Posted on May 13, 2006, by & filed under News.

“….if Israel wants to have a permanent place it must become part of the Middle East, and it must be aware of the culture that already existed here, and not pretend, as has been done for a long time now, that it was a desert and an uncultured one at that.” Daniel Barenboim’s final lecture in a series of 5 BBC Reith Lectures, which were on the theme of the relevance and importance of classical musical appreciation and understanding to life and society, was delivered from West Jerusalem. He includes an outspoken and urgent appeal for Israel to find a Middle Eastern identity, with close links to the Europe from where Israeli Jewry came, and with less dependence on the USA and its Jewish lobby. His fourth lecture came from East Jerusalem. You can read all five lectures from the BBC website here. Barenboim and the late Edward Said had a vision for helping to develop more understanding between Israeli Jewish and Palestinian peoples through founding and assisting classical Arabic and Western music projects and orchestras.