For many years now, we have been working to promote dialogue and respect between the peoples of Israel and Palestine by inviting musicians from these two countries to join us in intercultural projects such as Orient-Occident, Mare Nostrum, and Jerusalem, City of Two Peaces. We remain convinced that in this way we can contribute to greater understanding and genuine mutual respect, despite the profound differences that may separate these two peoples.
In the wake of the horrific and inhumane Hamas attack on Israeli civilians on 7th October, we would like once again to express our deep solidarity with the families of the victims, as well as our wishes for the prompt release of all the hostages. At the same time, in view of the current situation, we wish to express our rejection and condemnation of military violence by both sides against the civilian population.
We can understand the despair of the Palestinian people who are suffering from more than 30 years of abandonment and denial of their fundamental rights, but this can never justify terrorist actions against civilians, and even less against women and children. In the same way, we understand that Israel has the right to defend itself and to fight against the Hamas terrorists responsible for the massacre of 7 October – which, moreover, has as its objective the destruction of Israel and its people – but we believe that this fight must be carried out in compliance with the international standards accepted as the basis of all civilised behaviour and under no circumstances at the terrible and inhuman price of the suffering and death of thousands of innocent Palestinians, women and children.
Faced with this human and humanitarian tragedy, the rest of the world is also becoming responsible, and if it is unable to help resolve the conflict and ensure the survival of the Palestinian people in Gaza, it will have to face up to a very serious moral and civilisational crisis. Because this failure to provide real help to the collateral victims of Israel’s fight against Hamas could also have serious consequences for the future and coexistence of the Palestinian and Israeli peoples, and for the future of relations between Europe and the countries of the Middle East.
To avoid an irreparable catastrophe, Hamas and Israel must stop attacking civilians and hospitals in Gaza and the West Bank. And we believe that it is also urgent to allow access to all the humanitarian aid essential to the survival of the thousands of displaced people.
Finally, we pray that a rapid agreement can be reached on a cessation of hostilities that includes the release of all hostages and Palestinian activists unjustly imprisoned by Israel. Only in this way can negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians be envisaged with a view to laying the foundations for a lasting peace based on agreements that must guarantee a just, dignified and respectful future for all.
Jordi Savall and Maria Bartels
Fundació Centre Internacional de Música Antiga
Festival Musique et Histoire pour un Dialogue Interculturel à Fontfroide
SON JADE S.L., publisher of ALIA VOX
Festival Jordi Savall-Santes Creus, Poblet i Montblanc
Association Le Concert des Nations
Bellaterra, 14 November 2023