Article of the day, by Abraham Cooper, Harold Brackman

Posted: April 8, 2009 by Jonathan Boyko in Israel, Palestinians

A great op-ed, published by Ynet, discusses the recent disbandment of a Jenin youth orchestra, members of which played for Holocaust survivors in Israeli city of Holon, and whose conductor was banned from Palestinian Autonomy: Real roadblocks to peace:

As the international community draws up its list of demands for the Right-leaning Netanyahu government to prove “it’s serious about making peace,” they should also give this one to PA President Abbas — “re-instate the Strings of Peace Orchestra.” For the question of the fate of this ensemble will reveal more about the future of the Middle East than any speech or position paper.

Last week, 13 Palestinians, ages 11 to 18, belonging to the Strings of Freedom Orchestra took a brief journey from a West Bank refugee camp in Jenin. Their trip brought them to Holon, Israel to perform a “Good Deeds” concert honoring 30 Holocaust Survivors. “We Sing for Peace,” was performed in Arabic and audience members reciprocated with an impromptu Hebrew song.

Is it too much to expect a word of protest from Jimmy Carter, the Mideast Quartet, or The European Union? How about a resolution from UNESCO (E = Education, C = Culture)? Might we hear a note of solidarity from the London Philharmonic or music icons and activists Annie Lenox or Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens)?

And what of the thousands of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that constitute the vanguard of international “civil society” or the distinguished academics chairing well-endowed chairs in Middle East or Peace Studies?

Cooper and Brackman are obviously right. Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch were silent on this one. Apparently, only Israel can violate human rights.


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