15 thoughts on “IDF to Barenboim: No to Gaza Concert – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Hell, even the Nazis created orchestras in the concentration camps. Maybe it’s because they know that music gives hope that the Israelis are banning it in Gaza. Can they bring even more shame to themselves?

  2. “Can they bring even morer shame to themselves?” Yes, Mr. Schulman, they can, seemingly on an almost daily basis. Just take a look at these opening paragraphs from a story in today’s HAARETZ:

    “More than 300 olive trees were uprooted and two cars set alight in the West Bank village of Huwwara in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

    “Stars of David and the word ‘Mohammed,’ as well as racist slogans, were also sprayed in Hebrew across the town, including on the walls of a mosque.

    “A military official told Army Radio that the army suspected settler violence against Palestinians, part of some settlers’ policy of imposing a ‘price tag’ on a government order to freeze Israeli construction in the West Bank.”

  3. The score of Barenboim vis-à-vis the Palestinians is not sounding that well. On Jan 1st 2009 he wrote about Palestinians: “[I wish] for the Israeli government to realise … that the Middle East conflict cannot be solved by military means. [And] for Hamas to realise that its interests are not served by violence, … “. Further on: “Palestinian violence torments Israelis … Israeli retaliation is inhuman, immoral, …”. So that’s twice: Israels ‘military’ or ‘retaliation’ opposing Hamas’s ‘violence’ — during the Gaza attack.[1]
    In 2004 he said: “An hour of violin lessons in Berlin is an hour where you get people interested in music. But an hour of violin lessons in Palestine is an hour away from violence and fundamentalism”.[2][3]
    Barenboim has never taken a position on justice, humanity or security for Palestinians whatsoever, let alone on BDS. Only like ‘let’s forget it all and make music with Palestinians for an hour’, ‘It’s all a matter of understanding’. His attitude, and the WEDO’s too for that matter, is one of normalisation. That’s not what Palestinians are asking for, is it. In July 2009[4] he avoided visiting an opera performed by a Barenboim-Said-Foundation-sponsored choir in Ramallah, expecting protests. It seems IDF has not prevented a performance, but a boycott.

    [1]. Guardian, Jan 1, 2009
    [2]. Guardian, Nov 30, 2004.
    [3]. A broader overview I found at pulsemedia.org, 2009/12/12.
    [4]. Haaretz, Amira Hass, 17/07/2009.

    1. If Barenboim is not sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, I wonder why he accepted a Palestinian passport, symbolic as it may be. Barenboim is not a politician, nor an activist, but he is a humanist who searches ways to bring peace among peoples. Music is his way. More power to him, and his orchestra.

    2. Your post is full of error. What do you mean that he’s never taken a position on justice humanity or security for Palestinians? You sound like a right wing troll posing as an uber-pro-Palestinian.

      You’re a European non-Palestinian trying to determine what’s kosher for Palestinians? GImme a break. Daniel Barenboim has done more for Israeli Palestinian peace than you’ll ever do. I honor him for it & don’t take kindly to those attempting to smear him. Would you have the chutzpah to claimyr own judgment of Barenboim is more relevant than Edward Said’s? Or was Said too a virtual collaborator?

      1. Richard, I hope that above reply was to ex-ample and not to me. If it was to me, you’ve completely misunderstood my position. I’m a FAN of Barenboim.

      2. Richard, first a reply ‘technically’.
        – I admire your attitude, as experienced on your site here. I’m following this longer that you might think (even if you do IP-checks).
        – “Your post is full of error”, you wrote. But your reply did not point any factual error, so I understand I must be erroring in other ways. (If not so, please clarify.)
        – And indeed, Gene Schulman, it’s mine.

        As I said, I will reply substantially, on the content of your reply, later on.

      3. Richard, the only “error” I can find is, that I commented on a person you like.
        On what I wrote: I did not smear Barenboim, I quoted him. The quotes speak for themselves. What is OK for for Palestinians? They decide for themselves. In 2004 the call for a cultural boycott got organized in Ramallah by Palestinians (PACBI). From there WEDO concerts are targeted for boycotting. So that’s what could happen, had the IDF given permission to enter.
        The rest of your reaction, Richard, is not about my post. Invoking Edward Said: off topic. Barenboim’s judgment on Said has no connection to your post. BTW Said died in 2003, the year before PACBI started – he did not have an opinion about a non-existing BDS-movement. The “You’re a …?”-question: the answer is no, but I might be lying on an impertinent question. You are missing a chutzpa – won’t get it, even if you invite me to forget civility rules here. Me telling what’s kosher for Palestinians: nope, did not write that. Right wing, uber-pro-Palestinian: introducing interpretations, but I won’t go for the red herring. Before we compare Barenboim’s and my contributions to I/P peace, I must ask: which peace? And trolling? I’m rational, not inciting emotions (except my “error”, but hey), sourcing, and even on topic.

        1. Richard, you did not respond to this one. I hope your last flash impression of me, before my response above, did not remain.

  4. This is in response to Gene Schulman’s first post above.

    The Nazis use of orchestras in concentration camps is not analogous to Israel’s refusal to allow Barenboim’s orchestra to play in Gaza. The orchestra at Auschwitz was formed to 1) fool the Red Cross; 2) avoid panic among newly arrived prisoners; and 3) to entertain the SS.

    Israel uses illegal and inhumane collective punishment upon the Gazan civilians to attempt to solve a political conflict. In the history of mankind, this has never worked. In fact, it does more to perpetuate the conflict. One day the Occupation shall end, and the only hope for a sustained just peace will be reconciliation. This is what Barenboim works for: understand each other’s humanity to be able to create hope for the next generations. This is a very dangerous and threatening notion to Israel’s government.

    1. You are correct, Lisa. The point I was trying to make was that, at least the Nazis, for whatever reason, allowed music. The Israeli’s are denying even that small bit of humanity to the Gazans. I know the Nazis were not showing solidarity with the prisoners, as Barenboim is trying to show for the Palestinians.

  5. The orchestra performs an important role both in giving young Palestinian musicians a chance, and in giving Palestine a different image in the West, where many people including supposedly educated concert goers I suspect, have a stereotype image of cultured Jews (tolerated as musicians at least) and backward Arabs. The unstated boycott of Palestine here (e.g. refusal of visas for sportsmen and artists) is much stronger than the boycott of Israel.
    Had the Zionists been smarter they would have willingly given permission for Barenboim to go to Gaza hoping that he would be met by a boycott or ban which they could publicise to show how unreasonable the Palestinians and Hamas were and take attention away from their blockade.
    And the last thing they want is to free Shalit incidentally – they have turned down every chance of negotiating his release when they could have a war instead. They are hoping the poor guy dies in captivity.
    BTW when the Divan was here they played Tippett’s A Child of Our Time, which was inspired by Hirshl Grynszpan. Many have compared Grynszpan with young Palestinians who are moved to strike out at the oppressors, and then condemned by the world as “terrorists”. But I fear the message of such a theme would be lost on some of our would-be boycotters, whose minds are as closed as the Gaza border. So much so they are not even embarassed to find themselves siding with the IDF in this case!

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