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)

Friday 5 June 2020

The Magnificent Mr Burton

Image credit: Middle East Eye/Ali Harb
What a sad and sorry shambles these recent days have been and continue to be:
- For those of us who remember such events as:the American race riots of the 1960s, and the hope of a new dawn engendered by the Civil Rights Movement and the stance and oratory of Dr Martin Luther King;
For those of us who recall the tragic death of young Australian Jewish scholar Yankel Rosenbaum, so tragically killed amid racial tensions in Crown Heights in 2010;
For those of us who respect America and are grieved to see that country tear itself apart in the wake of the shocking needless death of George Floyd;
For those of us who love Israel and see the way that the enemies of Jews and Israel have been exploiting Mr Floyd's death for their own propaganda ends, as in the Washington protest pictured above, and in the targeting of synagogues in Los Angeles.

Much has been written on the antisemitism that lurks within sections of the Black Lives Matter movement and within Antifa, and about the lawlessness and looting that has erupted in many American cities (take a look at this video drive-through of Manhattan to see the incredible number of "high-end" stores that were victimised, cleaned out, and are now boarded up!)

In 2015 the superbly gifted and highly likeable young Afro-American bass-baritone Dashon Burton, he of the charismatic  presence and rich deep velvety tones, recorded Plain-Chant for America, a confronting piece that has assumed a fresh relevance now. 

If you have not yet discovered Mr Burton (whose former college roommate and other friends confirm in YouTube comments that he is every bit as kind-hearted and charming as online interviews with him suggest) the first place to make his acquaintance might be this beautiful and hauntingly poignant spiritual from his album Songs of Struggle & Redemption:

Known particularly as a performer of Baroque music, especially Bach and Handel, Mr Burton is very versatile, as his participation (2013) in Lori Laitman's Holocaust, 1944 shows:

And here's Mr Burton's triumphant rendering (2012) of Handel's rousing The Trumpet Shall Sound, a performance that clearly had many members of the choir enraptured:


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