Why Israel still shuts Wagner out

Since its establishment in 1948, Wagner’s music has customarily not been played in Israel’s opera houses and concerts halls due to Wagner’s anti-Semitism.    Terry Teachout writes:

“The case of Israel is, of course, unique. I don’t think that Wagner’s anti-Semitism would justify removing his works from the repertoire of, say, the Seattle Opera or the Chicago Symphony. At the same time, though, I do think it fitting that there should be one place in the world where Wagner’s music is not played in public solely because of the hateful ideas of the man who wrote it. …In light of the recrudescence of anti-Semitism in parts of Europe that once pretended to be civilized, it strikes me that Israel’s Wagner ban serves as a still-useful reminder that ideas have consequences — and that those who spread evil ideas should be held responsible for their evil consequences. Even geniuses.”

Terry Teachout, “Why Israel Still Shuts Wagner Out”, The Wall Street Journal, 31 January 2009

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