Egypt outrage over Israeli orchestra pyramid performance on Nakba anniversary

Egypt outrage over Israeli orchestra pyramid performance on Nakba anniversary
2 min read
25 May, 2022
An Israeli orchestra performed in Egypt to celebrate their country's so-called independence day, coinciding with the 74th anniversary of the devastating Palestinian Nakba, where 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their native land.
The orchestra performed in the Egyptian capital for the first time in 40 years [Getty]

An Israeli orchestra performed near Egypt's Pyramids of Giza to celebrate the 74th anniversary of the founding of Israel, which for Palestinians is a somber commemoration of their expulsion from their homes.

The Israeli embassy in Cairo organised the performance by Firqat Alnoor - the group’s first in the Egyptian capital in 40 years - which caused uproar on social media after taking place on 14 May.

Nakba Day - which falls on 15 May each year - commemorates the devastating ethnic cleansing of 700,000 Palestinians from their native land in 1948 to make way for the creation of Israel. 

However, Israelis mark the founding of their state shortly before Palestinians commemorate the Nakba, on a date that changes annually but fell on 4 May this year.

"God, do not blame us for what the fools among us have done... shame on us," one Twitter user wrote in a thread of tweets condemning the performance.

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"I don't understand... what is this audacity!" another wrote.

'I swear to god, I still want to cry," another user tweeted alongside a video report on the show.

Meanwhile, Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Amira Oron described her enthusiasm surrounding the controversial event.

"Events such as these express the way that the words peace and stability, which diplomats use so often, can turn into practical reality," Oron said, according to The Jerusalem Post. "Every day, the staff of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo creates more peace."

Many consider the Nabka to be ongoing, citing continued Israeli settlement building in the occupied West Bank and efforts to expel Palestinians from their homes.

Egypt became the first Arab country to normalise relations with Israel in 1979, followed by Jordan in 1997. More recently, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan normalised ties with Israel in controversial deals brokered by the administration of former US President Donald Trump.