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Really awsome article on Palestinian children that played a violin concert at a Holocaust survivors center in Holon, Israel (city south of Tel Aviv).
Some good news of the day!

Blessings
Stephanie :)

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/26/world/middleeast/26jenin.html?_r=...
Palestinians Serenade Survivors in Israel

By ISABEL KERSHNER
Published: March 25, 2009
HOLON, Israel — For just over an hour on Wednesday, a club for elderly Holocaust survivors on a side street in this suburban town south of Tel Aviv came alive with an encounter of an extraordinary kind.

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The New York Times
Many Israelis see Jenin as the capital of suicide bombers.
A youth orchestra came to play for the elderly Israelis, a good turn that might pass in other countries as routine. In this case, though, the entertainers were Palestinians, a group of musicians 12 to 17 years old from the Jenin refugee camp, once a notorious hotbed of militancy and violence in the northern reaches of the West Bank.

Holocaust survivors and descendants of Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war would make bizarre companions at the best of times, but the Jenin camp strikes a particular note of discord.

The capital of suicide bombers to the Israelis and a symbol of resistance to the Palestinians, it was the scene of a bloody battle between advancing Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen in 2002. Four years later, a young Israeli man from Holon was killed in one of the last suicide attacks in Israel, when a Palestinian from Jenin blew himself up in a restaurant in Tel Aviv.

Adding to the dissonance, one of Jenin’s militant leaders in the second intifada was commonly known as Hitler, a nickname he had answered to since his teens.

Yet for a while on Wednesday, the politics of the conflict were put aside. The youths scratched at their violins and the Holocaust survivors clapped along, trying to keep up with the changing rhythms of the darbouka drums.

“We are here to play,” Wafaa Younis, 51, the Israeli Arab orchestra director, told the rapt audience. “I do not believe in politicians, only musicians and these children.”

Any potential awkwardness may have been dulled by the language barrier — other than Ms. Younis, the Palestinians spoke only Arabic; the survivors only Hebrew and their native European tongues. Each also appeared to have only the sketchiest knowledge about the other side.

Zehava Zelevski, 73, was born in Poland and came to Israel via camps in Germany for displaced people in 1948. Her three brothers were killed during the Second World War. Ms. Zelevski said she knew about the Jenin camp from television and the newspapers, remembering that “all the terrorism came from there.”

One of the young musicians, Qusai Samur, 17, looked blank when asked about the Holocaust. He said he knew only what somebody here had told him — that these people lived alone as children because their parents had been killed.

The event, at the Amcha Center, was organized as part of Israel’s annual Good Deeds Day, an initiative of Shari Arison, a prominent Israeli-American businesswoman and immensely wealthy heiress.

Ms. Arison said in an interview before the concert that she came up with the idea for Good Deeds Day while taking a walk a few years ago. Anybody, whether rich or poor, can help a blind person cross a street, cheer someone up with a smile or help with someone’s shopping bags, she said.

Most of the day’s events are organized by Ruach Tova, an organization of the Arison Group that couples nonprofit groups with volunteers.

Ms. Younis, the orchestra director, had told Ruach Tova that she wanted to bring the Jenin camp youth orchestra, Strings of Freedom, to perform in Israel. Ruach Tova made the match with Amcha, an Israeli association that provides Holocaust survivors with emotional and social support.

The first item in the short concert was a specially composed Arabic song, “We Pray for Peace.” The youths performed it standing, with the seriousness of a funeral dirge. Things livened up a little once the darboukas came out. Ms. Arison, who attended the well-publicized event, was invited to dance.

By the end, it was hard to tell who had done the good deed for whom.

After the concert, Ms. Zelevski, the survivor, said she was “surprised” and “very excited,” seeing things were possible “not by war.” Debating the rights and wrongs of the conflict among themselves, some of the elderly Israelis commented that the Palestinian musicians were “only children” and were not to blame.

The young Palestinians, on a rare trip out of the West Bank, were all smiles. They had performed three times before in the Israeli port city of Haifa, but this was the closest they had come to the Israeli cultural metropolis of Tel Aviv.

Soon, a staff member from the Amcha Center politely asked the orchestra and attendant journalists to vacate the small hall. It was time for the survivors’ exercise class.

Outside, some of the elderly Israelis and the young Palestinians mingled, trying their best to interact.

Ms. Younis, a feisty retired music teacher, appealed for support. She said that an Israeli playwright, Dan Almagor, had donated violins for the Jenin youths, and that the Mormon University in Jerusalem had given other instruments and equipment, but that the orchestra needed more.

“Israel should give them violins,” she said. “We take the pain out of people’s hearts.”

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Here is an article from the associated press with pictures
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_ISRAEL_SINGING_COEXISTENC...
Ms Chase:

So Sorry to burst your bubble.

Palestinian youth orchestra disbanded over concert for Holocaust survivors
By The Associated Press

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.

He added that Younis has been barred from the camp and the apartment where she taught the 13-member Strings of Freedom orchestra has been boarded up.
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"She exploited the children," said Hindi, the head of the camp's popular committee, which takes on municipal duties. "She will be forbidden from doing any activities...We have to protect our children and our community."

The move highlights the sensitivity of many Palestinians over acknowledging Jewish suffering, fearing it would weaken their own historical grievances against Israel.

"The Holocaust happened, but we are facing a similar massacre by the Jews themselves," Hindi said. "We lost our land, and we were forced to flee and we've lived in refugee camps for the past 50 years."

Six million Jews were killed in the Nazi Holocaust of World War II, and hundreds of thousands of Jewish survivors emigrated to Israel after the war.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians either fled or were expelled from their homes in the war that followed Israel's creation - an event known by Palestinians as their Naqba, or catastrophe.

Kaynan Rabino, director of Ruach Tova, or Good Spirit, the charity that organized the event, said he was disappointed to hear about the reaction in Jenin.

"They approached us and volunteered to play. Wafa knew the orchestra would play before Holocaust survivors," he said. "We wanted to bring people's hearts closer together and if they are against that then that's a real shame."

Hindi said Palestinians - especially in his hardscrabble cinder block refugee camp - had suffered at the hands of Israel and demanded their grievances be acknowledged first.

The refugee camp in the northern West Bank was the scene of a deadly April 2002 battle where 23 Israeli soldiers were killed, alongside 53 Palestinian militants and civilians, in several days of battle. The clash destroyed swathes of the refugee camp.

The camp's residents are descendants of Palestinians who were displaced during Israel's war of independence.

The youths, aged 11 to 18, of the modest orchestra performed a goodwill concert for elderly survivors in the Israeli town of Holon Wednesday.

The event, held at the Holocaust Survivors Center in the central Israeli town, was part of Good Deeds Day, an annual event run by an organization connected to billionaire Shari Arison, Israel's richest woman.

Hindi said the children's parents were not aware that the orchestra would play for Holocaust survivors.

Younis was not immediately available for comment Sunday. But as the controversy erupted over the weekend, she said Saturday that her intention was purely to perform music. "We didn't do anything wrong," she said.

At last Wednesday's performance, most of the Holocaust survivors did not know the youths were Palestinians from the West Bank, a rare sight in Israel these days. And the youths had no idea they were performing for people who lived through Nazi genocide - or even what the Holocaust was.
Who is/was the doctor of Gaza?
I would be really interested in hearing more about him.
In a sense, I understand that Hindi was irritated with the children playing for Holocaust survivors, maybe since it was the Palestinians doing the work/deed for this event. For someone who has lived under occupation all of their life, they may feel that they do not owe anything to the oppressor/occupier (And I can totally sympathize with him).
But maybe Israeli youth orchestras could go to the Jenin refugee camp, and play a concert for the people there as well?
I just adore peace

so I ask myself is burst some else bubble is productive approach.

I would think that Adnan Hindi is the one who fight the emergence of cooperation and understanding between Israelis and Palestinians.

Outside, some of the elderly Israelis and the young Palestinians mingled, trying their best to interact.

Ms. Younis, a feisty retired music teacher, appealed for support. She said that an Israeli playwright, Dan Almagor, had donated violins for the Jenin youths, and that the Mormon University in Jerusalem had given other instruments and equipment, but that the orchestra needed more.

“Israel should give them violins,” she said. “We take the pain out of people’s hearts.”
Mr Neri:

Where in solar universe you come from? You read what I read and you not understand what is said.

Younis was not immediately available for comment Sunday. But as the controversy erupted over the weekend, she said Saturday that her intention was purely to perform music. "We didn't do anything wrong," she said.

At last Wednesday's performance, most of the Holocaust survivors did not know the youths were Palestinians from the West Bank, a rare sight in Israel these days. And the youths had no idea they were performing for people who lived through Nazi genocide - or even what the Holocaust was.
Neri and Basil.

The attack dogs come out very early I see.News not good for you?
No,

as sad as it is, we are in complex situation, we question your excitement to show that there is no progress and such effort of people to connect fail seem as you think progress cannot be done.

what do you think is the way to create change here? Ms. Younis, or Mr. Hindi's?
Do you think that the PA are doing the right thing?
Neri

Nothing complex with situation. Ms Yunis backtracked already she said Saturday that her intention was purely to perform music. "We didn't do anything wrong," she said.

You know Neri, problem is reality means nothing to people in this place. You show Israelis why Left and Peacemakers not solution but actually problem.

You want peace , make sure that you sober about situation and not live in some kind of utopia. I interested in hearing your utopia and peace.
Solly,

I do not know how sober you are.

because what is wrong with Palestinians who play violin donated by Israelis?
why you fail to recognize some beauty in it?

Do you think you know how to support change toward peace? can you share that with us?
Hi Solly: anything constructive to propose? I am willing to learn!
Ms Rivka.
Nothing constructive bringing hope where no hope exists. I said to Neri.You want peace , make sure that you sober about situation and not live in some kind of utopia. I interested in hearing your utopia and peace.

I wait for two of you to propose constructive. I learned the hard way now I prepared to listen even to you and Neri.
O.K. Solly here is a constructive approach

the social level of the region, simple people without "role" in government want this conflict to end, they wish to raise their children in a decent way and this is the biggest pro-peace body exist.

Some of them start this Violin idea, others go to demonstrations and most of the do nothing because theu have real life and real problems to address.

So this events as Palestinian kids play for holocaust survivors has some message of hope and recognition that we are all one body of humans, that as the Jews has their problem Arab has theirs and at the bottom of it it is all human phenomena.


So constructive is to avoid cynicism and aggression, and if you have another info about the event, bring it in, but not for proving that a member is wrong, just add your knowledge as your input is relevant and the picture is more complex then what you brought and what Stephanie Chase brought.

Can you see it as productive?

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