One busy day the phone rang and I was asked to help with a film about a musician named Branislaw Huberman. I was too busy to help. That is,until I was told his story. And that was my entrance into the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra world and why I agreed to lead the British Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
There's been much debate in the press recently about whether Kickstarter crowd funding campaigns offer backers a raw deal. If the rewards offered: previews, back-stage passes, special commemorative t-shirts, and premier invitations are really adequate compensation for early investment in a speculative project...
If you believe Nicolas Anelka, his use of the 'quenelle' was a conscious and deliberate "up yours" to the French establishment in support of friend Dieudonné M'Bala M'Bala. But, for many in this country, the 'quenelle' was almost unheard of, and many still argue that it is an apolitical rejection of the state and Zionism. However, it is a ghastly reminder of modern anti-Semitism.
Today is the first day of Christian festival Greenbelt, which similar to Limmud for Jews, provides an opportunity for Christians to come together, share ideas and debate issues. Taking place over four days in Gloucestershire, there was one speaker on the bill in particular that caught our attention.
Just before Easter I wrote a blog on the causes of anti-Semitism as an adjunct to a piece done earlier by Mehdi Hasan. It wasn't particularly controversial. Yet, from most of the comments received one can visualize how some racism spreads through a lack of current events knowledge, revisionist history and just plain bigotry.
David and Ed Miliband's family lost over 40 family members to the Holocaust, the supreme expression of fascism and anti-Semitism. Their late father and their mother barely escaped extermination themselves. What the hell did anyone expect this man to do but resign from a football club whose manager has made the 'Roman salute' and who has reportedly stated, according to the BBC, that Mussolini "was deeply misunderstood".