Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The other day I read a beautiful posting ( in German ) on a subject that got me both angry and confused last week, and that shocked many Israelis, which alltogether is a good sign: the Palestinian violinist at the army checkpoint. Lila, of Letters from Rungholt, quotes Meir Shalev ( a slightly sentimental text with strong Christian undertones, but still very moving ): "Until now we were always the ones who had to play the violin. The violin was a good instrument for Jews. You can carry a violin with you, when you have to flee. We played at courts, in high society, on the platform of Auschwitz. The others had the gun, we had the violin. But now the picture has changed. We laid down the violin. Only for a transitional period, until the country is safe, so we promised ourselves, did we take up the gun. But that period has become a long term, and now others play the violin, while we stand beside them. One thing we should not forget: the violin defeats the gun. Always."
PS: You are invited to read the comments and see this article on Ha'Aretz' website today. It deals with the incident. It is hard to know whose version we should believe, although the violinist's argument that if the soldiers suspected that his viloin contained explosives they would not have let him play right next to them, makes much sense.

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