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.