Sunday, January 13, 2008

Israeli pianist Barenboim takes Palestinian passport

Contributed by Lucia in Spain

"Daniel Barenboim, the world renowned Israeli pianist and conductor, has taken Palestinian citizenship and said he believed his rare new status could serve a model for peace between the two peoples.

"It is a great honor to be offered a passport," he said late on Saturday after a Beethoven piano recital in Ramallah,the West Bank city where he has been active for some years in promoting contact between young Arab and Israeli musicians.

"I have also accepted it because I believe that the destinies of the Israeli people and the Palestinian people are inextricably linked," Barenboim said. "We are blessed – or cursed – to live with each other. And I prefer the first."

"The fact that an Israeli citizen can be awarded a Palestinian passport, can be a sign that it is actually possible."

Former Palestinian Information Minister Mustafa Barghouthi, who helped organize Saturday's concert, said the passport had been approved by the previous government of which he was a member and which was replaced in June........

Argentine-born Barenboim, 65, is a controversial figure in his adoptive homeland, both for his promotion of German music and vocal opposition to Israel's occupation of the West Bank......."


As I recall, he and Edward Said were good friends. The music program in the West Bank, which is supported by Barenboim, was an outgrowth of that friendship.

No comments: