Why make war when you can make music?

“Politicians of all persuasions should take note of the work of Daniel Barenboim,” writes Julian Lloyd Webber in The Telegraph:

With such bona-fide Israeli credentials, you would hardly have expected Barenboim to become one of its government’s most conspicuous critics. Yet, like Menuhin before him, Barenboim’s questing mind ensures that his own considered opinions transcend mere political correctness.

His averred musical hero remains the conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler who – tainted by his “association” with the Nazis – provoked a mass boycott by Jewish musicians (Menuhin aside) when his name was touted to take over the helm of the Chicago Symphony.

Over the past few years, Barenboim’s critiques of the Israeli government have been coruscating: “Israel is in the grip of a ghetto mentality. We have a powerful army. We have the atomic bomb. But the psychology of what comes out of Israel has the tone of the Warsaw Ghetto.”

To inevitable accusations that he has turned against his country, he retorts: “I don’t think I’m anti-Israeli. I think Sharon is anti-Israeli because it’s in the interest of Israel to understand the problems of the other side.”

More here.