Richard Wagner
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Wagner association founded in Israel

Boycott against great anti-Semitic composer no longer makes sense, says head of new organization

Despite the severe backlash that followed a decision by the Israel Chamber Orchestra to perform at a Wagner festival in Germany, the Justice Ministry's Registrar of Endowments decided Sunday to award official status to a Wagner association in Israel.


Attorney Yonatan Livni, who heads the newly founded association, says "it's time to allow those who desire to hear Wagner's music in Israel to be able to do so".


"Karl Orff and even Richard Strauss, who was president of the Reich's State Music Bureau, are played in Israel. So why is it prohibited to play Wagner, who died years before the Nazis came to power?" Livni wondered. "This boycott no longer makes sense."


Livni claims the ire directed at Wagner is the last remnant of a post-Holocaust boycott of German products. "Wagner has become a symbol," he said.


"It's true that he was a huge anti-Semite, however we are not talking about his speeches, but about the music he wrote as a great composer." The attorney added that though Hitler had loved Mercedes and Volkswagen cars, they are being driven freely in Israel.


"I can't accept this. What do we need to play Wagner in Israel, an announcement that the last of the Holocaust survivors has died? There is a lot of hypocrisy in that. Those who don't want to don’t have to listen to it. I don't want to force anyone, but rather to speak out against any type of boycott," Livni, a son to Holocaust survivors, said.


"Israel must be very careful when it boycotts something. There is no end to it. You cannot and should not boycott art because of politics. Yesterday the Nazis boycotted Jewish authors and composers, and today we are boycotting Wagner."



פרסום ראשון: 11.14.10, 21:10
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