Published On: Mon, Aug 11th, 2014

Daniel Barenboim Arab-Israeli Orchestra Plays Wagner for Peace

Daniel Barenboim

Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim performed a free outdoor “peace concert” in his native Argentina with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra he co-founded, featuring Israeli and Arab musicians, JTA reported.

It was a Sunday program of Vivaldi’s music, before thousands at a bridge connecting Buenos Aires and the city of Valentin Alsina.

Barenboim, who prides himself on not speaking during his concerts or playing music during his talks, told the audience that he never the less wanted “to say to you that I grew up in Argentina and some lessons remain inside me. I learned here that you can be Jewish, Polish, German, Syrian, Turk, and there is no problem here about multiple identities; you can be any of this and also an Argentinian.”

And journalist Jacobo Timerman would have attested to that from his jail cell, if he were still with us.

Barenboim, who in 2008 received Palestinian honorary citizenship, co-founded the orchestra with the late Edward Said.

Then, on Tuesday, Barenboim and the orchestra played Wagner at the main opera house in Buenos Aires.

Because you have to keep a little Nazism alive to maintain peace. Or something like that, it’s not clear. Every time Barenboim tried to perform Wagner in Israel all those silly Holocaust survivors objected. Must have been their Auschwitz complex.

Oh, and before one of the concerts, Barenboim stated, “The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is very sensitive to the situation in Middle East. The musicians have relatives on both sides, the sides that are killing each other and, despite this cruel war, there is no Arabic or Israeli musician who has canceled his participation in this concert for peace. This is also a gesture to Argentina.”

Now, if they only paid their $1.3 billion international debts to Paul Singer (Jewish), that, too, would be a very nice gesture.

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