History,  Israel/Palestine

Small, good things

–A youth orchestra from the Jenin refugee camp visited Israel and performed for an audience of Holocaust survivors.

–A web-based project has been launched aimed at combating antisemitism and Holocaust denial in the Muslim world.

The initiative, called Project Aladdin, hinges on the Internet site, which is also to carry a history of the Holocaust and offer online Arabic and Farsi translations of books including Anne Frank’s Diary, the organizers said.

Among those unveiling the project include Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, former French President Jacques Chirac and Abdurrahman Wahid, former president of Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

Sad update: Officials at the Jenin refugee camp have shut down the youth orchestra.

Jenin refugee camp official Adnan Hindi says the 13-member Strings of Freedom orchestra should not have played for the survivors, calling the Holocaust “a political issue.”

Hindi added Sunday that the conductor has also been barred from entering the camp. Conductor Wafa Younis says she was not informed of the ban. The orchestra performed a goodwill concert for elderly survivors in the Israeli town of Holon Wednesday.

As is all too often the case in the Middle East: one step forward, two (or more) steps back.