The Israeli chamber orchestra has struck a telling blow in what experts fear could turn into a never-ending war of contrition between Israel and its historical enemies.
Roberto Paternostro’s decision to lead his orchestra in playing Siegfried Idyll, a piece by famously anti-Semitic composer, Wagner, has prompted expectation of a sympathetic backlash by political and religious extremists; eager not to be one-upped.
Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, is resolute about the move, “If we want to play music by Hitler’s favourite composer, we will – it’s just further proof we’re the bigger man in all of this. I don’t see Hamas or the BNP booking Jackie Mason. They wouldn’t have the chutzpah.”
However, the PLO have already launched two pre-emptive gestures of goodwill. Just three hours after a man wandered into a crowded Jerusalem marketplace strapped with Toblerones, six rocket-propelled gift-hampers landed in Tel Aviv, each filled with sweets, gift vouchers and a grainy video of a man claiming responsibility for the packages before wishing everyone well and then beheading himself.
Mahmoud Abbas has warned Israel that this is just the beginning, “We will never give up. In fact, we might even start claiming responsibility for things we haven’t done, then apologising and offering to help clean up afterwards. If that doesn’t work, we will have no choice but to start bulldozing our own homes. We shall not stand by while they make us look foolish.”
It seems though, that Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, may have already had the last word on the matter by being unavailable for comment, after refusing to recognise his right to exist.