Thursday, 11 November 2010

Thinking about Peace on Armistice Day

Today is Armistice Day in Britain, when those who were killed in our many wars are publicly remembered.  As  a pacifist, one who believes that most wars are unnecessary, I spent the day remembering all those who have suffered - civilian and military - in our most recent conflicts.   Particularly Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia - and of course the Middle East.  
I always feel guilty that, apart from joining the occasional Amnesty International demonstration,  or signing petitions, I do very little personally that is constructive for the cause of world peace.   Someone who  does much more is the Israeli Jazz musician Gilad Atzmon.  He raises the question of peace, particularly in the middle east, in almost every concert that he gives - most recently at the London Jazz Festival.  His band, the Orient House Ensemble, features Palestinian and european musicians  - Christians, Jews and Muslims - playing side by side, and he campaigns relentlessly for a resolution of the Palestinian question.    This high-profile opposition to the official Israeli political position has made him a target - something he often jokes about.  Jazz of course, is the devil's own music, and is traditionally subversive!  His latest anti-war performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall can be viewed on this link.  http://vimeo.com/16377566

And this is a profile of Gilad.

 

3 comments:

  1. Hi,

    Interesting post that I think has resonance with a lot of people spanning all generations about pacifism and/or a quietistic strand of opposition to conflict.
    It seems that it is through other means - such as music - that we must question war, as political influence is beyond our grasp for many who feel unheard and disenfranchised from mainstream dialogue.

    Enjoying your other posts too!

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  2. Hi there - I'm visiting from Al's Publish or Perish blog. How sweet of you to send him a copy of your book!

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  3. Hi Susan - thanks for popping in. Al was kind enough to send me a copy of his, so I wanted to reciprocate. HIs blog gives me a lot of pleasure - those wonderful images of Oz! And I've followed his publishing path since the beginning.
    Hi to 'The Poor Poet', I really agree with you about the power of music to reach out where we can't. I sometimes wish that I wasn't a writer - because words only have meaning and can reach out to people who understand the same language. Music and art are universal.

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