Esther Herlitz is the Honorary President of the 2012 International Harp Contest in Israel. Ms. Herlitz’s ties to the promotion of Zionism in Israel trace back to 1948, where she participated in the expulsion of the indigenous Palestinian people during what is now known as the Nakba (The Catastrophe).
After graduating from Israel’s school for “Diplomats,” she commenced her service in Israel’s Foreign Service. As the Director of the Israeli Ministry’s Public Relations and Information Departments, she worked tirelessly to promote the Zionist entity, which was daily violating International Law by aggressively pursuing the violent ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.
Her further dedication to the now-apartheid state of Israel saw her live in Washington DC as she labored as Israel’s First Secretary at the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC. From 1965-1971, when the entire world was beginning to take displeasure at the apartheid in South Africa, Esther Herlitz became Israel’s Ambassador to Denmark. Today she still reigns as the Chairperson of the “Friends of Denmark” in Israel, though she was born in Germany.
Miss Herlitz was a member of the Israel Committee on the Status of Women, but the lustrous title is quite tainted because the Committee cared nothing for the status of Palestinian women and children, who were suffering in the most unfortunate ways. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Ben Gurion University of the Negev. She must have felt shocked when the University of Johannesburg, voted recently to end its 25 year relationship with Ben Gurion University of the Negev, in a move promoted by the respected Archbishop Desmond Tutu. She was appointed Director of the International Harp Contest and the Zimriya (World Assembly of Choirs in Israel) in 1983.
Eleven years later, in 1994, apartheid in South Africa ended with multi-racial democratic elections finally being held for all. Israel seems to be alone now, in its system of segregation. There are other countries that people choose to target for human rights abuses, China included, but Israel stands out among all others. No where on earth is a system of such severe apartheid funded and endorsed openly by Western Governments.
The International Harp Contest’s historical reason for existing was and still is “to bring gifted young artists to Israel to experience the rich cultural experience of Israel.” Deliberately, the contest was designed to shield musicians from the knowledge of the dark side of Israel. In fact, harpists are actually used as a propaganda tool to attempt to show Israel as a place with a rich cultural background. All this when, in 1959, Israel was only 11 years old!
For this reason, all harpists who strive for full excellence and who feel the music of freedom and justice in the strings of their harps, are asked to : Boycott the International Harp Contest in Israel.
Esther Herlitz has published an autobiography, “How far can a Woman Go” (Ministry of Defence Publishers 1995). Esther has indeed proven her commitment to Zionism, but how much farther can she go in her lifetime to promote such injustices?