Palestinian youth orchestra closed down after performance for Holocaust survivors

Posted on: March 31, 2009

A Monday (3/30) Associated Press report by Diaa Hadid and Ben Hubbard states, “Authorities in an impoverished Palestinian refugee camp have shut down a youth orchestra, boarded up its rehearsal studio and banned its conductor from the camp after she took 13 young musicians to perform for Holocaust survivors in Israel, an official said Sunday. Conductor Wafa Younes took the children from her Strings of Freedom orchestra to sing songs of peace last week as part of an annual Good Deeds Day organized by Israel’s richest woman. But once parents and leaders back in West Bank’s Jenin refugee camp realized where the group had been, they shut down the program, saying Younes had dragged the children into a political issue. The discord highlights both the distrust many Palestinians have of any engagement with Israel, as well as their reluctance to acknowledge Jewish historical suffering because of concerns that it weakens their own claim to this disputed land. … More than 700,000 Palestinians either fled or were expelled from their homes in the war that followed Israel’s creation, an event Arabs call the Naqba, or catastrophe. Many of their descendants still live in refugee camps like Jenin.”

Posted March 31, 2009