Conductor Daniel Barenboim urges peace

Israeli Barenboim, Palestinian Edward Said team up

VIENNA, Austria -- The Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot be resolved militarily, conductor Daniel Barenboim said Monday.

Three days of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza have killed more than 300 Palestinians. Israel launched the attack in retaliation for Hamas rocket fire aimed at civilians in southern Israeli towns.

Barenboim, speaking to reporters in a Vienna hotel, called the recent developments "terrible events."

"There are still ... far too many people who are still convinced that they can resolve this conflict militarily," Barenboim said. "That can't be done. That absolutely can't be done."

Barenboim grew up in Israel and, together with the late Palestinian-American intellectual Edward Said, formed an orchestra that brings together young Israeli and Arab musicians.

Barenboim is a contentious figure in Israel for championing Palestinians' rights. He has accepted honorary Palestinian citizenship in recognition of his work to promote musical education for young Palestinians.

Barenboim is to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic's annual New Year's concert on Thursday.
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