I was both surprised and heartened to read Ben Laude’s article. The essay is indicative of a growing awareness among United States citizens, especially politically-engaged students, that there is a side of the Israel-Palestine story that finds no expression in The New York Times, on All Things Considered, and (needless to say) on Fox News. Oppression, brutality, and iniquity are to be exposed and condemned, even—or, indeed, especially—when such critiques are not sanctioned by public or official opinion. Mr. Laude is to be commended for his keen moral instincts and The Juilliard School is to be commended for this signal of its commitment to fostering serious dialogue surrounding issues that deserve to be scrutinized carefully and non-ideologically.
That they rarely receive this sort of attention in the mainstream media is nearly a truism, which places The Juilliard Journal in the odd position of making up for the deficiencies, oversights, and systematic blindness of the aforementioned news outlets. Moreover, as an employee and student in a university-level school of music, it pleases me to see this counterexample to the view that members of the academic classical music community are cloistered, socially oblivious inhabitants of the ivory (or, maybe, ivory-key) tower.
Benjamin Laude has put the case very accurately and fairly. His account is backed up by the U.N.’s Goldstone Report, which of course has led to a massive campaign of defamation against Judge Richard Goldstone, a South African Jew with impeccable Zionist credentials. I have just finished reading the book Eyes in Gaza by two Norwegian doctors, Mads Gilbert and Erik Fosse, who were present in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. The book is a catalogue of horrors, meticulously illustrated with photographs. Benjamin’s comparison with Goya’s The Disasters of War couldn’t be more apt.