Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mariam Said: I beg to differ

"Edward's thinking about the conflict evolved over the years. In the end, no matter what the solution is, both peoples will have to live together. To do so we need to talk to the enemy and to break the wall that separates us. To him the WEDO was an experiment that broke down barriers of hatred and allowed the participants to get to know the other. It was also an educational project where music was taught on a sophisticated level to musicians who had talent. Today, it remains a humanistic endeavor whose results will bear fruit in the future." Yes, Mariam. Edward's views evolved over the years: they became more radical. I remember in New York City in 1993 after he attended my debate with Judith Miller when we were walking outside, he told me: I have changed. I am now leaning more toward your side and the rejectionists against the two-state solution, or words to that effect. And I beg to differ: this orchestra is indeed a form of normalization. And let us not forget that Israeli musicians, as nice as they may look on the stage playing the violin or dirbakkah or whatever, they also serve in the Israeli occupation army. And it is doubly bad: the second reason is that this piano player is an awful human being whose stances, especially in the war on Gaza, have basically whitewashed the Israeli war crimes. Don't get me wrong: after Palestine is liberated, Barenboim can play with the Palestinian National Orchestra somewhere in the new Palestinian state that will allow all religions and factions to exist but without occupation or usurpation. Also, Mariam: I am afraid that your words above sound almost exactly like the words of Anwar Sadat when he was justifying his trip to Jerusalem.