Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Top People Write It, Too

Back in the 1960s, the London Times unashamedly projected its elitist image with the slogan "Top People Read The Times."  Incidentally, the poster series for that iconic campaign was done by that doyen of British poster artists and designers, Abram Games (1914-96), who also made many designs on behalf of Jewish and Israeli organisations.

Here's what Britain's respected newspaper of record has to say about the disruption of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's Proms Concert at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday evening.

Top notch, don't you think?


  1. It says:
    "Nothing in all the world, wrote Martin Luther King, is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Both those characteristics were in evidence at the Proms this week, though not on the stage. A performance by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) on Thursday was disrupted by around thirty demonstrators purporting to assert Palestinian rights. The BBC was forced to curtail ...its broadcast of the concert.
    Though the protesters were few and were speedily ejected, and the musicians completed their performance to deservedly enthusiastic applause, there is a danger of underreacting to the attempt to silence the IPO. There is no historical comparison in the threat to Jews or the nature of their antagonists, but aggressive philistinism is a stubborn historical condition that burns books as heedlessly as it shouts down orchestras.
    The performance on the Albert Hall stage by the IPO was sublime; the performance in the auditorium was not protest in any legitimate sense but boneheaded bigotry and intimidation. It debased public debate, disfigured London’s cultural life and reflected unwarranted disgrace on the just claims for Palestinian statehood that the Israeli Government accepts and most Israeli Jews support.

    The stupidity and offensiveness of the protests may be measured in a feeble statement by a pressure group called the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. The group insists that it called for a boycott of the concert rather than its disruption. Yet a campaign that maligns the IPO as a tool of Israeli state propaganda advances an inflammatory lie and evinces ignorance of both history and art.

    The IPO was founded in 1936 to assemble the talents of Jewish musicians from Europe who had lost their livelihoods under Nazi persecution. Its work testifies not to Israeli politics but to Israeli culture, the remarkable Jewish contribution to music, the role of cultural contact in defusing conflict, and the power of music itself.

    Zubin Mehta, the conductor of this week’s Prom, and the IPO hold so firmly to those aims that they have performed Wagner’s music despite the anguish that its historical associations cause. Daniel Barenboim, the Israeli pianist and conductor, has likewise united young Jews and Palestinians in the West-Eastern Divan orchestra. Concertgoers in London were fortunate to be able to listen to the IPO and be elevated from the round of daily life to the world of feeling that is created by music.

    There is an ugly trend for which the London protesters acted as a megaphone. It was evident this week also in Turkey’s expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador to Ankara in protest at alleged excessive force in the Israeli raid on the Gaza flotilla last year.

    Israel has a right to defend itself. How it does so and how its security can be reconciled with Palestinian national claims are legitimate issues of international politics. The Times has criticised Israeli policies on security and the settlements in the West Bank. We exposed the use of white phosphorus by the Israel Defence Forces, despite official denials, in Gaza in 2009. We support a two-state solution to a long conflict and believe that there is a real possibility of securing it.

    But lasting peace will be secured through development and co-operation, exemplified in the economic initiatives of Salam Fayed, the Palestinian Prime Minister, and through negotiation. There is no place in that process for the contemptible cultural vandalism that the IPO valiantly withstood."

  2. Also a
    great editorial in the Weekend Australian under the heading

    "Philistines for Palestine"

    This is one paragraph

    "It may be that music calms the savage beast, but some of the most sublime music in the civilised world could not tame the brutish, selfish arrogance of an ill-mannered, unrepresentative minority. Their action represents a dark moment in public culture and civility and does nothing to further their cause. We have said before that, given the history of Nazi Germany, there is something deeply offensive about targeting Jewish businesses. That is equally the case for these latest attacks on an Israeli orchestra that adds to the extraordinary contribution Jewish musicians and composers have made to classical music. The terrible events of May 1933, when more than 25,000 books were burnt on huge public bonfires in Berlin, were directed at Jewish intellectuals and the culture they had helped build in Germany. That night, and the cultural "cleansing" that followed, remains a deeply distressing reminder of the collapse of the basic values that must underpin a civilised society. To see culture, which should be above partisan politics, attacked as it was in London is alarming. That it should happen at the Proms, perhaps the world's best-known classical music festival, dating back to 1895 and with broad appeal, is doubly upsetting. The Proms represent the tolerance and inclusion that are the best hope for world peace."

    It's worth reproducing in full.

    Thank God for Murdoch.

  3. Thanks, Geoff - the Australian is the best Oz paper by far!

  4. Absolutely Daphne. I've thought that for years. I never miss a copy.

  5. Great piece here by JC editor Stephen Pollard:


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