Oh, Barenboim

This piece of news cracked me up…

The conductor Daniel Barenboim,
already a contentious figure among fellow Israelis for championing
Palestinians' rights and the works of Hitler's favorite composer, has
accepted honorary Palestinian citizenship.

Barenboim was given citizenship a year ago, but the move didn't
become public until this weekend, when a Palestinian lawmaker mentioned
it after Barenboim held a performance in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

The Argentinian-born conductor is the first Israeli to be granted citizenship by the Palestinian Authority. Lawmaker Mustafa Barghouti said he lobbied Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to make Barenboim a citizen.

Barenboim deserved a Palestinian passport, Barghouti said, because
the conductor had shown "solidarity with Palestinians under the most
difficult circumstances."

Ok, I am confused. There are palestinian passports? There is such a thing as a Palestinian citizenship? I thought the best they could do was a palestinian "Travel document". I thought you needed an independent country to issue citizenships and passports and so on and so forth. But what do I know?

Anyway, the news didn't really impress this palestinian blogger:

Where is my citizenship ya ikhwan el sharmoota?
When will I, a second generation Palestine refugee be able to trade in
my Palestine Refugee Travel Document for a snazzy new PA passport?

Fair question, no? I am not sure that the PR value of this outweighs the feeling that some palestinians would have on giving an israeli jew a palestinian passport when they don't have one. Kind of Insensitive, don't you think?

0 comment on Oh, Barenboim

  1. Suzanne
    January 15, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Yes, you can obtain a Palestinian passport. But it takes a hell of an effort and *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* friends to get one.

    I know this because I happen to have met Palestinians who happen to have lost their permit to stay in another country and became stateless. The only option for them was the impossible option of obtaining a Palestinian passport – which you only got with Arafat’s permission.

    Back then, im talking about. I dont know how it is now, but i doubt it got any easier.


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