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Philadelphia reaches Israel with record number of fans

May 31, 2018 by norman lebrecht

52 comments.


The Philadelphia Orchestra’s trip to Israel is being accompanied by an unusually large number of patrons.

On tour, the orchestra normally takes an entourage of a dozen or so friends on the plane. For the Israel trip, 70 are going along.

Read here.


photo: Elizabeth Starr Masoudnia


Comments (52)

  1. Tamino says:

    Philadelphia: from Ancient Greek Φιλαδέλφεια (Philadélpheia), from φιλέω (philéō, “I love”) + ἀδελφός (adelphós, “brother”).

  2. Pierre says:

    Are they playing in Gaza as well ?

    1. James says:

      Hamas would never allow an orchestra to play in Gaza imo. Anyway they’re busy doing other things – yesterday they shot some 70 mortars and some heavy machine-gun fire at Israel towns across the border, timed for the hour children were being taken to school (a nursery was hit amongst other places).

  3. Sharon says:

    Cultural boycotts almost always backfire.

    There is a strong interest in classical music in Israel and diplomatically this is pretty historic. The concerts will probably be sold out. I hope that everything goes well

    1. Gareth Jones says:

      Cultural boycotts of South Africa worked decisively in the end. I think there’s no doubt that the Philadelphia Orchestra’s stance and activities in Israel are somewhat disappointing – though of course I share your hope that the tour goes off safely

      1. Doug says:

        And how has South Africa worked out? I mean, in reality, not to a sloganeering leftist sheep.

        1. Gareth Jones says:

          Well, Doug, that depends upon whether one is a white supremacist or an African who would rather live without race and pass laws: it’s not perfect but it’s a darn sight better than the ‘80s. Speaking as a leftist sloganeer I’ll stick with my African friends and leave the Fascisti to you

          1. Will Duffay says:

            Well said Gareth.

      2. Mark says:

        The comparison between Israel and South Africa suggests that you have an IQ of a dead slug

        1. Tamino says:

          Actually the comparison is quite valid for the days when South Africa was an aphartheid state. The two countries back then were also very close, particularly in a few military and top secret projects.

          1. James says:

            It’s not a fair comparison at all. Israel is not remotely an apartheid state. There are Arabs at every level of Israeli society – the judge who sentenced a former Prime Minister to prison is an Arab, the Arab party is the third-largest in the Knesset, there are Arab high-court judges, Arab army officers, Arab winners of TV reality shows, Arab media etc. It is considerably more free and open to different races than most of the Arab world.

        2. Gareth Jones says:

          My original point was an observation about the efficacy of cultural boycotts, rather than a comparison of two political states – as you might have worked out if you’d tried a little harder. Dead slugs! Oh my, you are sweet.

          1. Sharon says:

            It was not the cultural boycotts that turned South Africa around. Perhaps the economic boycotts helped.

            Targeted boycotts like against Caterpiller tractor whose tractors at least used to be involved in demolishing Palestinian homes (you do not hear a lot about that anymore) or boycotting the new Israeli olives coming out of the Negev which are competing against Palestinian olives, might be appropriate (at least at one time Palestinians were not allowed to have any economic enterprise which competed with Israel; I suppose that Israel thought that this could be a point of negotiations).

            Cultural boycotts do not provide any real leverage and just cause resentment among those whom one is trying to pressure.

  4. Bart W says:

    Of course the fans are coming along. This is a propaganda tour for Israel, as has been claimed before. These musical prostitutes of the Israeli occupation are even going to give music classes to Israeli soldiers. To soldiers of the army that a few weeks ago was murdering unarmed Palestinian protesters who were no threat at all. (No, they weren’t. The standing orders of the Israeli Occupation Forces that were leaked in the Israeli press called for shooting on unarmed civilians from a distance of 100 meters of the border fence. 100 meters.)

    The Philadelphia Orchestra and Nézet-Seguin have lost all moral high ground. They are a propaganda outfit for Israel. Period. End of story.

    1. The View from America says:

      lol

      1. Josef Pampalk says:

        In South Africa those who enforced Apartheid and who profited from it, diminished themselves and lost their own humanity by treating inhumanly the African victims.

        By accepting the difficult learning process of a democratic transition and of equal rights for all human beings they are recuperating their own humanity.

        Is this too difficult to understand or to accept in time, before it is too late?
        Koblinger

    2. Mark says:

      Any military is perfectly within its rights to fire at people who are trying to cross its country’s borders illegally. Especially if these “people” are armed (these animals were anything but unarmed) and yelling “Oh, Jews, we are coming to slaughter you !”

    3. Harold Lewis says:

      But not the end of your myopic parroting of Hamas lies and distortions, Bart W. ‘Unarmed” my foot! Cynically portrayed as ‘civilians’ by the Hamas propaganda machine, the ‘protesters’ were an organized mob of Hamas ‘militants’. armed with explosive devices, flamethrowers, Molotov cocktails and other weapons, pledged to invade Israel and butcher every Jew they could lay their hands on. Even Hamas admit that.

      1. Tamino says:

        But if Hamas are such evil people, how would you call those who created Hamas as the needed boogey man for a militant and expansionist Greater Israel? There are people on both sides who have lost their humanity a long time ago and who do not want peace.
        Those stirred up kids with sling shots who faced the Israeli army are working for Bibi et al‘s greater objective…
        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/07/30/how-israel-helped-create-hamas/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.f6ef2dd3cc9e

        1. Mark says:

          Sure, pumpkin. Now put on your tinfoil hat and yell “What’s the frequency, Kenneth ?”

          1. Gareth Jones says:

            It’s an established fact that Hamas was created by Israeli agents to undermine Arafat’s Fatah movement. Hamas operatives then murdered their handlers and became militant activists… but their origins were in Mossad

          2. Michael says:

            Israel created Hamas in the same sense that America created the Taliban. At the time, there was a larger enemy. For America, it was the Soviet Union. For Israel, it was the PLO, which was run by Arafat’s Fatah Party, a terrorist organization. Israel helped fund the PLO’s biggest threat, Hamas. I’m not sure what your insinuation is, if any, when you say Israel “created” Hamas. It may have been misguided policy, but the Israeli concerns were legitimate.

    4. Israeli says:

      Are you sure you know what are you talking about? Your brain washed by criminal pro-palestinian propaganda. When you are antisemit it’s so easy to believe it. But when some body will come to kill you, at your home please try to react in proportion.

      1. Tamino says:

        Proportion. Let’s talk about reacting in proportion. Here are the numbers.

        https://www.vox.com/2014/7/14/5898581/chart-israel-palestine-conflict-deaths

        “Since January 2005, when the conflict began to change dramatically, it has killed 4,006 people, of whom 168 have been Israeli and 3,838 Palestinian. That means that, since January 2005, only four percent of those killed have been Israeli, and 96 percent Palestinian. Since January 2005, in other words, the conflict has killed 23 Palestinians for every one Israeli it claims.”

        1. Israeli says:

          Yes, dear. It’s happen when you sending the rockets from the area with a lot of civilians around. It’s happen when dozens of terrorists run with knifes to kill jews and jews just succeed to do it first. So don’t be too lazy to go a little beat deeper into the problem. Or probably you’ll be happy the proportion will be opposite?

          1. Michael says:

            More Nazis died in WW2 than Americans. Does that make the Nazis right? Does that make America’s response disproportionate?

          2. Tamino says:

            Actually in WW2 with its estimated death toll of about 60 million people, “only” 6 million, 1 out of 10, were Germans, of which only a fraction were actually Nazis. The nation who paid the highest death toll and was the most important in defeating Nazi Germany was the Soviet Union. It’s always astonishing, how bad and propagandistically distorted history education in US schools was and is.
            US Americans tend to think they defeated Nazi Germany.

    5. Simon says:

      Well said Bart, when was an unarmed child such a threat to a country that it had to slaughter them?

      1. Mark says:

        Ask the parents who deliberately bring this child to a staged anti-Israel event, knowing that they’ll face the armed Israel border guards. The parents are responsible for their child’s death.

        1. Gareth Jones says:

          There is nowhere in Gaza or the Occupied West Bank that does not face armed Israeli security forces. Ultimately people are going to have to realise that having Israeli and Palestinian kids kill each other can never be justified and must stop. Yitzak Rabin said that… right before he was murdered by someone else who thought that killing people was justified

          1. Michael says:

            Where in Gaza are there Israeli troops? Israel dismantled every settlement and withdrew all troops from Gaza in 2005. There is not a soldier or settler left there.

          2. Mark says:

            Jones, you are Alex Jones’ cousin ? Israel withdrew from Gaza and dismantled all the settlements there. The day these Arab morons realize that hating Jews and Israel doesn’t the least bit improve their well-being, Israel will stop shooting – won’t have to.

          3. Tamino says:

            Michael, Gaza is in fact a huge open air prison. Saying there is no Israel military inside Gaza is like saying in a prison, that there are no guards, since they are not inside cells.
            It‘s hard to imagine how it must be to grow up in Gaza. Absolutely no future. Dystopian.

          4. Michael says:

            If Gazans have no future they have themselves to blame for voting for terrorists. Egypt has a border wall with Gaza and created buffer zones after it was the victim of Palestinian terror… but of course it’s only Israel that’s criticized for these things.

          5. Tamino says:

            I’m not sure where you see blame in what I said. My words were pretty descriptive, not judgmental.

          6. Michael says:

            Never said otherwise.

      2. Michael says:

        If a man is running at you and shooting at you and as he fires at you he holds a child in front of him as a shield and you fire back because if you don’t he will kill you, and you kill the shooter, but you accidentally kill the child too, that child’s death is tragic but the aggressor is to blame, not the defender. Everyone has the moral right to defend himself.

        1. Gareth Jones says:

          You need to study more, Michael. Both Yitzhak Segev and Avner Cohen admitted in the 2000s that Hamas were created by Israeli agents using Israeli funds. That is not an insinuation. It was not an unintended consequence. It was a deliberate action by individuals and small groups who were employed by the State of Israel.

          Go on – look it up

          1. Michael says:

            What’s your insinuation? Israel funded Hamas at one point to combat the PLO. America funded Taliban at one point to combat the USSR. Foreign affairs sometimes make for strange bedfellows.

          2. Gareth Jones says:

            You’re really not very bright, are you, Michael? You keep parroting “insinuation” even when told that’s the wrong word. One last time, therefore: go and find the references to Segev and Cohen. They are Jews and Israelis. They have no reason to lie. Their statements of fact are corroborated. Say whatever you like about Hamas and its more recent history – I don’t much care for them myself. But their origins involve Israeli funding and Israeli agents. Period.

            As for Gaza… OF COURSE there are no Israeli soldiers there, no one said there were. But Gazans are indeed confronted by security forces through surveillance, near-constant weapons fire, universal interruption of utilities, and endless fencing. That is all confrontational and quite frankly no one else in the world, with the exception of the Rohingya, live in such appalling circumstances.

            By all means support Israel as strongly as you like, just don’t deny facts and don’t lose your humanity in the process. Plenty of Jews agree with me, after all – including Avner Cohen

          3. Michael says:

            Gareth – you’re making some sort of insinuation by repeating that Israel at one point funded Hamas. Again, I’m not sure what it that insinuation is. America at one point funded the Taliban. Does that mean America shouldn’t protect itself when attacked by the Taliban?

            You said, “There is nowhere in Gaza or the Occupied West Bank that does not face armed Israeli security forces.” You’re changing your story now. But whatever. Security exists at the borders. Not inside Gaza. Israel has absolutely nothing to gain from conflict with Gaza. It’s only a PR mess for them. When Israel withdrew from Gaza, it left 3,000 greenhouses that produced flowers and fruit for export. Israel could have been bitter and destroyed them. Instead, they left them as a sign of peace and economic cooperation with the Gazans. Israel also opened borders and encouraged commerce. The first thing the Palestinians did when Israel left? They destroyed all 3,000 greenhouses. After, they elected Hamas their leaders, and used money meant to build their infrastructure to build tunnels to Israel for terrorist attacks. Every ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is broken by Hamas.

            Plenty of Jews do agree with you. They’re also wrong.

          4. Tamino says:

            Michael, the green house story is unrealistic propaganda. They were not all destroyed by Palestinians. in fact Palestinian leadership proclaimed that they should not be touched. Yet they were unable to protect all of them from looting. About a third was damaged.
            That the green houses are not able to be productive as much anymore has also to do with the Palestinians not being able to export their produce, since Israel is blocking border check points. Also water supply is not under control of Palestinians. No agriculture without water supply.
            You are a victim of black and white Zionist propaganda. Never helps a discussion.

          5. Michael says:

            I said the Palestinians destroyed the greenhouses and that’s precisely who destroyed them by your own statement, regardless of what leadership instructed. So I don’t see the “propaganda.” As soon as Israel withdrew, the Palestinians: 1) destroyed the greenhouses and 2) elected Hamas. After Israel made a sign of good faith, the Palestinians responded not with openness, but by doubling down on the same policies.

            The problem is that the Palestinians commit terror, Israel responds with protective measures (like controlling the borders so arms don’t get smuggled in), this impacts the Palestinian economy, and then Israel is blamed when the root cause of Palestinian suffering was their terror, not the blockade. In other words: no terror, no blockade.

            And what doesn’t help a discussion is triggering language like calling someone a “victim of Zionist propaganda.”

          6. Tamino says:

            Michael, what you (and the zionist propaganda) call ‚terror‘ are simply the symptoms of a so called asymmetric conflict. One side has a modern strong army and air force. The other side has self made backyard rockets, molotov cocktails and sling shots. Both sides are in violation of many international regulations. So from an outside perspective, each side is legitimate to fight for their interest, if peaceful means can‘t succeed. Simply calling one side terrorists is a cute propaganda trick, but doesn‘t honor reality. Also remember there were times when zionist settlers didn‘t have support of a full state army, and then they reverted to ‚terrorist‘ means as well. You can‘t have it both ways, make use if it in your own history, and then condemn it when it‘s directed against you.

          7. Michael says:

            Tamino – was 9/11 “asymmetric conflict”?

            Terrorism is generally considered to be against civilians. So-called Jewish “terrorism” was mainly against British military targets, not civilians. There were offshoot Jewish groups, like Irgun, that targeted Arab civilians, mainly in response to Arabs targeting Jewish civilians. I condemn such actions.

          8. Tamino says:

            9/11 was very much asymmetric conflict. A gang of mostly Saudi-Arabian patsies with box cutters brought down the gigantic towers of one of the sanctuary of western capitalism, the WTC.
            And no, terrorism is not against civilians by definition. Terrorism is to create terror. Often soft, unprotected targets are chosen, simply because they are accessible to the terrorists, unlike well protected military installations.
            Yet if you look at the list of major Al-Qaeda terror attacks against the west, they were mostly governmental or military targets, or symbols of western (monetary) power, not civilians. (USS Cole, US Embassies Kenia&Tansania, WTC)

          9. Michael says:

            Thanks, you’ve made my point for me re: assymetrism. Might may not make right. But neither does might make wrong. People have a natural sympathy for the weaker side (i.e., the Palestinians) but that’s too shallow an analysis in determining the moral side.

            I said terrorism is generally against civilians, not exclusively. There is no commonly accepted definition of terrorism but dictionary.com defines it as: “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.” And certainly terrorism against civilians is the more nefarious than against military targets.

  5. Barry Guerrero says:

    Here we go again.

    1. Steven says:

      Ugh I know, right?
      Let’s get back to music, people–that’s why I visit this site.
      Sheesh!

  6. Ben says:

    I truly appreciate the orchestra’s pre-concert announcement last night @ Musikverein. It goes like: If anybody wanna express anything, do so before the music starts, but not during the performance.

    Brilliant.

    1. Steven says:

      Agreed!

    2. Barry Guerrero says:

      May I safely assume that that announcement was made auf Deutsch, or at least ALSO auf Deutsch?


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