Top Israeli musicians protest deportations

Top Israeli musicians protest deportations


norman lebrecht

January 28, 2018

More than 200 leading musicians have signed a petition calling on the Netanyahu government to drop its plan to deport African asylum seekers who have sought refuge in the country

The signatories include the conductors Ilan Volkov, Yoav Talmi, Daniel Cohen and Yuval Zorn; composers Chaya Czernowin, Zvi Avni, and Jerusalem Academy president Yinam Leef; singers Mira Zakai, Chen Reiss, Hila Baggio and Keren Hadar; pianists Einav Yarden, Iddo Bar Shai and Shay Wosner, as well as section leaders from both the Israel Philharmonic and the Israel Symphony orchestras.

They write:

The refusal of several countries to accept Jewish refugees before, during and after the Second World War, is one of our most traumatic memories as a society. We must not be those who will be responsible for creating similar trauma in a community which needs our assistance at this time, assistance we are able to offer. 
We call upon the Israeli government and its Prime Minister to learn the lesson from this traumatic memory, to take part in helping to solve the global refugee crisis, and to set an example in the way it treats asylum seekers within its borders.


  • Sharon says:

    Good for them!

  • esfir ross says:

    A lot musician immigrated to Israel, but none signed the petition. Most from USSR joint movement to push out African refugees. But happy to see wonderful pianists like Einav Yarden, Shai Wosner, Ido Bar Shai with great empathy.

  • Fred says:

    oh, dear another distorted story. These refugees are not refugees in the political sense and certainly not in the sense of the Jewish refugees of the thirties but economy refugees. They are a disbehaving community and creaters of many social problems.
    If you would live in their neighbourhood you would peep otherwise….

    • Nattie Roman says:

      The Israeli treatment of Palestinians suggests that Israel just wants the land to itself. No migrants. No Palestinians. Recent Pew polling statistics show that many American Jews are sympathetic to Palestinian rights. For example, a “plurality of American Jews think settlements hurt Israel’s own security.” Worldwide, as demonstrated repeatedly at the UN, there is substantial criticism of how Israel treats non-Jews. As someone who used to buy Israel bonds, I have decided after extensive reading and talking to my brother who lived in Israel for several years that Israel must change its ways. It may not always have the US as a protector. I applauds what these humanistic Israeli musicians are doing.

    • esfir ross says:

      I live in my neighborhood for almost 3 decade that 90% African-American. We’re very closed-knit community with respect to every origin. Israel government has history of mistreating Jews of Morocco, Ephiopia, Mid-East. In my time in Israel contempt to Gruzian, Bucharian, from Odessa. There’s legitimate Jewish State that exist for 85 years, where Jews didn’t experiences discrimination, anti-semetizm-EOA with Birobijan as capital and Yiddish as official language. Surprise, how few Jews around the world aware of its existence.