Some of you may recall my enchanting post from several months ago, where we discussed the idiot musician Daniel Barenboim and his unfortunate predilection for making political statements at the expense of Israel.

So Barenboim was visiting a lovely part of Jerusalem to promote his sad new book written with the late Edward Said and was approached by a young reporter from IDF radio. The woman, a young soldier, was in uniform as per the rules governing all soldiers. Barenboim, seeing the uniform worn by those who risk their lives to protect the Israeli population and who ensure the continued existence of the state of Israel, took a hairy flying fit and refused to answer her question about his music. He then proceeded to berate her for wearing her uniform – yes, the very one she is obligated to wear – to this public event.

“I wanted to interview Barenboim very much and to ask him about the concert he conducted in Ramallah last week, about his musical vision and more. But he wouldn’t agree to talk to me, and started signing the book. I insisted. Then he said he refused to be interviewed by a soldier in a uniform and that he will agree to talk to me only if I come to him in civilian clothes,” Arad said in a report on Army Radio.

When she protested that she had no choice but to wear the uniform, Barenboim pulled on her epaulets and yelled at her, she said.

He later explained that it was a very poor choice of outfit with which to flatter her figure to attend an event commemorating a book that revolves around Edward Said.

Here are some suggestions. Perhaps Barenboim should have his future press conferences and publicity events in Gaza, which will soon be entirely under PA control, instead of Jerusalem which is under Israeli control? Perhaps he should have them in France or Germany where he is adored? Perhaps after the Wagner concert stunt, and this nasty behavior toward a young Israeli woman that reflects his animosity to both the military and the state of Israel, he should consider taking some politeness and manners classes?

Having said that, I disagree with Limor Livnat (Jewlicious!) calling him an anti-semite. This is definitely one of those times when the idiot musician can claim there is no anti-semitism here.

Just anti-Zionism.

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themiddle

31 Comments

  • Edward Said… oy vey. may peace escape him.

    Barenboim… grr… i’m so damn sick of these self-haters ruining the global perspective.

  • Why do you think he’s so popular with Germans? For his music?!

    Interesting to see there are visitors from Saudi Arabia and Bahrein here.

  • TM why are you upset at the guy- you are similar!

    You are pro-palestinian and are pro giving Gaza to arabs.

    So is he – He is just more honest about it than you because at least when he supports things leading to Israel’s destruction he admits it.

  • I’ve decided that anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are the same thing.

    After all, when someone says he’s not against Jews, just Zionism, what does he really mean? What he is saying, essentially, is that he gets to decide what rights Jews have.

    Zionsim, after all, is nothing more or less than Jewish nationalism. So if a person says that he is anti-Zionist, what he is saying is that the Jews do not have a right to a self-determination. If they do not have that, what rights do they then have? The right to live as protected or tolerated minorities in someone else’s country, obviously.

    Saying you’re anti-Zionist but not anti-Semitic is pretty much like saying you don’t have anything against blacks so long as they don’t get uppity.

    In other words, it is only something an anti-Semite would say.

  • Ephraim,

    this isn’t logical. There are a lot of reasons why someone could be anti-Zionist: He might think nationalism, as emerged in 19th century Germany, is wrong in any way, for one. That would be in accordance with Judaism, BTW.

    Empirically, most anti-Zionist are really anti-Semites, no doubt, but that doesn’t make you less wrong.

  • Ephraim is right,

    Muffti where is you logic on this one. I don’t care about slippery. Answer Ephraim’s point directly which is that anti-zionism =Jews have no right to a land they must go back to poland or Russia or Hungary or Saudi Arabia.

    That is exactly what the anti-semites would like.

  • ok ok, calm down. Ephraim has a valid point. anti-Zionism means that Jews aren’t allowed to be nationalist.

    but non-anti-Semitic anti-Zionists are not against Jewish nationalism, they are aggainst Jewish expansionism. the innocent/ignorant anti-Zionists who truly do not hate Jews just don’t like the idea of a “greater” tanachal Israel.

  • a little perspective from a non-Jew… I think Jews can be a little naive about the amount of anti-Semitism in the world. Non-Jews say things to one another that they would never say to around Jews and they think noone cares. In my own experience (I am the ripe old age of 39) every anti-Zionist I have known hates Jews. Period. I have heard them compare Jews to Nazis. All the Muslim women I have been acquainted with (some converts from America, others from the Middle East) want EVERY Jew dead. They do not care if the Jew is Orthodox or an atheist. It is all the same to them. The Jew hatred in Islam scares me and I am not even a target! Most Christians I know are very pro-Israel (the whole 2nd coming of Jesus thing), but other Christians seem to be pretty prejudiced. My younger son, who is in middle school, told me that kids at school call him “Jew nose” and when he will not give them his lunch money so they can buy candy they call him a “tight Jew.” I told him that he should not get out of it by saying he is not a Jew, he should confront the boys about their bigotry, but I don’t know how much good that will do. I feel for Jews who are anti-Zionist or who support the Palestinians or want more dialogue with the Muslim world, because they do not seem to realize that they are supporting people who despise their very existence. Of course, this is only my opinion.

  • David,
    I know other people who also repeat this only against Jewish expansionism enough to actually believe it.

    It would be best if we stopped giving our enemies excuses.

    Last week, Abu Mazen was still on his ‘end of little jihad, start of big jihad’ and pretty Israeli boy Arab-affairs reporter asked him what he meant since we know that ‘jihad’ has a very heavy connotation with violence against the infidel. Well, Abu Mazen said that he really means an economic and social jiahd, and pretty boy yuppie Israeli reporter than reported back to the studio how ‘he’ believes Abu MAzen and that this is the beginning of a new era.

    ‘we won’t forget, we won’t forgive’ is the new banner of the ‘religious right’. The way ‘we’ see it, giving up Yamit was ‘okay’ because there was a ‘peace treaty’, the great mistake of ‘Oslo’ can be forgiven for the naive risk to achieve ‘peace’, but now this unilateral retreat under fire has no logic whatsoever except the expulsion of 9000 Jews, making them refugees, and the complete destruction of their property is not to be forgiven since it was done with purely selfish intentions.

    anti zionism = anti semitism

  • Jennifer, WELL SAID! It’s true that we are insulated to some degree. What we need here is to get out of our utopian dream and WAKE UP. There are people on this earth, right now, who want us exterminated, and they have power. Singing Kumbaya is not going to help.

  • Josh another meaningless phrase? ‘you won’t forgive or forget?’ and therefore what? is there any plan or action connected with that?
    Another worthless phrase…

  • Oh, I see, they’re only “anti-Zionist” if the Zionism is a little too…how should I put this….Zionistic?

    I can respect, although absolutely not agree with, the views of religious Jews who are anti-Zionist. Their stance has at least a certain pathetic internal logic (i.e., the goyim get to keep persecuting us until Hashem decides it’s time to rescue us, so we might as well just bend over and take it inste4ad of trying to protect ourselves). And I can also understand, but absolutely not respect in the smallest degree, assimilationist Jews who are anti-Zionist because they are afraid of the goyim and don’t want to be tarred with the Zionist brush because, it will, you know, blow their cover and make them targets.

    But for everyone else, there is a real problem here. As Lenin once said, you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. There is no way that creating a Jewish country was going to be painless. Israel has not been not expansionist in the traditional imperialist sense; the Arabs have simply been just too stupid, too anti-Semitic, too arrogant and too incompetent to avoid starting and losing wars with the Jews. The result is that the “expansionist Zionist entity” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    And when everybody else stops being nationalistic, they will have the right to tell Israel to stop. Until then, STFU.

  • being too stupid to realise you’re an anti-semite doesn’t mean you’re not an anti-semite

  • Middle, does Barenboim’s work with his joint Israeli-Palestinian ensemble add an element of mitigation, from your point of view?

    He’s an interesting character. I’ve often wondered if he regrets his own Jewishness on some level. Early in his life as a piano prodigy, Wilhelm Furtwangler takes an interest in him and asks him to play with the Berlin Phil, only to have Barenboim’s father veto the idea as coming too soon after the Holocaust. And Barenboim has since promoted himself as Furtwangler’s successor among conductors. (Only in his dreams, alas. There’s no touching WF.)

    DB embodies a kind of Euro-lefty perspective on the state of Israel, with the IDF uniform seen as an embarrassment– or worse.

  • I have no idea what he believes in terms of his faith. If he is embarrassed and that’s what is driving this hostility and his life in general, then he’s a bigger fool than I thought. I’d give him the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s more the Lefty pro-Palestinian leanings.

    I didn’t know that his father vetoed an early career move to Berlin. It seems as if he has dedicated his life to assimilating into the European cultural elite, with Germany/Austria as a central motif.

    His work with the Palestinians in general is fine, IMO. There’s nothing wrong with building bridges, and music is probably one of the best equalizers when it comes to people.

    It would be better, however, were he to stick to his music instead of letting everybody know that it’s okay to treat Israel and Israelis like shit when one disagrees with the political status quo (“Hey, Barenboim’s doing it and he’s Jewish”).

  • Didn’t he have Jacqueline du Pre convert to Judaism to marry him before he set up shop with another woman when she got MS?

  • Why is it a slippery line of argument, Muffti? Yes, Zionism is Jewish ethnic nationalism. Do you believe that the Jewish nation has an inherent right to self-determination? If you do, you are a Zionist, and you must take what comes.

    Or are you, as I suspect most people are (most Jews included), a “provisional” Zionist, that is, a person who believes that Zionism and Israel are the best the Jews could make of a bad deal, and if it hadn’t been for those damned Nazis, none of this would have been necessary? Such people believe, deep down, that in a perfect world, Israel should not have been necessary. Berenboim strikes me as one of these people: a Renaissance man citizen of the world wannabe who wants with all his heart to live in the world of high European culture, free of barriers. For such a man, being a Jew is the biggest burden imaginable.

    As far as the “nationalism is bad for everybody is concerned” argument, again, in the perfect world desired by One-Worlders, such things as borders, countires, separate governments, etc., are things to be done away with. Europe is trying very hard to obliterate distinct nations (or, rather, impose Franco-German hegenmony on smaller nations who are too weak to resist) in the hope that amalgamizing everyone into “Europeans” will do away with the probelm of Europe being inhabited by Slavs, Spanish, Catalonians, French, Poles, or whatever. So, of course, people like this view saomething like Israel as embodying the very sin for which they are trying to atone. So they fight it tooth and nail.

    Yet, this is all a fake and a pose. With what, exactly, are they going to replace the distinct cultures of Europe? Is everyone now going to speak Esperanto and abandon their native languages? Castina a wider net for a moment, do we expect the Chinese to stop being Chinese, the Indians to stop being Indian, the Russians to stop being Russian, or chas v’shalom, the Arabs to stop being Arabs?

    No, of course not. The “anti-nationalism” fakers don’t believe that, and for a very simpl,e reason: such nationlisms are normal, natural and authentic, the result of natural, authentic nations asserting their natural, authenctic character.

    Of course, only the jews are denied this privilege, because no one reallky believes that Jewish national character is normal, natural and authentic. Hell, even most Jews don’t really believe it.

    So, we have abortions like Barenboim, desiring in his heart of hearts to become members of the culture which was responsible for consigning his nation to the flames. Why? Because without even thinking about it, everyone believes that it is axiomatic that the yardstick against which everything must be measured is not Rashi, the Rambam, and the Gemara, it is Beethoven, Goethe, and Hamlet.

    I want to go on record as saying that if I were Faust and Mephistopheles offered me a choice between Israel and the 6 million back alive and whole again, I would take the 6 million without batting an eyelash. Any Jew with any sense and heart would do the same.

    But that is not the hand we have been dealt.

  • That was very well put Ephraim! But Muffti thinks there is more to the picture than meets the eye. (This may be terminological in the end more than substantive.) All Muffti really meant was that they were logically seperable. Zionism (Muffti thought) is more than just the right to self determination and a nation: it is the right to self determination and a nation in ISRAEL, or so Muffti always took it to be. One may well think that Jews have the right to self determination but not agree that a 2000 year old bond to a country is sufficient to guarantee them THAT country. (This is NOT Muffti’s position, mind you).

  • That’s a good point, Muffti. But it still proves my point, which is that people who claim to be anti-Zionists but not anti-Semitic reserve the right to decide what rights the Jews do and do not have.

    And I rather think that the Ugandans would have had a problem with the Jews there as well.

    In any case, I think that a 2,000 year-old claim to a piece of land where everyone (except PA “historians”) agree a Jewish nation defintely once did exist is a hell of a lot better than a completely fictitious claim by a completeley fictitious “Palestinian” nation.

  • First of all, early Zionists were of mixed minds about whether Israel was the only possible destination for their self-determination. It took a rupture in the movement in 1904 before it becamse clear that the biblical Land of Israel was the natural destination for the new Jewish state.

    Second, I believe that you are right to some degree, Ephraim. However, part of the issue is that unlike a Spaniard who has always had a Spain, the Jews who live outside of Israel have not always has a state or kingdom called Israel as a reference point. Their reference points, by necessity, became the countries and cultures into which they were born or emigrated. This is one of the primary reasons why many Jews and non-Jews can perceive Jews as members of other countries and of Israel as just another destination for Jews and one that could conceivably disappear.

  • I know, Middle. That is precisely my point. People still don’t believe that Israel is for real or that the Jews really have the right to be there. And this includes many many Jews, who really believe that Israel’s right to exist is conditonal on it being a perfect place.

    This is something demanded of no other country. Russia could grind the last Chechen into hamburger and have him for dinner, but no one would say that Russia has no right to exist. China can slowly roast Tibet over a spit and no one really does anything except put a bumper sticker on their car. Why? Because Russia and China are natural, authentic, normal nations where these things are just everyday occurrences, of no particular note.

    Until the Jews themselves actually really come to believe that Israel is permanent and exists as of right, regardless of what the Nazis may or may not have done, the goyim will always be convinced that if they need to or want to, they have the power to revoke the right of the Jews to their own country.

    If the Jews don’t really believe it, why should the goyim?

  • Ephraim said:

    But it still proves my point, which is that people who claim to be anti-Zionists but not anti-Semitic reserve the right to decide what rights the Jews do and do not have.

    Sure, but if this is all it takes to be anti-zionist then most people are anti-everyone! Muffti doesn’t think that the Chinese have a right to take Tibet but he doesn’t think that makes him generally anti-china (i.e. that the Chinese don’t have a general right to self determination.) Maybe Muffti is missing your point however. He doesn’t mean to be uncharitable.

  • My only point about bringing in China is simply to illustrate that Israel is treated much differently than other nations, which is obvious to everyone. I believe that this is partially due to the belief that Israel’s existence is conditional, that “the world” graciously granted Israel a conditional right of existence which they can revoke at any time. The very fact that people can actually come out and say that the creation of Israel was a mistake and not be immediately villified as Nazis is proof of this.

    No one debates whether or not China has the right to exist as a nation because they have swallowed Tibet whole and is in the process of eradicating its culture. People object to it, sure, but nobody actually does anything about it. The subject of China forefeiting its right to exist because of something it does simply never comes up.

    This is just to belabor the obvious. I am certainly not advocating that Israel should be particularly reprehensible in its actions towards the Arabs because the Chinese are oppressing the Tibetans, I simply offer the example to illustrate an obvious point: that many people believe Israel’s right to exist is contingent upon how it acts, something which is demanded of no other nation.

    I imagine that there are some people, perhaps quite a few, who believe that Israel has an inherent right to exist and actually really are only taking issue with certain of Israel’s policies. I have my doubts, however, and in any case, these people are, in general, pawns of the rejectionists, or, at the very least, naive sorts who cannot see the danger into which Israel would be plunged if it followed their pie-in-the-sky ideas.

  • LEave it to all the Jews to sit here and knitpick over moot points, hehe. Zionism and Judaism are two sides of the same coin. It’s just easier to say your an anti-zionist then to say your an anti-semite. Perhaps they started out differently ( I still dont think there is a difference, but then again I believe in the relationship between zionism and JUdaism. Tt’s simply an easier way for the Muslim and European countries, to preach their anti-semitism. Where just sitting around like a bunch of shmucks mulling over the definition of the two, without acknowledging the current meaning/usage of the word

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