Daniel Barenboim: „Today, I Am Ashamed to Be an Israeli“

Interview in der Bildzeitung v. 23.07.2018

In einem Beitrag für die Haaretz (am 22. Juli 2018) beschreibt der Stardirigent den Staat Israel als Apartheidstaat, für den er sich schäme. Für ihn stelle sich die Frage, ob der Zustand der Besatzung und der Herrschaft über ein anderes Volk noch zum in der Unabhängigkeitserklärung des Staates Israel beschworenen Gleichheit passe. Es gäbe jetzt „ein Gesetz, das die arabische Bevölkerung als Bürger zweiter Klasse bestätigt. Es ist daher eine sehr klare Form der Apartheid“, so Barenboim. Hintergrund für Barenboims Äußerung ist die Verabschiedung des israelischen „Nationalitätsgesetz“, das Israels Status als jüdischer Nationalstaat verankert. Hebräisch wird damit zur offiziellen Landessprache erklärt, während Arabisch – bisher zweite Amtssprache – nur noch einen „Sonderstatus“ erhält. Die arabische Minderheit spricht vom „Tod der Demokratie“, Vertreter der EU sprachen von rassistischen Tendenzen, die in dem Gesetz zu kritisieren seien.“ (Südwestradio v. 23.07.2018)

Hier Auszüge aus dem Haaretz-Artikel:

Today, I am ashamed to be an Israeli
The founding fathers of the State of Israel considered the principle of equality and the pursuit of peace as the bedrock of the society they were building. What happened?
Daniel Barenboim | Jul. 22, 2018 | 2:03 PM | 27

In 2004 I gave a speech at the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, in which I spoke about the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel. I called it „a source of inspiration to believe in ideals that transformed us from Jews to Israelis.“

I went on to say that, „this remarkable document expressed the commitment: „The State of Israel will devote itself to the development of this country for the benefit of all its people; it will be founded on the principles of freedom, justice and peace, guided by the visions of the prophets of Israel; it will grant full equal, social and political rights to all its citizens regardless of differences of religious faith, race or sex; it will ensure freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture.““

The founding fathers of the State of Israel who signed the Declaration considered the principle of equality as the bedrock of the society they were building. They also committed themselves, and us, „to pursue peace and good relations with all neighboring states and people.“ […]

It fills me with deep sorrow that I must today ask the very same questions which I asked 14 years ago when addressing the Knesset: Can we ignore the intolerable gap between what the Declaration of Independence promised and what was fulfilled, the gap between the idea and the realities of Israel?

Does the condition of occupation and domination over another people fit the Declaration of Independence? Is there any sense in the independence of one at the expense of the fundamental rights of the other?

Can the Jewish people whose history is a record of continued suffering and relentless persecution, allow themselves to be indifferent to the rights and suffering of a neighboring people?

Can the State of Israel allow itself an unrealistic dream of an ideological end to the conflict instead of pursuing a pragmatic, humanitarian one based on social justice? […]

I don’t think the Jewish people survived for 20 centuries, mostly through persecution and enduring endless cruelties, in order to now become the oppressors, inflicting cruelty on others. This new law does exactly that.

That is why I am ashamed of being an Israeli today.

Daniel Barenboim is general music director of La Scala, the Berlin State Opera and the Staatskapelle Berlin. Together with the late Edward Said he co-founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, a Seville-based orchestra of young Arab and Israeli musicians.