"And though tyranny, because it needs no consent, may successfully rule over foreign peoples, it can stay in power only if it destroys first of all the national institutions of its own people."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Palestinian Folklore Dance Group Catches Fire with 'Jews'

A Palestinian dance group known as the Al-Ghad Folklore Dancing Troupe has been barred in Connecticut from performing at scheduled events because of complaints from obviously brainwashed kids of Zionists, or fake Jews if you will. The kids complained to their family that the dance was offensive to Jews and Israel, most likely suffering from some kind of glue sniffing or something involving falling on one's head. The kids and several parents have said that it is controversial, and it seems to them that the dances depict Israeli soldiers terrorizing Palestinians. I suppose these people are against all TRUTH when it involves something so OBVIOUSLY bad in Israel's history that still goes on today, yet in somewhat of a less extreme manner. One could wonder that if these people have such a close bond and allegiance to Israel, they should actually brush up on its actual history, or at least move there. They are certainly not Americans.

A reverend at a local church where they had performed before has stated that the performance is meant to be less political by all means, and more cultural. He also went on to say that during their performance of mostly traditional dances, a student in the audience got mad during a section of the dance that the reverend described "certainly expressed the frustration of detention by Israeli soldiers and dealt with curfews, checkpoints and the realities of detention." The kid began spouting his mouth off about how Palestinians did not want peace as the dance depicts (the gall!) and even shook his finger out at a female dancer afterwards which the reverend has to break up. So who are the racists, hmm? I am absolutely fed up with these kinds of things going on in my own country. These people have let it be known that they don't support the independence of the Palestinians, that they are and were not allowed to fight back against terrorist occupation of their land, and they'll do whatever they can to stop the truth from getting out to the American public. They are simply taught that way obviously. I am beginning to wonder if these Zionists posing as Jews really know much about their own history. This is also yet more proof of what muscle the Israel lobbies flaunt in this country that this performance would get canceled in such a short time. This story is one to remember the next time you hear someone called an anti-Semite or racist. In this case and time, the aggressors won. Kind of like in Palestine, actually.

Town resident Ginger Horton says she felt compelled to complain to school officials after her two grandchildren told her they were offended by the troupe's performance at the high school Monday.

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Horton says the grandchildren told her the high school performance depicted Israeli soldiers beating and torturing Palestinians.

School Superintendent Joseph Onofrio says he canceled further performances after learning several parents questioned whether it was appropriate for their children.

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The performance by Al-Ghad Folklore Dancing Troupe of Beit Sahour was meant to be cultural and not overtly political, said the Rev. David W. Good, senior minister of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, where the troupe performed this past weekend.

But resident Ginger Horton said she felt compelled to complain to school officials after her two grandchildren told her they were offended by the troupe's performance at the high school Monday.

"[My] grandchildren came home very frightened," Horton said Thursday.

Good, who saw the performance at the school, disagreed.

"I saw nothing there that was anti-Jewish," Good said. "It was a cultural program ... Anything of this nature, given the realities of where they live, the political realities are a short distance away."

This past weekend, the troupe participated in the third annual Tree of Life Conference at Good's church. The conterence celebrates the work of peacemakers in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Horton, a retired Old Saybrook teacher, said her grandson, 15, and granddaughter, 14, told her the high school performance depicted Israeli soldiers beating and torturing Palestinians.

Good said many of the dances performed were simply traditional, but he acknowledged one was particularly upsetting to a male student in the audience. That more modern dance "certainly expressed the frustration of detention by Israeli soldiers" and dealt with curfews, checkpoints and the realities of detention, Good said.

The male student became angry and said Palestinians "do not want peace even though they talk about peace in their dances," Good said.

At the end of the performance, the student pursued the performers, he said.

"He was angrily shaking a finger in the face of a Palestinian girl," Good said. "I asked him to stop."

Horton said it was inappropriate for the public school system to host what she called a hateful, politically charged event.

"My concern was that it would be stopped, and we stopped it," said Horton, who also contacted the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut.

School Superintendent Joseph Onofrio, who did not attend the high school performance, said a male Jewish student became "emotionally charged and upset" by the visitors' depiction of Jews.

"This was not framed as a political debate, it was framed as a cultural arts experience," said Onofrio, noting the school's social studies chairwoman previewed the performance last week at First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

"What she [Carol Moakley] had seen appeared to be appropriate," Onofrio said.

Onofrio, after learning several parents questioned whether the performance was appropriate for their children, said he canceled the elementary and middle school appearances scheduled for Tuesday because the two school principals had not previewed the performance.

Good said the troupe performed before elementary school students in East Lyme on Wednesday, and at The Children's Storefront, an independent, tuition-free school, in Harlem for students in preschool through Grade 8, on Thursday.

Bob Fishman, executive director of the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut, said Old Saybrook public schools should not host groups with a perceived political agenda. He lauded upset local students and family members who "stepped up."

"It was a very disturbing report [Horton] got from her grandchildren," Fishman said. "I advised her that it's not appropriate for a sponsor to say it's cultural when it's primarily political."

Fishman said his organization plans to discuss the performances with state legislators and top state education officials.

"These are public schools, taxpayer dollars," Fishman said.

"They were very careful" not to make a political statement, Good said of the troupe. "They were asked to share their dance, and share their story living in the occupied territory. They did so through music."

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