60 Minutes recently did a show on Daniel Barenboim’s Middle Eastern orchestra — and snuck a sneaky shiv into Israel in the first minute.
This past Sunday, 60 Minutes did a profile of Daniel Barenboim, who has put together an orchestra made up of Middle Eastern Muslims, including Iran, Syria, and Lebanon, and Israelis. The segment’s shtick is that even people who are mortal enemies can make beautiful music together.
This orchestra is one of an endless series of peacenik efforts to get ordinary people to find common ground and stop the hate. And certainly, the people who find themselves in these groups do manage to function well together, but the reality is that these efforts never translate into the Arab/Muslim street giving up its genocidal attitudes towards Israel. But that’s the besides the point here. Here I want to talk about 60 Minutes’ disgraceful exercise in subtle moral equivalence.
The episode started innocuously enough, introducing us to Barenboim and his orchestra:
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more accomplished musician than Daniel Barenboim, a celebrated conductor and distinguished concert pianist, who grew up in Israel and for the last seven decades has been performing with the great orchestras of the world. For many maestros, all that would be enough. Not for Barenboim. At 75, he’s still at it and he’s embarked on a second act: starting his own orchestra for young musicians from Israel and the Muslim world and taking on a subject that’s as contentious as it gets: the conflict in the Middle East. His work has earned him Palestinian citizenship and charges of treachery from some of his fellow Israelis. But as we found out, controversy hasn’t slowed Barenboim down, he seems to thrive on it.
Of all the orchestras Daniel Barenboim leads around the world, this might be the one that moves him the most.
Some of the young musicians on stage at this summer concert in Berlin are Iranian, Syrian, Palestinian.
Isn’t that nice? And then, in the next sentence, 60 Minutes shivs Israel: [Read more…]