Peacemaking without Jews

They all knew it was a farce, an inside joke. And now the evidence has come from the horse’s mouth, the Custody of the Holy Land, who cleverly used the gimmick of “making peace through music” for about 10 years to attract incredible amounts of money and attention all the way up to the Vatican, peace prizes for which they didn’t remotely deserve and pretty much exhausted the dictionary for innumerable ways to praise itself,  NOW admits what this blog has been saying from 2007. They are making peace in effect without Jews – how inconvenient!!!

The evidence is right here in their own website:

The Custody of the Holy Land FINALLY admitted that the Magnificat Institute piano competition, now named “Nikolaus de la Flüe” (their holy sponsor watching from the sky), is for Palestinians. They FINALLY corrected the notion that the Jewish sounding names of staff are really “Russian teachers with Israeli citizenship”.

Spreading about names ending with -ski for years was a nice trick to solicit attention and prospective funds abroad. Now, they are not Jews – ha, ha.

Where are all those Jewish bambini making peace with Arab bambini in a flooded basement withall those Jewish teachers looking on with “joy and serenity”?* Obviously they have evaporated in the smoke and mirror act of the Custody magicians. 

So WHAT has all this tripe been about, getting prizes for coexistence, endless self-promotion for “making peace in the Holy Land  through music” if Israeli Jewish kids ARE NOT WELCOME to participate, assuming that there is a significat representation out of their alleged 250 students in the school, not to mention opening up its doors to Israeli musicians from outside? This would have been SUCH an opportunity to prove to the world that the Custody stands up for true peace, not political correctness.**

The sanctimonious title of the article – The Oldest Competition in the Holy Land – is not true at all and very misleading. The Keren-Sharett competition has been going on for decades freely admitting Jews and Arabs, not to mention internal competitions of music schools in Jerusalem, Haifa, etc. that ALSO include Jews and Arabs.

ONLY the Magnificat Institute and the Custody of the Holy Land discriminate in their piano competitions. And they get peace prizes, silver medals, the knighthood of the Italian Republic, etc.,  for that???

Dispatches were sent to Vatican Radio and SIR, as though a few kids tinkling the piano keys were signifcant news.

“Terra Santa: concorso per giovani pianisti palestinesi ed arabo-israeliani” 

This time they couldn’t pretend it was peacemaking, rather a concours for young Palestinian and Israeli Arab pianists. This itself is a joke as the locals do not make this distinction. Is this supposed to confuse the public that they are making peace among Arabs from both sides of the wall?

It’s really obvious that the Custody MUST make this auto-da-fe declaration of Palestinianess in their promotional material as Palestine TV, PBS, was present filming the winners’ concert.

As per inflating the number of students from at least 2003, now it is a record high on their blogs, 250 students (!) but in this competition only 30 kids participated and that includes outsiders. But one expects anyway, their little clique gets, as they always do,  the lion’s share of the money and prizes.

For 10 categories in a competition, this is an average of 3 kids for each one, an almost guaranteed win.  The probable conclusions one can draw is that “250 students” is a gross exaggeration that should NOT be made by high ranking clergy who preach truth telling (that’s their business, after all) therefore should NOT scandalize by misleading the public. Also a valid assumption is that locals are not exactly beating down the doors to study or compete because maybe the place doesn’t have such a sterling repuation anyway either for coxistence, fairness or even  normal civility.

How about “the most bombastic competition over nothing”, the competition that is not a competition” anytime the President of the school, Armando Pierucci has been from time immemorial the head of the jury?  What is the point of bringing in 5 more judges, some of them from abroad to judge 30 kids? An emphasis on competition in music is bad pedagogy anyway. What does it mean to win over another student? What is involved in nerve-racking note-perfect preparation geared not for personal enjoyment and love of music, but to be pressured into being judged by others, pleasing parents and gratifying frustrated teachers in order to win money prizes?

It can also be called “the Potemkin Competition without competitors”, in a “Potemkin village of peacemaking” and a “fake Potemkin religious organization” that doesn’t have a shred of modesty, accountablity or honesty – instead a disgusting collection of money grubbing conartists and charlatans. ***

Discrimination masquerading  as peacemaking, constructing a complete edifice of self-promotion that not only includes prizes for non-existent peacemaking but kudos for non-existent acheivements in organ playing (where are the CD’s for one of the “greatest living organists”?) and ungramattical musical compositions that if were subjected to the free market and not the promotional machine of the Church would have been passed over a long time ago – ALL of this WILL be apparent to the public. in due time.  A music school should not be the vehicle of money and glory for it’s so-called founder and director and a small clique of a homogenous group that wants to parade itself as being “diverse”.  Obviously all of the above and more is allowed to go on since the Magnificat is a big fat money making cow for the Custody of the Holy Land.****

The worst part of all this, is the children learn that integrity and accomplishment don’t count but sucking up to the right people do, telling others what they want to hear is more important than the truth and no level of falsity or manipulation is too low to stoop when you want something for yourself.  Well, maybe they are doing the kids a favor by teaching them what the real world is like EXCEPT IN THE CHURCH IT SHOULD BE DIFFERENT!!!!!

* Check out “Together for the Magnificat, a Miracle” where Pierucci says on Italian TV to Paolo Notari on March 7, 2009 that the teachers  “stanno nella gioia e nella serenità”, they stand in “joy and serenity“.

This is worth quoting in full, just to show what self-serving nonsense they have been spreading around:

 Paolo Notari:  “Questo frate francescano in questa terra, gerusalemme, a FATTO UN MIRACOLO…proveniento di varie etnie…senza preclusione per cosa?” 

Peace Monk: “per fare musica insieme…vengono di tutto mondo…il megliore parte d’europa“

Paolo Notari “tante donne suonano insieme, cantano insieme e divertono insieme senza pensare di proprie origine…”

Peace Monk:  (heh, heh) “stanno nella gioia e nella serenità

translation:   Paolo Notari “this Franciscan father has made a MIRACLE…they come from various ethinic backgrounds without precondition (or prejudice) to do what?

Peace Monk: : to make music together

Paolo Notari: So many women come together, play together, sing together and enjoy together without thinking of their respective origins

Peace Monk:  (heh, heh) standing in joy and serenity.

 ** “the greater the difficulties we face, the greater the ideals and standards must be”   Véronique Nebel, the director of the Friends of the Magnificat, Switzerland, the sponsors of the Competition, in the speech given at the Winners’ Concert, January 30, 2011.

What difficulties do the children of the administrators face when two substantial money prizes are the average every year in a competition with hardly any competitors? Instead, a red carpet is spread out all the way to Switzerland to host the winners and have them perform.  

Apparently in order to accomodate other privileged students, placing them in a lower category in order to win a prize doesn’t contradict their high ideals and standards.  A winner of the C prize in 2011 was actually in the D category in 2010. And they can’t claim ignorance, because she is a long standing student at the school!!!

The standards of Switzerland must be as “high” as they are in the Middle East. It may be that nepotism, yes-men, graft, bribery, “business” by fiat, piling up unimaginable wealth at the expense of an oppressed population cowed into submission, MAY have been the norm for centuries. However, as 80 million Egyptians have testified, this is not the wave of the future.  Thanks to modern mass communication, the truth, like cream, rises to the top.

Lincoln’s adage that “you can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time” has become the bane of dictators whether they wear monastic garb or Saville Row suits.

And, judging by their “high” standards of performance with sloppy playing and dropped notes all over the place, it’s good they did not admit Israeli Jews in their competition. Israeli kids would have wiped the floor with them.

*** The latest update on the competition that had only 30 participants with most of the winners from the Magnificat School, has three of them “uniting Jerusalem with Lugano” through music. How some teenagers playing pieces that hundreds of thousands of kids are doing throughout the world, many of them much younger on youtube can carry any musical weight let alone, joining two cities is yet another miracle of clerical spin.

Il Concorso per pianoforte “Nikolaus de la Flüe”, giunto quest’anno alla sua dodicesima edizione, è riservato ai giovani pianisti palestinesi, compresi gli arabi di cittadinanza israeliana. La finalità del concorso è quella di individuare e incentivare giovani talenti per divulgare la musica classica anche nel contesto della società palestinese, storicamente meno interessata a questo tipo di repertorio.
Al concorso hanno partecipato trenta concorrenti di età compresa mediamente tra i dieci e i quindici anni, provenienti da Gerusalemme, Nazaret, Shafa-Amer, Abu Gosh, Ramle, Betlemme, Beit Shaur, e da varie scuole di Terra Santa, suddivisi in categorie in rapporto all’età e alla difficoltà dei brani obbligatori da eseguire, tra i quali alcune invenzioni contrappuntistiche di Padre Armando Pierucci, fondatore e direttore del Magnificat, il Preludio e fuga in do minore di Bach, e un brano a scelta di corrispondente levatura.

The Competition for Piano “Nikolaus de la Flüe, ” now in its twelfth year, is reserved for young pianists Palestinians, including Arab citizens of Israel. The purpose of the competition is to identify and encourage young talent to popularize classical music in the context of Palestinian society, historically less interested in this kind of repertoire.
First of all, a school and whose founder who has been collecting peace prizes with the oft repeated slogan “we do not ask religion or race, what does it matter?’, now admits that they are discriminating in their own piano competition.

Why don’t we go back 8 years to 2003 when he exploded a “bomb of peace”  in Jerusalem? At that time there were nowhere near 180 students in the school, which after all, is not a large number anyway. FRANCISCAN BUILDS BRIDGES IN HOLY LAND THROUGH MUSIC

“We never had problems of racial animosity; music unites us,” the Franciscan said. (except when he was grilled for his anti-Semitic remarks in the edition of Terra Santa, December 1997, when he was editor)

If that is the case and the leopard rubbed out his spots, then WHY are they discriminating in their piano competition? Simple, they have one version for Italian banks and donors and another for the Palestinian Authority.

If there are more than 1500 kids studying music in the East Jerusalem and the West Bank, WHY were there ONLY 30 competitors, when the Khalife biannual had many more??? Is it because by now they know that the bulk of the prizes will be snatched up by the home team???

I really cannot stand the Church abusing its privileged position to spread such cheap hoaxes, their networks of news dissemination to spread fairy stories about non-existent peacemaking, much less for individual self-promotion. In ANY of their writeups on the peace school there  is ALWAYS some plug for the “founder, resident composer and one of the world’s greatest living organists”  The required pieces for their Palestinian piano competition of course has “counterpoint inventions” by Armando Pierucci not only in the same sentence as JS Bach but in bold print!!!

Who needs rat droppings on a page to be promoted by the Franciscans?

The competition was attended by thirty competitors aged on average between ten and fifteen years, from Jerusalem, Nazareth, Shafa-Amer, Abu Gosh, Ramle, Bethlehem, Beit Shaura, and various schools of the Holy Land, divided into categories according age and the difficulty of the pieces required to perform, including some contrapuntal inventions of Father Armando Pierucci, founder and director of the Magnificat, the Prelude and Fugue in C minor by Bach, and one piece selected for the corresponding level.
…il Magnificat è davvero un’oasi di pace e di educazione che rende possibile, specialmente per quei bambini e giovani circondati da un ambiente “ostile”, vivere un’esperienza di contatto umano completa e che mantenga in vita le loro speranze.
The Magnificat is truly an oasis of peace and education that makes it possible, especially for those children and young people are surrounded by an environment “hostile”, an experience full of human contact and keep alive their hopes.
First of all, the hostile environment is inside and not outside, the most probable reason for the low enrollment compared to other schools.  But if  the premise is the students escape from the parlous warzone to the oasis full of human hope, WHY is it the SAME, relatively homogenous group of Palestinians who study together outside the Custody compound at the numerous private schools in the city?
Again, having a small number of Israeli Jews as teachers is NO pretext for fanfare, absurd claims for peacemaking, much less getting prestigious prizes in Italy and using their own concocted propaganda to attract money to themselves up to and including the Vatican’s Lenten Collection for the Holy Land. This is simply despicable when there are crying needs in the world much more urgent than a bunch of spoiled brats in the HolyLand –  students, administrators and clergy.




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