Israeli musician Daniel Barenboim. (Reuters)

Israeli pianist Daniel Barenboim takes Palestinian citizenship
By News Agencies

Daniel Barenboim, the world renowned Israeli pianist and conductor, has taken Palestinian citizenship and said he believed his rare new status could serve a model for peace between the two peoples.

“It is a great honor to be offered a passport,” he said late on Saturday after a Beethoven piano recital in Ramallah, the West Bank city where he has been active for some years in promoting contact between young Arab and Israeli musicians.

“I have also accepted it because I believe that the destinies of … the Israeli people and the Palestinian people are inextricably linked,” Barenboim said. “We are blessed – or cursed – to live with each other. And I prefer the first.”

“The fact that an Israeli citizen can be awarded a Palestinian passport, can be a sign that it is actually possible,” he continued.

Former Palestinian Information Minister Mustafa Barghouthi, who helped organize Saturday’s concert, said the passport had been approved by the previous government of which he was a member and which was replaced in June. The passport had actually been issued about six weeks ago, he added.

Argentine-born Barenboim, 65, is a controversial figure in his adoptive homeland, both for his promotion of 19th-century composer Richard Wagner – whose music and anti-Semitic writings influenced Adolf Hitler – and vocal opposition to Israeli policies in the Palestinian territories.

Asked about U.S. President George W. Bush’s remarks last week on a visit to the region that a peace could be signed this year, Barenboim warned of the danger of raising hopes too high.

“It would be absolutely horrible if now, with good intentions, expectations are raised which will not be able to be fulfilled,” Barenboim said. “Then we will sink into an even greater depression.”

Though he dismissed any wish to play a political role, the former music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra took a dig at Bush’s strikingly forceful call in Jerusalem last week for Israel to end, in the president’s own words, “the occupation.”

“Now even not very intelligent people are saying that the occupation has to be stopped,” Barenboim said.

Along with the late Palestinian academic Edward Said, he co-founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, made up of young musicians from Israel, the Palestinian territories and neighboring Arab countries.


  1. abc said,

    January 13, 2008 at 19:02

    World needs more people like Daniel Barenboim…..we all must learn to love and respect each other.

  2. Chris in FL said,

    January 13, 2008 at 19:44

    A heartening gesture amongst the gloom.

    Perhaps the Palestinians should run with this and open up an avenue for others of stature and influence who feel a similarity with Daniels brave example.
    Humm Pop stars, Hollywod icons, Mandela, George Galloway ?

  3. Mr. DOUBLE-SPEAK himself said,

    January 13, 2008 at 20:09

    Bethlehem Offers passports to ANYONE willing to accept it.
    Apply at

  4. Dan said,

    January 13, 2008 at 20:16

    Good example en brave!
    Who follows in the right footsteps?

  5. Agar Supaya said,

    January 13, 2008 at 20:36

    Daniel Barenboim is indeed a peace maker and a builder of bridges, and he deserves all our respect for that. However, It takes two parties to achieve peace. Israel fears peace more than it fears war, because peace would mean that it would have to respect its own borders, it would have to live up to international law, it would have to live with its neighbours etc. It will have nothing of that!

    Therefore, Daniel Barenboim is despised by the Zionists, and he has been on the Jewish S.H.I.T. (Self Hating and/or Israel Threatening) List for a long time.

    Personally, I do not think that the Maestro is “self hating” as I see no reason for that (have you ever heard about self-haters apart from Jews who do not toe the Zionist line?). “Self hating” is used de belittle Jews who are against Zionism. It corresponds to “Anti-Semite”, a term used on goyim whom the Zionists do not like!

    If we feel that the label “self hating” is too ridiculous it means that he must be Israel threatening!

    The explanation for that is that giving concerts in Ramallah exposes the defenseless state of Israel to acts of terror and Maestro Barenboim is clearly described on the list as a promoter of terrorism! (read it yourself even if it is sickening!)

    In this perspective I fully understand that Israel is going nuts about the construction of an Iranian nuclear power station, which is so threatening to its very survival that it necessitates Iran to be “taken out”, possibly with nuclear weapons!

    We need more brave and honest people like Maestro Barenboim, not least in the political circles of the US which blindly follow Zionist orders.

  6. Agar Supaya said,

    January 13, 2008 at 21:41

    If you would like to know how appreciated Maestro Barenboim’s move is in the Israeli population you can check this article from Haaretz and the reactions it has caused from its Israeli readers.

    It will be interesting to see to which extent the Zionist owned and operated MSM in USA will cover this story. My guess is that they have their hands full following the development of the Britney Spears story!

    You have to prioritize after all …

  7. Agar Supaya said,

    January 13, 2008 at 21:42

    Sorry, here is the link:

  8. benevolent said,

    January 13, 2008 at 22:43

    What a great human being !!!

    Thank you Mister Daniel Barenboim!!

  9. January 13, 2008 at 23:59

    […] ONE MAN’S PRIVATE ROAD TO PEACE ~~ ISRAELI BECOMES PALESTINIAN CITIZEN Israeli musician Daniel Barenboim. (Reuters) [image] […]

  10. Ahmad said,

    January 14, 2008 at 02:12

    That is a nice gesture. It would have more impact if he also renounced his Israeli citizenship…

  11. n.z. said,

    January 14, 2008 at 02:32

    Now this is whom we can all call A MAN OF PEACE.

    Bless his humanity!

  12. i am the son said,

    January 14, 2008 at 14:06

    That is perfect. If all the Palestinians and Israels were merged, there would be no conflict, for they would all occupy the same territories as brothers.

    The whole mideast situation would dissolve. Why didn’t anyone think of that before?

  13. January 14, 2008 at 14:23

    […] « Honesty and Youth Final Solution January 14, 2008 I read with interest the Israeli pianist who applied for and received a Palestinian passport in an effort to promote […]

  14. joeturner said,

    January 14, 2008 at 14:28

    POI: the Open Bethlehem ‘passport’ is symbolic and is not the same as a Palestinian Authority passport.

    I am curious though. I wonder what processes one has to go through to get an official PA passport.

  15. ingriddanielle said,

    January 14, 2008 at 14:42

    Now this is what I am talking about. This gentleman is the model for what true peace looks like between Israel and Palestine. I am heartened and uplifted by this story. His ability to see past his culture into the humanity of opposition speaks to everything that is good about Judaism, Islam & Christianity. Here’s hoping more people take a step towards peace using his path as a guide!

  16. atcheruti said,

    January 14, 2008 at 18:18

    If Barenboim has given up his place in Israel can I have it instead?

  17. frmad said,

    January 15, 2008 at 08:25

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  18. January 16, 2008 at 09:06

    […] to be used in the ‘Fight For Peace’… The first one represents Daniel Barenboim, Israeli musician that dared to ‘cross the line’ and became a Palestinian citizen this […]

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