Don’t Fall for Daniel Barenboim’s Latest Provocations

Sept. 1 2015

The conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim—an Israeli citizen who lives and works in Germany—has a history of instigating controversy, whether by co-authoring a book about Israel with Edward Said or performing Wagner in Jerusalem. Ruthie Blum cautions against making too much of his most recent leftish stunt: trying to arrange for the Berlin State Opera, or at least its orchestra, to perform in Iran. She writes:

[I]t is pointless for the Israeli culture minister, Miri Regev, to make a stink about [Barenboim’s] latest maneuver, as she has been doing. In the first place, Barenboim is not the only one desiring entry into Iran right now. A German delegation has already graced the place; the UK has reopened its embassy in Tehran; and businessmen and “rapprochement” fantasists alike have been flocking in droves for a foothold there.

And Barenboim’s overall ideology makes him an obvious member of the lunatic left, which ostensibly champions human rights while apologizing for the greatest abusers of it.

Furthermore, in light of repeated statements from Iranian officials reiterating the regime’s intention to destroy Israel and [its] view of America as the “Great Satan”—an enemy with which it signed a pact enabling it to proceed with its nuclear-weapons program—Barenboim’s advances could well be rejected. He is a Jew with Israeli citizenship.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Arts & Culture, Classical music, Germany, Iran, Israel, Opera

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy