INTRODUCTION: There have been serious disturbances at two concerts in Tel Aviv because the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra has been trying to include works by the German composer Richard Wagner.
SV INTERIOR Zubin Mehta speaking.
SPEECH (TRANSCRIPT) TO END
MEHTA: (SEQ 1) "Well, I would suggest now that some sort of educating programme -- an educational programme is started by the orchestra, frankly, because I am convinced that amongst the objectors, there are also various categories. Those whom we have said are sincerely affected, those who grew up in the Third Reich in Central Europe, and don't want to have anything to do with this music. I completely sympathise with them. But there are some people who are also using it as a political weapon, and some people are just plain hypocrites, and some people are just plain uneducated about the subject. There are young people in this country, and people who have nothing to do with the love occidental music, who think that Wagner was a personal friend of Hitler. It goes to that ridiculous point. In other words, I have myself encountered in my hotel where I stay the people who clean my room, who have never bee to a concert, they have no connection with this culture, who have said to me and they loved me for twenty years in this hotel, said: 'Why are you playing this Nazi music?' You understand this is what has to be eradicated in the country through an educational process."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: There have been serious disturbances at two concerts in Tel Aviv because the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra has been trying to include works by the German composer Richard Wagner. A number of Israelis objected violently because they say the work of the composer, who died in 1883, was used to glorify the Nazi regime. The orchestra's conductor, Mr. Zubin Mehta, has said that, for the moment, concerts of Wagner's music were out of the question in Israel. But, at a news conference, he gave his reason why the music should be played.