Israeli-Argentine conductor Daniel Barenboim.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev demanded on Wednesday that German Chancellor Angela Merkel cancel talks on a possible performance in Tehran by the Berlin Philharmonic and its musical director, world renowned pianist Daniel Barenboim.
Barenboim, an Argentinian- born Israeli, has earned a reputation in recent years as a harsh critics of government settlement policy in the territories.
European news outlets are reporting that the Berlin Philharmonic and the Iranian government are in talks about a concert that would take place in Tehran. The rumors of a possible performance are the latest sign of growing cultural and economic ties between Iran and the West, since the signing of the nuclear agreement between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 powers last month.
When word of the possible event reached the local press, Regev reacted angrily on her Facebook page.
“The conductor, Daniel Barenboim, a citizen of Israel, will perform in Iran together with the Berlin Philharmonic,” Regev wrote. “Barenboim has taken an anti-Israel stance and he makes sure to slander Israel while using culture as leverage in order to state his political opinions against the State of Israel. This is a mistake by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.”
Regev said she intends to write a letter to the German government, urging it to intervene in the matter.
“Daniel Barenboim’s concert in Iran hurts Israel’s efforts to prevent the nuclear agreement and boosts the delegitimization efforts against Israel,” Regev wrote.
“Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism,” she continued. “It supports Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas, and its leaders have blood on their hands. I believe that Germany would do the right thing if it would cancel the performance.”