Conductor Barenboim Calls for Gaza ″Marshall Plan″ | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 04.02.2009
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Conductor Barenboim Calls for Gaza "Marshall Plan"

Daniel Barenboim, the Argentinean-born conductor, has called for a new "Marshall Plan," under German leadership, to rebuild the damaged infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.

Daniel Barenboim, conducting

Barenboim is known for his reconciliation efforts through music

Barenboim made the appeal Tuesday, Feb. 3, while receiving a peace award at a ceremony in Berlin.

The internationally renowned conductor said Germany should learn to "cope with its feelings of guilt" about the Holocaust in a new way and offer "to help the Jewish people to come to terms with the Palestinians."

The only solution to the Middle East conflict was mutual acceptance, Barenboim said.

"That means the end of the Israeli occupation, demolishing illegal settlements on Palestinian land and the end of all violence," he added.

Barenboim is the founder of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which brings Israeli and Palestinian musicians together under the shared goal of making music. A long-time campaigner for reconciliation in the Middle East, Barenboim has Israeli citizenship and lives in Berlin.

Much of the Gaza Strip was destroyed by Israeli bombing in a 22-day war between Israel and the militant Palestinian group Hamas, which the European Union and United States have classified a terrorist organization. After a shaky ceasefire was declared to end hostilities, a number of international organizations and world leaders have called for measure to rebuild in Gaza and restart peace talks.

The Marshall Plan was a US-initiated financial aid program following World War II that enabled western Europe to rebuild. Germany experienced the "Wirtschaftswunder" -- economic miracle -- in the 1950s in part due to Marshall Plan funding. On Tuesday, Barenboim was presented with the Moses Mendelssohn Medal, which is named for a German-Jewish philosopher who lived from 1729 to 1786. It is awarded by the University of Potsdam's Moses Mendelssohn Center to recognize individuals who campaign for peace and tolerance.

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