Friday, September 02, 2005

By insisting that a reporter from Israel's Army Radio station wear civilian clothes if she wanted to interview him, Daniel Barenboim simply showed that he is unaware of the role that the army and this particular radio station play in Israeli society, and of the character of the radio station. Maybe that is because for so many years he has lived most of the time abroad. I wonder if he has similar demands when he does his wonderful work across the Green Line.
Nevertheless, although this time I think that Mr Barenboim exaggerated a bit, I will remain a big fan of him, and I admire him as a musician, as a Jew and as a human being. As it happens, this morning I listened to him, one of two CDs with Mendelssohn's Lieder ohne Worte. Limor Livnat, the overly ambitious and opportunistic minister of Education and Culture, never was a big fan of Barenboim, it seems ( see these postings: I and II ), but this time she really freaked out, calling him an anti-Semite - if that is not abusing or wrongly using the A-word I don't know what is - and saying "As a son of the Jewish people and the State of Israel, he must be taken with a grain of salt." When it comes to being an ambassador and promotor of Jewish culture and to serving the Jewish people and state, Daniel Barenboim could teach Mrs Livnat a lesson or two.

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