Zorba the Greek. It’s a famous film , released in 1964 when I was 17 years old. As an impressionable teenager I found the film enchanting, romantic, exotic. Especially the setting and the acting. But moreso the music. Ah, what music. It was composed by Mikis Theodorakis (pictured) . Born in 1925, he wrote it when aged in his 30s. He went on to become a prolific composer of film music (including for Z and Serpico) and other music. And he became a Greek parliamentarian including a spell as a minister. A leading proponent of left/liberal politics in Greece, he was imprisoned by the Greek junta in the late 1960s. Now aged 85 he continues to speak out in favour of left/liberal causes. And of course (though it’s unclear to me why) this includes kneejerk espousal of the Palestinian cause. Truth be known Theodorakis disappeared from my radar many years ago. Until two weeks ago the Jerusalem Post reported that on a Greek TV programme he declared he was ‘anti-Israel and anti-Semitic . The Simon Wiesenthal Centre called his outburst ‘obsessive anti-Jewish hatemongering’, adding that ‘such self-declared racists must be scorned and marginalized. They can no longer serve as icons for their peers or for the younger generation’. I couldn’t agree more. As I’ve written , it’s imperative to publicise and oppose anti-semitism at every opportunity. I don’t know if the world will think any the worse of Theodorakis now he’s outed himself as a bigoted racist. But I do.
2 days ago