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Monday, March 30, 2009

Strings of Peace

On page 9 of today's RTD there's a sad little article of an event that could have provided hope in a land of sorrow. This isn't about who is right or wrong or politics, it's about a chance that could have been that backfired.

The story began when the Conductor, Wafa Younes brought her 13 young musicians from Jenin on the West Bank to Isreal to perform before Holocaust survivors. The hitch was she did not tell the children or parents what she was doing. All hell broke loose in Jenin. Historical grievances and present day politics aside, this would be like a grade school teacher taking the youth choir to Mexico for the day with out permission from anyone. She'd be suspended and fired in a heartbeat. Adding the realities of occupation, it's hard to blame the authorities from cracking down and parents from being outraged, but they have gone a step farther. They have shut down the program and fired the flames of holocaust denial. A step that could have, if handled correctly, brought enemy and stranger together has become a wedge driving them further apart. One can only hope that cooler heads will prevail and the breach will be mended, if only a little, but cooler heads seldom prevail in Palestine and Israel.

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