Palestinian Performing Arts Network's response to the ‪New York Times‬ for posting an article highlighting so-called Palestinian violence through ‪‎music‬, without reference to occupation and or Israeli military aggression.




Dear Editor:


The Palestinian Performing Arts Network (PAN) in the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, are appalled by your recent article published on October 22, 2015 titled: “Palestinian Anger in Jerusalem and West Bank Gets a Violent Soundtrack”. The article represents a deliberate attempt to highlight so-called Palestinian violence being fueled by nationalistic songs, without addressing the root causes for this most recent Palestinian civil uprising.


In recent weeks, the occupying Israeli military and armed Israeli settlers have deliberately killed and targeted innocent children and youth, burned farming lands, homes, mosques and churches, and have instituted policies of attacking and dividing Palestinian Holy sites. These premeditated policies of provocation, collective punishment and deep rooted racism against the Palestinian people are the underlying causes for this current Palestinian outcry for an end to the occupation and for freedom.


Your article continues to fuel the public opinion bias that Israel has used for the last 67 years of colonialization and occupation of Palestinian lands, portraying the Palestinians as instigators of violence instead of a people with an internationally recognized just cause.


Palestinian culture is part and parcel of the Palestinian national identity. Palestinian music, dance, and theatre organizations aim to solidify Palestinian national and cultural identity through their work with children and youth. Palestinian arts and culture highlight the cultural and historical connections to the land and portray the hope and longing for an end to the occupation.


The article fails to highlight the richness of the Palestinian music, and only highlights the current increase in nationalistic songs which would be used to fuel the struggle with the Israeli occupation. With your article you are fueling the conflict with a reductionist and biased image of the complex reality on the ground.




Palestinian Performing Arts Network