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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Violence, not violins

At the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web, James Taranto has an incisive comment on the shuttering of that 'Palestinian' orchestra that played for a group of Holocaust survivors last week.

The Associated Press makes vague references to "authorities" and "a community leader," but you have to go to Israel's Arutz Sheva to learn that these leaders are affiliated with the Palestinian Authority and Fatah, the "moderate" faction of Mahmoud Abbas [you could have come to me, James. CiJ].

At one level, this is a comical story. As anti-Israel gestures go, it's hard to imagine one more futile. The orchestra's audience, after all, consisted of people who survived Nazi death camps. No doubt they will survive this indignity. (As for Younes, she lives in an Arab village within Israel, so her banishment isolates Jenin, not her.) Yet there are real victims in this incident--namely, the 13 youngsters who are being deprived of what one surmises is a rare opportunity to engage in a beautiful and elevating activity.

Hindi's comment that Younes "exploited the children for a big political issue" is especially risible given the Palestinian political culture that glorifies so-called martyrdom--that literally sacrifices its children by using them as suicide bombers and human shields.

Yet while using children as instruments of war is far more depraved than forbidding them to play instruments for peace, in purely practical terms the latter is more senseless. Shutting down Younes's orchestra terrorizes no Israeli and inspires no one's sympathy for the Palestinian cause. It accomplishes nothing except to make the Palestinians look both malevolent and weak.

In foreign-policy circles, there is an idea--to which the Obama administration seems more sympathetic than the Bush administration was--that if the U.S. puts enough pressure on Jerusalem, it can bring about peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This idea is often presented under the rubric of "realism." The story of Wafa Younes and her youth orchestra is a timely reminder that Palestinian intransigence is the biggest obstacle to peace, and that this so-called realism is anything but.

Keep telling them that, James. Maybe one day those 'foreign-policy circles will even listen.


At 6:17 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I doubt that, Carl. Awhile back, I observed that anti-Semitism cannot be explained or understood. Its useless to try. In that respect, the more things change, the more they remain the same. And that's true about the Palestinians real view of Israel - or of those who don't want to get it to whitewash or dismiss their significance.

At 9:07 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Sikander Hayat, the Muslim World has no problem with backing a mass murder of Muslims like the Sudan's Omar Bashir. When Muslims kill Muslims that's in the family, so to speak.

But when Israel seeks to defend her people from armed terrorists trying to destroy her and who aim to kill as many Jews as possible, that is considered a high crime. When Israel left Gaza at a tremendous cost, she hoped the Palestinians would choose peace and to build a life for themselves. They chose war and immersed themselves in a culture that loves death. And for that and what has followed, is not the result of anything that Israel has done. Israel's friends in the Muslim World, such that there are, should use their influence to bring about a lasting change in Palestinian behavior to avert further bloodshed that would benefit no one - if they are truly interested in helping to advance peace in the Middle East.


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