Daniel Barenboim on the current situation in Israel and the Middle East
Since the terrible events in Israel on October 7, I have not found a way to address the situation, but would like to share these thoughts of Daniel Barenboim, published today in The Guardian. Having worked with Daniel Barenboim and hosted two visits of West-Eastern Divan Orchestra to Brown University during my years there as Director of Orchestras and Chamber Music, I have enormous respect for the achievement that he and Edward Said brought about by forming this orchestra comprised of Arab and Israeli musicians. In Barenboim's words, "In the current situation, I naturally ask myself about the significance of our joint work in the orchestra and the academy. It may seem little – but the mere fact that Arab and Israeli musicians share a podium at every concert and make music together is of immense value. Over the years, through this commonality of music-making, but also through our countless, sometimes heated discussions, we have learned to better understand the supposed other, to approach them and to find common ground. We start and end all discussions, no matter how controversial, with the fundamental understanding that we are all equal human beings who deserve peace, freedom and happiness."