Comments in “Israel-Insider”: Posthumous prize to du Pre, Music in Arab

Originally from Something Jewish, Furtwangler & DB  Kach activists abuse Barenboim (September 12, 2002):  

JIWON: Many responded to this article. Typical ones whether they are pro or con. The funniest posting among them. So funny…:


JIWON: Interesting opinions start to appear.

Forumite-1 (From New York): Consider: I know how antri-Jewish Wagner was, but cant we separate his music from the man? My grandfather came to Palestine in 1920 and help build up Israel. A devoted Jew and Zionist, whatever he thought about Wagner, he enjoyed his music.

Forumite-2 (From USA): [Consider] – I agree completely… Barenboim’s pro-palestinian views and actions are another matter. Wagner was nothing that unusual as an anti-semite (he got all his energy from it..and it probably started with his hatred of Mendelssohn whose music he imitated at first) Hitler didn’t need Wagner..and it is also the case that Hitler probably preferred musical comedy to Wagner. The pro-palestinian views and actions of Barenboim are something else, however. It is interesting that there is so much tolerance when it comes to that. it angers me..a lot. (Continued…) [Broken promises] – A lot of people who are not banned in any way in Israel have had the same kind of anti-semitic views that Wagner and Hitler have had. They worked in genetics. (and that does not exclude some still alive) I don’t think Israelis should have to exclude Wagner’s music from their lives. (might be nice if someone talented could rewrite the librettos since Wagner wrote some of the worst German in history but that would be a large undertaking). It is also to be noted that Islam is legal in Israel..the Koran is as bad as Mein Kampf. Barenboim’s pro-palestinian views and actions are something else. This should be the number one consideration. He doesn’t deserve any prizes anyway. He’s not that wonderful a musician. Give a posthumous prize to Jacqueline DuPre instead. (Continued…) Regarding the Wolf Foundation prize: After reading part of the article again I am really puzzled as to the purpose of this prize (and the work of the foundation that gives…it) Am I correct in assuming that this prize has nothing to do with achievements in Music or Science per se..? It would appear then that Barenboim is being rewarded for his po-palestinian activities… At least I’m not pro-palestinian.  Conductor Daniel Barenboim receives Wolf Prize, attacks occupation (May 10, 2004)

Forumite-3 (From USA): Rubbish: I wonder how sensitive to his “neighbors” Mr. Barenboim would be if some splodeydope blew his family into oblivion on a bus, in a restaurant, at the market, or mercilessly shot on the highway, like the Hatuel family. What an egregious lack of class, tact, grace, and decency.

Forumites (From USA): bla-bla-bla

Forumite-2 (From USA): [Machines Can’t Suffer] – The thing about Wagner is really a separate problem. Wagner is not the only composer who was anti-semitic and/or favored by Hitler. Their music is performed whether or not holocaust victims are in the audience. It’s also the case that so many older films have scores that sound like or imitate Wagner that I don’t know how Wagner can be avoided. Theodorakis is apparently quite popular in Israel..maybe just on records. Obviously if Barenboim agreed not to conduct Wagner and then did conduct it..he could have been sued. (breach of oral contract?) But then again Israel has inherited a lot of rotten British laws so maybe not.

Forumite-4 (From USA): The conductor is correct: Unfortunately, too many wackos on this list are too far gone to see it.

Forumites (From USA): bla-bla-bla

Forumite-5 (From Berlin): [The conductor is correct] – Nothing wrong in listening to Wagner, or Mozart, and Beethoven… all the darlings of Hitler and the Third reich. I agree with the composer on this issue. Music is music, and art is art. If you enjoy listening to 4 plus hours of a lady singing her guts out so be it…We all like Mendelssohn, yet his family all disavowed Judaism. On the other issue of praising the Palestinians in an acceptance speech, that is the wrong venue at the wrong time. Free speech does exist in Israel and when the award was given everyone most probably knew that Barenboim would say something like what he said. I did see barenboim in Berlin not too long ago. He is a good conductor, but I wouldn’t classify him as a great conductor. 

Forumite-2 (From USA): [Pal moslem musicians?] – Out of curiosity does anyone know of any moslem pals who are musicians? (western classical music.) Elsewhere in the Arab world there is-was a good orchestra in Baghdad and there are women with a group in Cairo. But what about the moslem pals? What kind of musicianship is being taught by Barenboim?(In fact what is he teaching in general…) (Continued…) [The conductor is correct] – Basically I agree about music. However, if an agreement is made not to play something..that should be part of the contract. What if Barenboim had decided to play Theodorakis’ ‘palestinian national anthem’? Hopefully that anthem will never have a country to be played in. Wagner is banned only from certain kinds of performances. It is not illegal to own recordings..etc. If it were..this would be totally unacceptable. It might be a good idea to interview holocaust survivors in connection with this matter of certain kinds of public performances. I don’t think Barenboim is anything wonderful. How did he get that job in Germany?  Minister Livnat denounces conductor Barenboim as ‘real anti-Semite’ (September 3, 2005)

Forumite-6 (From USA): Entertainment and politics don’t mix: he may be a good musician but, he’s a pizz poor person. What an azz. Jew? hmm gotta think about that one. Would he have refused to ‘play’ for the nazis if he were in a camp? Would he be so selective as to insult them? This azz sides with Israels enemies and feels justified as to whom he refuses to speak with ( if an Israeli in a uniform) yet, writes a book with a pal. What a guy. Nero had nothing on this azz. (Continued…) He’s spoiling the music: it smells now.  (Continued…) How to help the kids who suffered from Katrina: There’s an agency set up in Houston specifically for kids who were so harshly affected by Katrina, Here’s the address for any who wish to help the least among us… Thank You, Shalom

Forumite-7 (From USA): Barenboim: Words, words, words. Some like him, some don’t. Threre are always people who read things differently.

Forumite-8 (From Israel): barenboim is a yeudon: Barenboim is a yehudon- a sick ghetto jew- filled with self hate and love of the nazi mohammedan enemy. Barenboim is scum and should be boycotted by all proud Israelis and Jews and friends of the Jewish people. He should be excommunicated by us all. He is the evil in our midst and an example of the very worst of the dirty leftist traitors. Let us not forget how he treated his own wife! I wish him lots of pain and suffering- him and his friends!

Forumite-9 (From USA): Barenboim has changed: I remember in the anxious days leading up to The Six Day War when Daniel Barenboim arrived from London with his bride, Jaqueline DuPre and Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zuckerman and Zubin Mehta (before his association with the IPO). They came to raise spirits in the darkest days when others were leaving. Barenboim was then a proud Israeli. The intervening years have changed him. He now openly supports those who work for destruction of Israel and refers to the late Dr. Said as his “soul mate.”

Forumite-2 (From USA): Sad and ironic to think of such changes.

Forumite-10 (From USA): Barenboim is a selfhating *ss: he always has been! Zubin Mehta has FAR more decency and class toward Israel, and he was not even Jewish!  Barenboim rationalizes denial of interview to Israel Army Radio reporter (September 5, 2005)

Forumite-11 (From Israel): Conductors: who cares?: conductors often get light-headed, swell-headed, and abusive from being too long in the spotlight. Who cares what Barenboim’s take on politics is, anyway? Deny him a stage, deny him newspaper access–and he’s gone. Ban Barenboim.

Forumite-12 (From Israel): Insensitive? He’s insensitive!


I seem to just love Israel. What a funny comment from this holy country? <—– “Conductors: who cares?: conductors often get light-headed, swell-headed, and abusive from being too long in the spotlight. Who cares what Barenboim’s take on politics is, anyway? Deny him a stage, deny him newspaper access–and he’s gone. Ban Barenboim.”

While reading those opinions, I became curious about the favorite music of Forumite-2 from USA. Why?

“(December 18, 2003) I think you are avoiding the implications of many parts of the Koran. It is unfortunate that the Koran was not written with Muhammad’s own hand (left-handedness was probably the reason). The number of persons involved in putting the Koran together over a long period of time cannot be known. The most violent translations are unfortunately the most reliable ones. It is not necessary to be fluent in a language in order to assess a translation. It is the least literal..the poetic translations of the Koran that are the least reliable. These serve to obscure the hatefulness lurking there. It would have been better for the Koran to be limited to the descriptions of Muhammad’s ‘visions’.. which are pretty interesting. Unfortunately.. the book grew to be a monster. It is possible that less harm would be done by Islam if there were no other writings regarding Muhammad. These other writings are used when the Koran is difficult to use: to preserve the evil tribal traditions of Muhammad’s times. There is also a big difference between the history of the Catholic church and Jesus alone. (And this extends to the days before Europe had any role to play. It is a much clearer difference than in the case of Islam and Muhammad… [Another Forumite’s answer] – I just meant that the history of the catholic church shows that it was early on more concerned with being a church than with Jesus. Islam, on the other hand, seems to have a very close connection with writings about Muhammad, not just the Koran. It may well be, as you claim, that a lot of lies have been told about Muhammad by people with evil intentions. Which makes it all the more tragic that he did not leave writings that could be separated from the rest.”


Then I was more curious… what about his opinions about Zubin Mehta? For purely musical reason? Impossible to find. Things were always like this.

I am real curious.

What if Barenboim’s music sounded real great to their ears?

What if Du Pre were still alive, still great and her political behaviors were exactly same as Barenboim’s? She is the one who would follow elsewhere her husband goes. She is also the one who would want to teach her kids to follow Barenboim’s footsteps. I don’t think she could become a great teacher, though. She is too nice and too one-way-imaginative to be a great teacher.

What if Du Pre were still alive, and her music sounded like Zukerman’s youngest soul-mate, and her political achievements were no different from Barenboim’s? This is in fact the only way she could survive as Barenboim’s wife and ensemble partner.

It would be more fun to read another comments from those Jewish people.

Who am I, by the way?

During my hard working, the Haaretz were intentionally supporting Elena Bashkirova. It was rather the Jerusalem Post, which welcomed the inauguration of Bashkirova Festival with their full heart but was growing their criticism toward this international affair.

According to this intelligent Jewish opinion, I am a vermin of democracy: “I wouldn’t advise Barenboim to fight this establishment with scorn, but rather to try to understand by means of its strange boycott something about the way cultural life in Israel works: mechanisms, newspapers, lack of knowledge, symbols, past, present and total alienation, not alienation out of awareness but rather a denied alienation from what is called culture. One loves Hollywood, another goes to Paris and a third goes to “Amadeus,” but a discussion of music in Jerusalem turns into a scandal. This is the explanation for the frequent scandals surrounding Barenboim. They do not come from “the general public.” His real audience is happy when he comes. How many great musicians agree to come here? Barenboim comes because he takes upon himself the responsibility of an Israeli. Who makes the little, embarrassing riots around him? Politicians and talk-backers on the Internet, the vermin of democracy. (September 29, 2005 from the Haaretz)

This is how I got to realize that Barenboim could never understand the details in my writings or Forumites’ opinions, which I think sound reasonably right.

I promise Barenboim will never understand what I am writing.

Standing on the brink of collapse of the music business, all Barenboim is experiencing now is sold-out concerts and standing ovation.

How could he know the rest of the world, which is happening behind his back?

This was the main difference between Maestro Furtwangler and Maestro Barenboim.

They said Furtwangler was naïve. Menuhin said Furtwangler was not a Nazi. He said so after he heard Furtwangler. I hear Furtwangler. Then I can say that Furtwangler was not naïve. He exactly knew what was happening behind his back… all the happenings. He just wanted to ignore it until a death threat made him flee from his country.

He believed that he could educate his German audience, who could seek solace in his music and could eventually retrieve their spiritual weapons to prepare another future.

Perhaps… Furtwangler was haughty, regarding himself as omnipotent, because I hear everything when I hear Furtwangler.

Furtwangler’s music tells me so, because when he plants trees, he already sees the forest. To be a Nazi, one should be possessed by an inferiority complex. Don’t you think so?

What means this word, naïve?

If its definition is “deficient in worldly wisdom or informed judgment,” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, then Barenboim is naïve.

Barenboim’s music tells me so, because when he plants trees, he never knows how to map out the forest. He even doesn’t have a concept of what kind of forest he is dreaming, just planting all different kinds of trees with a tireless brain jammed with all their names.

Ten years later, the result is not a beautiful forest but a thornbush overgrown with weeds.

Is it naïve, or stupid?

Workaholic can not be an answer.

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