I Care Because I Love This Country
By Zubin Mehta
I'm sitting here on stage in Tel-Aviv, at the 100th anniversary celebration for my beloved city Tel-Aviv, in Israel, which I love from the depth of my heart. And yes, I am proud to be invited to take part in this moving celebration for my Tel-Aviv.
Now I am sitting on stage five minutes before the IPO concert, knowing that I will not be around for the next jubilee celebration, however with certainty and confidence that the next festivities will be celebrated by the citizens of this city and country in peace, for which we have all been waiting and hoping for so many years.
I am therefore sorrowed and distressed by the terrible words and appalling message of the new Foreign Minister, Mr. Avigdor Liberman. How can this man, with his coarse words, ruin the future of close relations between Israel and other nations! How dare he strengthen the anti-Semitism around us and cast a fortified wall around the Israeli people, who are going through hell on this winding path to create normal relations with our neighbors and among nations throughout the world! How dare he express himself as a minister of the Israeli government with such war-mongering words, under the pretext of the wish and aspiration for peace?
I hope with all my heart that the new Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will put a stop to this irresponsibility, and to the harsh words, the arrogance and the way in which the Foreign Minister is isolating us from the world and causing severe damage to Israel's international relations. Because of Liberman, anti-Semitism is flourishing and will continue to do so even more.
I have been living with Israel and conducting the IPO here for 40 years. I love this wonderful people and Israel. I love the Jezreel Valley and Jerusalem. I would like to convey a message of peace, music and love to all of Israel. It pains me and is very difficult for me to see this situation and to stand by quietly.
Wishing everyone Hag Sameach.
YEDIOT AHARONOT, 5.4.09