Sunday, June 15, 2014

Evgeny Kissin Becomes Israeli Citizen

I was unaware that Evgeny Kissin became an Israeli citizen on December 7, 2013; here is the simple but touching citizenship ceremony, with an introduction by Natan Sharansky, chairman for the Jewish Agency for Israel, before Kissin himself explains the reason for his decision. (Minister for Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver personally handed him his citizenship documents.)

Noted columnist Charles Krauthammer writes ("A new anti-Semitism becomes chic; January 23, 2014) in The Daily Journal:
In this sea of easy and open bigotry, an unusual man has made an unusual statement. Russian by birth, European by residence, Evgeny Kissin is arguably the world's greatest piano virtuoso. He is also a Jew of conviction. Deeply distressed by Israel's treatment in the cultural world around him, Kissin went beyond the Dershowitz/Weinberg stance of asking to be considered an Israeli. On Dec. 7, he became one, defiantly.

Upon taking the oath of Israeli citizenship in Jerusalem, he declared: "I am a Jew, Israel is a Jewish state. ... Israel's case is my case, Israel's enemies are my enemies, and I do not want to be spared the troubles which Israeli musicians encounter when they represent the Jewish state beyond its borders."
Well said and bravo, Mr. Kissin; you are not only a world-class pianist but a world-class mensch. My family and I hope to follow your example one day soon.

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