They had not engaged in any rock or bomb throwing nor had they marched with ominously covered faces chanting “Death to the Jews, Death to America.” Instead, some time last week, thirteen young Palestinians, ages 11-18, members of the “Strings of Freedom” orchestra, conducted by Wafa Younis, played music for elderly Jewish Holocaust survivors in Holon. They came armed, not with guns, but with musical instruments.
By yesterday, Palestinian authorities on the allegedly “moderate” West Bank, in the Jenin Refugee camp, had disbanded the orchestra and accused Wafa Younis of inappropriately involving the children in a dangerous “political issue.”
Younis is an Israeli Arab. This means that she is also a “Palestinian,” but, like 1. 2 million other such “Palestinians,” she is an Israeli citizen who is not voluntarily leaving Israel for either the West Bank or Gaza. For her “crime,” Younis was barred from the refugee camp. The apartment where she conducted her little orchestra is now boarded up.
Younis had not held the children hostage at gunpoint nor had she used them as human shields in the midst of a battle. She had not taught them that Israelis are “Nazis,” who are wantonly massacring the Palestinians. However, by allowing them to play for elderly Jewish Holocaust survivors she taught the musicians that the Holocaust did happen to Jews and that Jews, even Israeli Jews, are human beings, worthy of listening to music. Worse: Younis had allowed her charges to participate in a “Good Deeds Day,” an event which involved Jews and which had been funded by Israelis.
When a Palestinian attempts to teach Palestinian children the ways of peace, the concept that all people, including Jews, share a common humanity, that is seen as a dangerous act of insurrection. I am glad, that Younis is still alive.
Israelis and Jews from around the world have funded so many peace initiatives; have prided themselves on providing quality medical care to Palestinians, even to those who have been wounded while battling the Jewish state. The Jewish dollar has brought young Jews and their Palestinian counterparts together in a variety of global settings, in order to help the coming generations make friends across battle lines, in the belief that they will make peace when they are grown.
The Saudis do not do this nor do al-Qaeda, the Taliban, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Hamas, Fatah, the Palestinian Authority, or the warlords of Jenin.
Here is one Palestinian/Israeli Arab woman who led her people to behave with humanity towards their perceived enemy, and what was her immediate fate? She was condemned, shamed, barred from the Jenin refugee camp, and had her apartment boarded up. Listen to the language in which Younis has been condemned:
“Adnan al-Hinda, director of the Popular Committee for Services in the Jenin refugee camp, 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.””
In other words, there is only one God and Mohammed is his prophet. There is only one path, not many, that path is jihad unto victory, not a peaceful path. Here is how Younis’s crime is being explained to the Palestinian people.
“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.”
Is exploiting the children suddenly an issue for those who specialize in hiding behind women and children precisely in the hope that if the Israelis accidentally kill such civilian-hostages that the propaganda and funding gains to the Palestinian terrorists are worth the sacrifice? But, there you have it: The allegedly “moderate” Palestinians, (“moderate” because they are not Hamas leaders), also do not believe that Palestinians should behave as if Jews are human beings, should not extend a musical olive branch, not even to elderly Jewish Holocaust survivors.
Or, is there more? Yes, there is. Although the children played Arabic songs, Younis did the unthinkable: She “dedicated a song to kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.”
This is more than most Israeli leftists have ever done. It’s probably more than what the International Red Cross has ever done on his behalf. (Islamist terrorists have not allowed them to visit Schalit).
Hundreds, nay thousands of Jews around the world have marched and chanted for the “victims” in Gaza and “Palestine;” they’ve massively disrupted any speaker who might have a kind word to say about Israel. The entire international community has funded terrorism against the Jewish state through its funding of UNWRA; the enormous sums of money involved do not go to civilians but to Palestinian killers and tyrants. Although this is quite clear; the funding does not stop.
Palestinian human rights activist, Bassam Eid, was honored, not by other Palestinians, (after all, we are not yet in the Messianic Age), but by a group of American Jewish rabbis. He came to visit me after his award in NYC. Eid monitors Palestinian-on-Palestinian human rights violations; thus, the first thing I asked him, even before he could sit down, was why was he still alive, how powerful was his family anyway? We laughed, ate, and exchanged ideas. (By the way, his family is very powerful).
Although Younis is an Israeli Arab I hope that Bassam Eid reaches out to her. In my view, she deserves a Peace Prize. I am not suggesting that it be the Nobel Prize since, on the one hand, that prize was awarded to major league terrorist, Yaser Arafat and, on the other hand, it was also awarded to Ireland’s Catholic and Protestant peace marchers, Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan, who were soon thereafter run out of Ireland on a rail.
To those who argue that Israel must submit itself yet further to the “peace” process: Do they understand that Israel is dealing with the likes of those who have condemned Wafa Younis? And that they are the “good guy moderates” compared to Hamas?
Wafa Younis: Consider this column my tribute to you. I read about what happened to you over the weekend. Your story claimed me and would not let me go until I wrote about it. I hope that you—and your young orchestra– find ways to play again. I will never forget your act of profound resistance, your kind and inspired deed. May God and the Israeli police keep you safe and sound.