April 12, 2006, - 1:47 am
[Note from Debbie: A few days ago, I wrote, yet again, about ACCESS (Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services), an organization funded mostly by your tax dollars and United Way money. ACCESS was a promoter of and participant in the illegal alien demonstrations you've been seeing around the country.
But ACCESS is not just about aiding and abetting illegal aliens. It is about fomenting Islamist and anti-Israel policy, in every way possible. The latest is by sponsoring "music festivals," like one, this Saturday Night, at the University of Michigan. It is also funded by your tax money through the University Musical Society and the National Endowment for the Arts, and a sponsorship by Pfizer.
This letter is written by my father, H.L. Schlussel, in protest of the "music festival." My dad taught me almost everything I know about the Middle East and Islam. As I've written before, his wealth of knowledge dwarfs most of the so-called terrorism and Mid-East "experts" you see on TV and cable. DS]
By H.L. Schlussel, MD
University Musical Society
University of Michigan
Burton Memorial Tower
881 N. University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1011
Dear Mr. Fisher:
This letter is in response to the brochure you sent me, entitled, “05/06 UMS Season.”
Last year, I called the Society in response to a previous brochure you sent me, regarding the “Arab World Music Festival,” sponsored by the Society. That brochure featured a map of the Middle East, in which the State of Israel was eliminated. My daughter, Debbie Schlussel, a U-M alumna, appropriately called this, “a map of hate.”
This year’s announcement, on page 77 of your schedule, is even more egregious. At the top of the page, you list three musical performances, “Music of the Levant: Syria, Lebanon, Palestine.” The group from “Palestine” is listed as: “Trio Joubran . . . hails from the Biblical City of Nazareth.”
If you had bothered to check, you could have easily determined that “the Biblical City of Nazareth” is in Israel. It is within the so-called “Green Line.” That is, it was part of Israel–even before the 1967 war. It is not in the disputed territories. Perhaps you did not know that, but surely, Mr. Osama Siblani, Editor and Publisher of the Arab-American News, and Mr. Ismael Ahmed, the Executive Director and Founder of ACCESS, did know this. [DS: Both are sponsors of this "event."]
It is shameful that you have allowed your musical schedule to be used for the symbolic genocide of the State of Israel, which these gentlemen would like to perpetrate. You are complicit in that act.
I thought that music is the “universal language.” Middle-Eastern music is not the exclusive property of Arabs or Muslims. It is also the heritage of Christians and Jews who have lived in the Middle East from time immemorial. About 65% of the Jews living in Israel are themselves or the children of refugees, who were expelled from Arab and Muslim countries–from Morocco to Afghanistan and from Yemen to Syria. This music is as much part of Israeli culture as western music. Exponents of “Mizrachi” or Middle-Eastern music in Israel include Daklon, Yoel Sharabi, the late Ofra Haza, Chaim Zadok, Chaim Moshe, Joe Amar, and the Inbal Dance Group.
The Yemeni Muslim Community of Detroit had to invite a Jewish Yemenite group from New York to perform at their annual festival, last year. [DS: They did so, because they want their holy women to be modest and not dance in front of men. But no similar respect for the modesty of the infidel Jewish Yemenite women they beseeched to dance for them.]
Several years ago, while touring Israel, my family and I spent a night in the Northern Israeli town of Nahariya. We were delighted to see that half of the families enjoying dinner at the hotel restaurant were Arabs wearing kefiyehs and traditional garb. You see, 20% of the citizens of Israel are Arabs. In contrast to the Muslims of Gaza, the Israelis are tolerant of all cultures. Recently, the Jews of Gaza were forced to leave, taking even their dead with them, because of the intolerance of the Arab Muslim inhabitants. When we left the restaurant, we passed two banquet halls and heard Middle Eastern music coming out of them. These were weddings of Middle-Eastern Jewish families.
I am taking the liberty of enclosing a photo of Cheikh Raymond Leyris, a Jewish Algerian, who was the leading exponent of “Malouf,” Algerian urban music. Cheikh Raymond was also a strong advocate of friendship between Muslim and Jew. Unfortunately, Cheikh Raymond was shot dead by a Muslim assassin on June 22, 1961, while walking through downtown Constantine, Algeria, with his young daughter.
Instead of using music to unite, the sponsors of the “Arab World Music Summit”–like the assassins of Cheikh Raymond–use music to demonize and destroy.
H. L. Schlussel, M.D.
H.L. Schlussel, MD is a physician, Vietnam-era U.S. Army Veteran, and Middle East expert, who speaks several languages. His other column on this site, is, “One Little Lamb & 3+ Bad Wolves: A Short History of the Mid-East Peace Process.”
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