Tel Aviv University refuses to host Wagner concert
Donald Macintyre writes political sketches for The Independent, having been Jerusalem correspondent since 2004, covering Israel and the Occupied Territories, as well as travelling for the paper to Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Libya and Egypt.
Wednesday 06 June 2012
Tel Aviv University has refused to host the first Wagner concert in Israel since the state's foundation on the grounds that it would "deeply hurt the feelings" of the public, including Holocaust survivors.
The German, who openly expressed anti-Semitic views and was Hitler's favourite composer, was to have been the subject of a day of music and discussion, including on the inspiration the Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl is said to have drawn from Richard Wagner's opera Tannhauser. Previous attempts to perform Wagner's works in Israel have foundered on similar opposition.
Yonatan Livny, the son of a Holocaust survivor, and founder of the Israel Wagner Society, which planned the event, denied university claims that he had concealed the true nature of the concert and told the German news agency DPA that he had had the explicit permission of the university's president.
He said he would try to find an alternative location.
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