Kissin to Jewish musicians: Come join me in Israel

We have received first video of the great pianist’s citizenship ceremony in Jerusalem last week. Presented by the former Soviet refusenik Natan Sharansky, Kissin issued an emotional appeal in Russian, English and Hebrew for his fellow professionals to show solidarity with his new country.

Watch, starting at 14:00.

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  • Does he think he lives in 1948? Given his famed otherworldliness, I wonder why his remarks get so much attention. Here for the second time in a week.

  • sigh . . . when will ignoramuses learn that when the State of Israel is recognized by her neighbors, and stop murdering her citizens, there will no longer be a conflict?

    • That is when those who support Israel for whatever reason and Israel itself will give up the myth that the state of Israel was based on peaceful presumptions and that from the onset on under the cover of being the victim it has expelled non-Jews and has been ever expanding into territories that were never part of its borders as designated originally. You could say that it might help if Israel recognises its own borders instead of claiming that others do so.

    • It can help to watch the Barenboim Said West Eastern Divan orchestra. Indeed knowledge is the beginning, instead of sticking to myths. And claim that others don’t know.

      • There is really no point in attempting to debate the issue with minds that are locked into ‘Palestinian’ mythology.

          • The long list of UN’s anti-Israel resolutions reveals much more about the biases of UN’s majority than it does about Israel and its history.

          • It is always good to realsise that Jews lived in comparatively favourable conditions in all Middle-East countries for over two milliennia while for centuries in Europe pogroms raged, resulting in the Holocaust. Only when the inernational powers started to carve up the region after the scecond world war suspicion about the loyalty of Jewish fellow-countrymen started to rise, here and there resulting in tragic hatred. Still nothing even remotely comparable to what had happened in Europe happened. However given the new artificial creations of states a narrative of the small tiny Israel surrounded by bloodthirsty people had to be invented. Western nations gladly joined this narrative, able to cover up some of their guilt.

          • First: Israel being “small tiny”, compared to the large group of decidedly unfriendly neighbors surrounding it, is not a “narrative” but an undeniable fact of geography and demography. Second: the reality was certainly different during the 12th century, but we live in the 21st now, and these days the most immediate existential danger to Jewish lives comes from within those nations that dominate Middle East, at least partially by virtue of their sheer size and richness of their natural resources, not to mention the overwhelming advantage in their population numbers. The fact that before the last century those same “cousins” lived on relatively friendly terms for a rather long time does not change the present situation but does give one a glimmer of hope for a better future.

        • It seems you are referring to me, but I can assure you I am locked up in nobody’s mythology. But isn’t the paradox of the state of israel that it is trying to prove both that it is secular and that it is rooted in the Biblical mythology? Anyhow let us go back to Kissin, once one of the best pianist around, but not a world politics expert and rather an unworldly nerd, whose career was gradually on the decline moreover, so why are his words taken so serious? All this could also be a pathetic publicity stunt, and for sure it is from the side of Sharansky.

          • There is nothing paradoxical about a state that, while being officially and legally secular, still respects history and culture (including religion) of the majority of its population.

          • No one is being forced to take anyone’s words more seriously than one is inclined to do. However, in case of Sharansky, I choose to take his words about Israel very seriously because he is an intelligent man who knows this subject extremely well.

  • Sharansky lost all his wit when he came to Israel and made part of political “Nomenclature”. In his knowledge of Israel history he’s just a merely Pharisee. Kissin weakness and immaturity I noticed when he played 10 encores at London Prom many years ago. Esfir Ross.

    • Playing 10 encores with Kissin’s consistently impeccable quality shows his incredible stamina and tremendous generosity – certainly not “weakness” or even “immaturity”, though “many years ago” he was probably still a teenager or very close to it at which age it is only natural for most normal people to not yet be fully mature. As for Sharansky, I am perfectly comfortable in betting on his knowledge of Israeli history against that of virtually anyone on this blog.

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