If there’s a lyric to accompany this post it would be Elvis Costello’s What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding? Except we’d have to adapt it a bit to today’s news: “what’s so dangerous about a classical music concert in Gaza?” Famed conductor and co-founder of the East-Western Diwan Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim asked the Israeli government for permission to bring his young musicians to Gaza for a concert.
The answer: No. Not until Gilad Shalit is free. As if those Gazans who would enjoy this concert were personally responsible for capturing Shalit and holding him for three years. International law prohibits collective punishment and that’s what this is: blaming an entire population for the acts of individuals within it.
So in case you didn’t already know: the IDF already bans dangerous products like pasta and musical instruments from entering Gaza; to that now add classical music. And Daniel Barenboim is a dangerous man, the equivalent of 20 Qassam rocket launchers at least.
But let’s be clear. Barenboim was tacitly criticizing the Gaza siege and Israel knew this. It had to make a calculated determination whether it could risk international opprobrium in rejecting Barenboim’s request in order to uphold the impermeability of the siege. It favored the latter. Apparently, the Israeli world view is that Gazans can never suffer enough pain. And they wonder why those who captured Shalit did so in the first place.
H/t Ofer Neiman.