Daniel Barenboim—Israel at 60: My land, my pain

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There are photographs hanging on the walls of my dressing room in the Staatsoper Berlin, photographs that remind me of what I see when I look out the windows of my house in Jerusalem. They are slightly faded, and here and there the paper is crumbling, but one can easily recognize the views. The Old City, the Dome of the Rock with its shining cupola, the walls, the gates.

Sometimes I sit in this room before a performance, looking at these pictures and thinking of Jerusalem, of Israel, my home. Before 1989, this room was supposedly a refuge of the East German Stasi, the state police; if I happened to be a sentimental person, that fact would surely help me to become unsentimental, but I am not a sentimental person. The situation in the Middle East is much too close to me, much too personal to be able to be sentimental about it.

Since 1952 I have owned an Israeli passport. Since I was 15 years old, I have traveled the world as a musician. I have lived in London and in Paris and I commuted for years between Chicago and Berlin. Before I had an Israeli passport, I had an Argentinean one; later I acquired a Spanish one. And in 2007, I became the only Israeli in the world who can also show a Palestinian passport at an Israeli border crossing.

I am, so to speak, living evidence of the fact that only a pragmatic two-state solution (or better yet, absurd as it sounds, a federation of three states: Israel, Palestine and Jordan) can bring peace to the region.

Read the whole article.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMusic* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIsrael

Posted May 14, 2008 at 6:33 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Ruth Ann wrote:

As a professional musician myself, I have long noticed how many professional musicians are “out of touch” with reality, and live in a dream world, as does Barenboim, obviously.  Reminds me of some of the stupid remarks made by Lorin Maazel when the NY Phil went to N. Korea back in early March.  Do notice how totally Barenboim is wrapped up in himself, how many times you see “I”.  Many musicians also have huge, really huge egos, and think the world revolves around them, so here is yet another.  He IS quite an extraordinary musician, but like so many, is totally out of touch with reality, and has no common sense.

May 14, 9:20 am | [comment link]
2. John Wilkins wrote:

He’s done some remarkable working bringing Palestinians and Jews together.  He is, at least, doing the work of peace.

May 14, 11:58 am | [comment link]
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