“The music managed to get through the checkpoints and the walls…”

“The choice of sounds to go down in Palestinian cultural history as the first ever played by the orchestra attests to the polyphony expressed in this concert: the immediate, clear voice, which calls for revival, independence and freedom; and the hidden, interior one, which sends a message of brotherhood to the society from which liberation is needed, Israeli society, in the form of conceding the tragic refugee history of that society. We are refugees without a country; you were such just half a century ago − we are brothers, the piece seems to say. … . See, it is possible. The music managed to get through the checkpoints and the walls as though they never existed.” (From Haaretz, by Noam Ben Zeev, 14 Jan. 2011)

Bethlehem - The Wall - 13 Jan. 2011 - Photo: Sherry Ann

3 thoughts on ““The music managed to get through the checkpoints and the walls…”

  1. My two cents-worth…..
    Music is indeed a powerful medium, and this brief post has made me seek further information.
    For those who don’t click to the source article, a bit more context around the quotation might provide a clearer picture of the momentous and somewhat risky undertaking – maybe adding the first part of the header for the article:
    ‘Playing their Haifa debut, Palestine National Orchestra sends music through checkpoints and the walls as though they never existed.’

    So, what about Palestinians performing in Haifa? From Wikipedia:
    Haifa has a mixed population of Jews and Arabs, although Jews make up a 90% majority. …Over the centuries, the city has changed hands: It has been conquered and ruled by the Phoenicians, Hebrews, Persians, Hasmoneans, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, Ottomans, Egyptians, British, and the Israelis. Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the city has been governed by the Haifa Municipality.

    Now I think I am going to have to read Mahmound Darwish’s “Journal of an Ordinary Grief” written during house arrest in Haifa prior to his exile from Israel in 1971, in which he asks the question: “which was more painful, to be a refugee in someone else’s country [ . . . ] or in your own?”

    Finally, for those, who like me, are curious about the source of the article, here are some cherry-picked comments from Wikipedia:
    Haaretz (News of the Land) is Israel’s oldest daily newspaper. whose readership are described thus:
    “people who read it are better educated and more sophisticated than most, but the rest of the country doesn’t know it exists”
    “Israel’s most vehemently anti-settlement daily paper.”
    ‘The Nation describes Haaretz as “Israel’s liberal beacon,” citing its editorials voicing opposition to the occupation, the security barrier, discriminatory treatment of Arab citizens, and the mindset that led to the Second Lebanon War.’
    The English online edition is seen … as the international face of the most authoritative news source on Israel and the Middle East, averaging some two million visitors each month.
    Ok, for balance, I also saw:
    ‘In 2001, the pro-Israel media-monitoring and advocacy group CAMERA claimed that Haaretz fueled anti-Israel bias’

    Bottom line, thanks, Sherry Ann, for making me think.

  2. Dear Sherry,
    As I sit in my warm, comfortable home with food and clothing in easy reach, I read your notes about the homes that were destroyed for no apparent reason. People in winter, no home, food or clothing, children, grandparents who have caused no harm. I really struggle with this injustice. It makes one appreciate simple pleasures, and then ask, ‘what can one do to change a nations belief ?’ Will anyone ever know??
    Keep safe, we are all well here, enjoying the gorgeous snowfall and today sparkling sun shine. love Auntie Lynda xxoo

    • You are in our thoughts, Sherry Ann. We so appreciate your photos and comments. They keep us grounded and grateful for what we have. Stay safe.
      Marilyn and Peter

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