Odd Timing: Israeli Orchestra Performing Wagner in Germany

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After the slaughter of scores of innocents by a deranged, self-proclaimed anti-Muslim, pro-Israel (though I view him as anti-Israel) Christian right winger Anders Behring Breivik in Norway, the timing of this news at JTA is just weird, though I realize unintended:

The Israel Chamber Orchestra plans to perform a composition by Richard Wagner in Germany, breaking an Israel taboo against playing the anti-Semitic composer's music.

The ensemble will play "Siegfried's Idyll" in the Bavarian town of Bayreuth at an annual festival devoted to Wagner's work. Wagner, who lived from 1813 to 1883, is buried in Bayreuth, where festivals celebrating his operas have long been held.

Since its founding, Israel has had an unofficial ban against playing music by Wagner, whose anti-Semitism was public. His music and writings were long admired by Hitler and featured in Nazi propaganda.

Back to the future.

(h/t Jim Lobe)


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Steve Clemons is Washington editor at large for The Atlantic and editor of Atlantic Live. He writes frequently about politics and foreign affairs. More

Clemons is a senior fellow and the founder of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, a centrist think tank in Washington, D.C., where he previously served as executive vice president. He writes and speaks frequently about the D.C. political scene, foreign policy, and national security issues, as well as domestic and global economic-policy challenges.

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