Daniel Barenboim ‘should be president of Israel’

He may have time on his hands when the La Scala job is over at the end of next year, but this is one of the unlikelier career-moves for the award-laden international musician.

The proposal comes from Gideon Levy, a left-of-left commentator on the liberal daily, Haaretz, and, while not without merit, it serves chiefly to demonstrate how far the secular left in Israel has drifted apart from mainstream public opinion.

Barenboim, who holds both Israeli and Palestinian passports, would not, by our estimation, be acceptable as a figurehead president to 70 percent of Israeli society. Still, as Theodor Herzl said, if you really want it, it needn’t be a dream.

Read Levy here.



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  • Gideon Levy’s work as a columnist is very controversial, borderline-ridiculous. He is by no means influential, let alone popular (except for very specific circle). I cannot see why anything he thinks is an item, let alone a thing like this, which nobody in Israel would take seriously.

  • I’m wondering why the holder of this ceremonial post even matters to the point that the holder needs to understand politics since the office is supposed to be above politics.

  • I am pretty sure that Daniel Barenboim would make a better president than Mr. Moshe Katsav , who headed the country from 2000 -2007 and is now serving a 7 year prison sentence for rape,obstruction of justice and other charges .

  • I don’t think that Mr. Barenboim would take the job if it were offered to him. For many years he tried to use his art to bring Israelis and Palestinians together in an orchestra. Now he is squarely on the Palestinians’ side and opposed to israel because of the latter’s inhumane treatment of Palestinians in refuge camps. Amnesty International agrees with him about Israel.

    • Amnesty International is to impartiality as much as the UN is, Ms Lerner. So citing them as a reference is little short of risible. Their version of impartiality is confined to a policy of israel-bashing – irrespective of the rights and wrongs of any argument.

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