Feature

A Palestinian orchestra's demise

The angry official reaction to a youth orchestra's concert for Holocaust survivors

No good deed goes unpunished, said Martin Fletcher in MSNBC. Wafaa Younis, a Palestinian Arab, tries to help Palestinian children in the West Bank's Jenin refugee camp, getting boys to “put down their stones and learn the violin.” But when she took her youth orchestra to play for Holocaust survivors near Tel Aviv—for Israel‘s “Good Deeds Day”—Palestinian officials disbanded the orchestra.

“Shame on us a thousand times!” said Khalid Amayreh in Palestine Think Tank. Not for shutting the orchestra—for letting these innocent young Palestinians be “duped to sing and play music to their oppressors and child-killers.” This is at least as demoralizing and insulting as when Jews were forced to play music to SS and Gestapo soldiers during World War II.

There’s good reason for Palestinian leaders to be upset, said Marisol Seibold in Jihad Watch. The concert put 13 Palestinian musicians— ages 12 to 17—in direct contact with people who lived through real genocide, which would tend to make it harder to despise them and see their country, Israel, as evil. “Nothing throws a wrench in the works of indoctrination like contact with actual Holocaust survivors.”

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