lose. We Jews have had more practice. The orchestra's playing to the Holocaust survivors probably did more to convince Israelis to withdraw from the West Bank than a dozen suicide bombers. Mr Hindi plays into the hands of Israeli hardliners, just as Hamas helps boost the Likud and its allies. And this not to mention the disappointment he has has caused to children of his own community who he claims he "must protect."


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