Above all, make sure the children suffer.
Posted by sanityinjection on March 31, 2009
The latest idiocy to come out of the Middle East reaches us from ABC News. It’s the story of Wafa Younis. Ms. Younis is an Israeli Arab who three years ago established a youth orchestra called “Strings of Freedom” in a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin. So far, so good.
Then last week, Ms. Younis brought her orchestra of Palestinian youths to Israel to perform before an audience of Holocaust survivors. Also good, right?
Apparently not. Certain Palestinians, including residents of the refugee camp, have a problem with this because they refuse to acknowledge the Holocaust as long as Israel continues to oppress their own people, and it seems that some of the youths’ parents complained they were not fully informed of the nature of the performance.
So for starters, Ms. Younis is not being allowed back into the camp to lead her orchestra – allegedly for her own safety. That lie is exposed by the fact the orchestra’s rehearsal studio has been boarded up and the instruments confiscated by camp authorities.
Only in the Middle East would an orchestra performance be considered a crime. Of course the ones who suffer are the children, who had no idea they were doing anything “wrong” and now will no longer get to play their instruments. Orchestral conductors are not exactly floating around the West Bank so it will be hard to find a replacement for Ms. Younis, and that is bad news for kids who don’t have many opportunities available to them.
I fail to understand any ideology that forces its own people, and particularly its children, to suffer for what it considers to be the crimes of others. Leadership of that sort is a curse on the Palestinian people that goes far beyond anything the Israelis are doing to them.
As far as I am concerned, Wafa Younis is a humanitarian and a hero who should be honored by both Israelis and Palestinians. But that would be a different world than the one we, and the children of the Jenin refugee camp, live in.