Palestinian ‘activists’ sabotage efforts to overcome divisions

This is really interesting because it illustrates one of the reasons that there will not be peace between Israel and the Palestinians any time soon:

PA dismantles W. Bank youth orchestra
Khaled abu Toameh and AP

Palestinian authorities disbanded a youth orchestra from a West Bank refugee camp after it played for a group of Holocaust survivors in Israel, a local official said on Sunday.

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…

The 13 Palestinian musicians, aged 11 to 18, are members of the Palestinian orchestra Strings of Freedom that is based in the refugee camp. The concert was held at the Holocaust Survivors’ Center as part of “Good Deeds Day,” an annual event organized by an organization belonging to Israeli billionaire Shari Arison…

Hindi … said that the participation of the children in the concert was a “dangerous matter” because it was directed against the cultural and national identity of the Palestinians.

He accused “suspicious elements” of being behind the Holon event, saying they were seeking to “impact the national culture of the young generation and cast doubt about the heroism and resistance of the residents of the camp during the Israeli invasion in April 2002…”

Ramzi Fayad, a spokesman for various political factions in the Jenin refugee camp, also condemned the participation of the teenagers in the Holocaust event, saying all the groups were strongly opposed to any form of normalization with Israel. “There can be no normalization while Israel is continuing to perpetrate massacres against our people,” he said.

Leaflets distributed in the Jenin area over the weekend also attacked the event and accused the organizers of exploiting the children. The leaflets also warned the Palestinians against participating in similar events in the future. — Jerusalem Post [my emphasis]

So in other words, anything which might teach Palestinian children that Israelis are humans too,  or that it’s possible to find common ground with them about anything, even music, is forbidden. Palestinian “cultural and national identity” means support for “heroism and resistance”, that is, continued terrorist war against Israel. And they are ‘warned’ not to try it again.

This is reminiscent of what happened in 2007 when the One Voice Movement — a naive but sincere group founded by Daniel Lubetzky dedicated to bringing about peace by grass-roots contact between Israelis and Palestinians — tried to hold simultaneous ‘peace concerts’ in Tel Aviv and Jericho. The concert in Jericho was canceled after Palestinian ‘activists’ threatened violence. Here’s the poitical rationale (enforced, as always, by the young men with guns):

According to the widely accepted boycott criteria advocated by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), the event falls under the category of normalization projects and violates the call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS), endorsed by over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations, trade unions, political parties, and grassroots movements, for the following reasons:

  1. Participants are required to join the One Voice Movement and sign a mandate — ostensibly based on a “two-state solution,” but without any commitment to international parameters — which assumes equal responsibility of “both sides” for the “conflict,” and suspiciously fails to call for Israel’s full compliance with its obligations under international law through ending its illegal military occupation, its denial of Palestinian refugee rights (particularly the right of return), and its system of racial discrimination against its own Palestinian citizens.

  2. The event is sponsored by Israeli institutions (mostly from the private sector) and endorsed by mainstream Israeli political figures from parties including the Likud, Labour and Shas. These Israeli “partners” are unquestionably complicit in maintaining Israel’s occupation and other forms of oppression.

So much for grassroots efforts on behalf of peace.

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One Response to “Palestinian ‘activists’ sabotage efforts to overcome divisions”

  1. ME says:

    It seems like the second reason for boycott by PACBI in the One Voice instance places both sides at an impasse, since the Palestinians could not feasibly sponsor such an event, so those that can did (try) and should do so.

    Dismantling the W. Bank Youth Orchestra on the basis of political issue presupposes a political agenda on behalf of all members of the orchestra. It seems clear that playing musical instruments was the primary causal relationship between the group and the event. Those ochestra members were unduly burdened with the dismantling of their group by some broader political objectives that were not clearly part of the orchestra’s intended purpose for performing.

    There are a lot of fallacies going on in the blog instances huh?