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Boycott of Wagner's work in Israel continues as Tel Aviv University bans concert

Written By The Wagnerian on Tuesday 5 June 2012 | 3:58:00 am

We reported last week that the Wagner Society Of Israel intended to break the 74 year long boycott of Wagner's work with a concert at Tel Aviv University. This was to be part of a program that was to include a discussion of how Wagner's opera "Tannhauser"inspired Herzl during his first draft of his tract "The Jewish State," and the way the anti-Fascist Toscanini used Wagner's work to give expression to his humanistic outlook. However, Tel Aviv University has announced that it will not now permit the event to take place on its campus, following what it describes as "angry protests".

In a letter to Yonathan Livni (founder of Israel's Wagner Society) the university explained:

"You deliberately concealed this basic fact from us [that there would be a concert of Wagner's work] We received angry protests calling to call off the controversial event...[that] would deeply offend the Israeli public in general and Holocaust survivors in particular,"

According to Haaretz this may have followed a letter written by Uri Chanoch, deputy chairman of the Holocaust Survivors Center and sent to the president of Tel Aviv University, Yosef Klafter (a copy of which was also sent to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar.) In this he said:

"This is emotional torture for Holocaust survivors and the wider public in the state of Israel," and stated that Wagner had "... provided inspiration for the Nazis" He went on to say that "...and there is a direct link between him [Wagner] and the Holocaust,"

The Wagner Society Of Israel - which according to its founder includes Holocaust survivors among its members - has yet to reply.