Daily Israel Report

Protest Against Orchestra’s Wagner Concert

Israeli Chamber Orchestra to perform Wagner in Nazi hero’s home town. Simultaneous protest in Tel Aviv.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/26/2011, 9:13 AM

The Israeli Chamber Orchestra is to perform Richard Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll at the Bayreuth Opera Festival in Bayreuth, Germany, Tuesday at 11:30 A.M. 
A protest against the concert will be held in Tel Aviv at the same time.
The Orchestra’s decision violates an unofficial 70-year boycott of Wagner’s music by Israeli orchestras. Wagner was a virulent anti-Semite and a hero of the Nazi regime.
The protest is being organized by Amit Shikli of the Social Leadership Academy at Kfar Tavor, who only heard of the concert Monday. He immediately contacted the pre-military academies, My Israel, HaShomer HaChadash and other Zionist groups and asked for their help in making the demonstration happen.
“The demonstration was born yesterday morning when I and some of my pupils read the outrageous remarks made by [Musical Director of the Israeli Chamber Orchestra] Roberto Paternostro,” Shilkli explained Tuesday. Paternostro, said Shikli, “declared that there is widespread agreement to the concert in Israel, especially from the younger generation.
“This sentence threw me out of balance.”
The protest is a declaration that the concert is not something Israel’s young generation agrees to, Shikli stated. “A Holocaust does not occur in one day. Ideological background and cultural background are needed.” Wagner is among the people who laid the foundations of the Holocaust, he explained, and taking part in a concert dedicated to him is like Holocaust denial.
The protest will take place at 11:30 outside the Stage Arts Pavilion (Golda Center) at Shaul HaMelech Street in Tel Aviv.