26 Jun 2008

Peace is coexistence

Daniel Barenboim, the world renowned Israeli pianist and conductor, has taken Palestinian citizenship last January and said he believed his rare new status could serve a model for peace between the two peoples.

“It is a great honor to be offered a passport,” said Barenboim after a Beethoven piano recital in Ramallah, the West Bank city, where he has been active for some years in promoting contact between young Arab and Israeli musicians.

“I have also accepted it because I believe that the destinies of … the Israeli people and the Palestinian people are inextricably linked. We are blessed - or cursed - to live with each other. And I prefer the first. The fact that an Israeli citizen can be awarded a Palestinian passport, can be a sign that it is actually possible,” he added.

Along with the late Palestinian academic Edward Said, he co-founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, made up of young musicians from Israel, the Palestinian territories and neighboring Arab countries.

Watch Daniel Barenboim's interview on Al Jazeera English

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