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Persona non grata: Israel refuses Wagner… again

Published time: June 05, 2012 18:47
Edited time: June 05, 2012 22:48
Tel Aviv University cancels a Richard Wagner concert (Image from

Tel Aviv University cancels a Richard Wagner concert (Image from

Tel Aviv University announced Monday that it has canceled a Wagner concert which was due to take place on its campus later this month, following a wave of protests. Hitler’s favorite composer has never been welcome in Israel.

The canceled show was to crown a symposium on the German composer Richard Wagner scheduled to take place at the University auditorium on June 18, The Guardian reports. It was also meant to break the unofficial taboo to perform the Wagner in Israel and reclaim the composer.

The news broke to Attorney Yonathan Livni, who is also the founder of the Israel Wagner Society. Tel Aviv University denied the request to allow their premises to be used for the event, and accused Livni of hiding the intention to perform Wagner’s music.

The planned event immediately caused a fiery reaction from society. The University spokesperson claims that the school's been slammed by protesters who want the event called off.

"You deliberately concealed this basic fact from us… We received angry protests calling to call off the controversial event…[which] would deeply offend the Israeli public in general and Holocaust survivors in particular," Haaretz quotes him as saying.

Yonathan Livny told The Guardian that he had made the program and the identity of its organizers clear in email correspondences with the university. "The excuse that they didn't know is totally ludicrous and an outright lie," he said.

Wagner’s music has been unofficially boycotted in Israel, as he was Adolf Hitler’s favorite composer and also a supporter of anti-Semitic views. Attempts to perform music by Hitler’s favorite composer in Israel always meet controversy.