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Tuesday, 24 July, 2001, 19:44 GMT 20:44 UK
Israel calls for Barenboim boycott
Wagner was a known anti-Semite and Hitler favourite
An Israeli parliamentary committee has urged a boycott on conductor Daniel Barenboim for performing music by Hitler's favourite composer at a Jerusalem festival.

Barenboim offended the committee by playing Wagner at the prestigious Berlin Staatskapelle concert on 7 July, after initially agreeing not to play the composer's music.

Daniel Barenboim
Barenboim: Broke a decades-old Israeli taboo
The world-famous conductor said in May he would exclude Wagner's opera Die Walkuerie after pressure from Holocaust survivors, politicians, and members of a Nazi-hunting organization.

However, at the end of the concert he decided to break the decades-old Israeli taboo by conducting Wagner's overture to the opera Tristan and Isolde as an encore.

The piece drew a mixed response from the audience of applause and protest.

But the education and culture committee of Israel's parliament said on Tuesday that Israeli cultural institutions should shun Barenboim until he apologises.

"He should be declared a cultural 'persona non grata'," said committee chairman Zvulun Orlev.

The Knesset
Israel's parliamentary committee is offended by Barenboim
Barenboim, who was born in Argentina but has lived in Israel since he was young, is also musical director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Wagner was born in Leipzig in 1813 and was an acknowledged anti-Semite.

He provided anti-Semitic inspiration for the Nazis and was the favourite composer of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

See also:

08 Jul 01 | Arts
Barenboim breaks Wagner taboo
30 May 01 | Arts
Protests stop Wagner concert
27 Oct 00 | Middle East
Israeli orchestra breaks Wagner taboo
07 Jun 98 | Middle East
Tel Aviv opera drops plans for Wagner
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