Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Questions For Nikolaj Znaider

Why are you, a Jewish man with an Israeli passport, appearing in Venezuela?

Are you unaware that Venezuela has severed diplomatic relations with Israel, and is aiding Israel’s enemies?

I realize you are not an educated or a sophisticated man—but are you not aware that Venezuela is no friend of the civilized world?

Are you unaware that persons of the Jewish faith are leaving Venezuela in large numbers because of institutionalized anti-Semitism promoted by that nation’s current regime? And that Jewish organizations all over the world have been issuing outcries and calls for action?

Does not the history of your mother, Ruth Znaider, and your father, Wlodek Szeps, mean anything to you? Or do you tell your family’s story at every opportunity simply for public relations purposes?

Your parents escaped totalitarian states. Your parents escaped anti-Semitic states. You embrace rogue states.

I have no respect for you.

And you should have none for yourself.


  1. Hey, guy. How ya’ been?

    Interesting post.

    We live in a world inhabited by lots of insane actions and lost souls. They are frightening if not terrorizing the rest of us.

    This guy must be a total dirtball. He also must be incapable of embarrassment. As is the general case, one first must look toward the parents for answers. What did David Copperfield say about Uriah Heep?

    I want you guys to keep the Michigan State date open. If that’s a problem, just let me know. I’ll make a final decision after Labor Day.

    Greetings to the Andster.

  2. “It was the first time it had ever occurred to me that this detestable cant of false humility might have originated out of the Heep family. I had seen the harvest, but had never thought of the seed.”

    The Michigan State date is not a problem, Paul. Let us know whenever. Like the name of the fake play in “Noises Off”, we have “Nothing On”.

  3. Znaider will appear in Venezuela with BOTH ensembles Chavez showcases.

    Chavez sends both ensembles on frequent foreign tours as cultural exports for his regime. Very troubling is that one of the concerts Znaider will play in Caracas is a BENEFIT CONCERT. To the best of my knowledge, Znaider has NEVER appeared in a single benefit concert in Israel, on behalf of any charity, despite well over a dozen engagements by the Israel Philharmonic since 1997.

    Znaider is allowing himself to be used as a propaganda tool by a regime that is actively working toward Israel’s demise.

    I hasten to add that the youth orchestra movement in Venezuela was never used as a propaganda tool by previous Venezuela governments. The maneuver is a Chavez invention.

    Is Znaider insane? Immoral? Dumber than stone? Whatever the answer, Znaider has fatal character flaws.

    It makes me question whether Znaider is functionally literate.

    Does Znaider read magazines and newspapers? Amnesty International reports? Anti-Defamation League issuances? Simon Wiesenthal Institute announcements?

    Human Rights Watch issued a new report two days ago. It was widely covered in the press in Europe and North America. It pointed out that the Venezuelan press and judiciary had lost further independence and had become further corrupted over the last four years, that democratic processes and organizations continued to disappear or become disabled, and that violations of human rights had reached near-epidemic proportions.

    Things will only become worse if Chavez wins the upcoming election to become president for life, an election Chavez will surely win because the voters are too afraid to support and vote for anyone else.

    Apparently Znaider does not care about any of this.

    Apparently Znaider is uninterested that synagogues in Venezuela have been defaced. Apparently Znaider is unmoved that there is an ongoing Diaspora from Venezuela. Apparently Znaider is indifferent to the anti-Semitic rhetoric that has become a staple of the Chavez system. Apparently Znaider is unconcerned about the fate of Jewish residents of the nation, all of whom are suffering, fearful to raise their voices and terrified to be seen as anti-Chavez.

    I am, when I think of Znaider, ashamed to be a Jew.

    Damn the man.

  4. When will Nikolaj Znaider be appearing in Iran?

    To give a benefit concert for Iran’s nuclear engineers?

  5. A man is known by the company he keeps. What kind of man keeps company with dictators, and abandons his own people?

    I’ve got to hand it to you: that photo of Znaider in your post above is hilarious. You are very, very good at satire. While I was reading the text, about a quarter of the way through I starting laughing so hard I almost started crying. I was laughing so hard, I was chewing on my palms trying to get myself under control so I could finish the article.

    My husband thought I needed assistance. He came running into the room like it was an emergency. He almost called 911. I showed him the photo, and the text. His reactions were the same as mine.

    The last line of your article, “think pink”, may have been the best part of all. In the context, it allows seven or eight different meanings. It took me a second to pick up on that, and I laughed all the more.

    I offer you congratulations.

  6. When the desirable engagements end, and you’re not getting invited back to quality ensembles, and you have too many open weeks on your schedule, you have to play somewhere.

    But not Venezuela.

  7. If you were to see the placards, and the billboards, and the graffiti, and the slogans, and the television news, and the constant television political advertisements, and the staged marches through the streets of Caracas, you would not believe it. You would think you were in Moscow in 1936.

    There are “Heart Of The Nation” photographs EVERYWHERE, all bearing the face of Hugo Chavez.

    Everything in Venezuela today is Stalinist.

    It is frightening. It is chilling.

    Znaider cannot have avoided seeing these things no matter where he turned. If he had a brain, or if he had any morals, or if he had any character, he would have left the country within 24 hours of arrival. He must be a despicable person.

    There are shortages of everything here.

    Do you want to know something unbelievable?

    In petroleum-rich country Venezuela, gasoline is rationed.

  8. “Or do you tell your family’s story at every opportunity simply for public relations purposes?”

    You obviously haven’t met Mr. Znaider. Everything he says and does is for publicity purposes.

  9. When will the people of Venezuela rid themselves of this insane dictator and his cronies? Those maniacs are ruining their country all over again. It's been 10 years since the last catastrophe so I suppose the Venezuelans are overdue.

    I spent last February in Caracas on business and can report that the city is a polluted crumbling mess on the verge of collapse. The streets are filled with miserable, poorly paid office workers menaced by beggars, black market currency sellers, purse snatchers and stupid, predatory marchers. All that plus blowing trash and stray dogs. The facades of the buildings are flaking away and covered in dirt. The entire city needs a good power washing.

    The streets and sidewalks are buckled and cracked, you can't get in a cab without someone calling it for you (otherwise you risk robbery or kidnapping), and the public squares named after various generals and important dates in their history are now covered in garbage and graffiti. Their transportation system is ancient and dangerous.

    Not everything in the city is old and run down. Chavez has erected giant signs all over town with his portrait.

    Neal K, a Brit working in Barcelona

  10. I have to laugh at the question, “Do you tell your family’s story at every opportunity simply for public relations purposes?”

    The answer is: YES, HE DOES!

    Znaider is all about public relations and press releases. He is NOTHING BUT public relations and press releases. No other instrumentalist before the public has gone to such extremes to get his name before the public as Nikolaj Znaider.

    In 2009, Znaider hired NOT ONE BUT TWO American publicity firms to advance his career. He hired 21C Media Group and Crossover Media.

    Sony helped pay some of the fee for Crossover Media but Znaider had to foot the whole bill for 21C Media Group himself.

    For 18 months, 21C Media Group issued a barrage of press releases on Znaider’s behalf, trying to get Znaider’s name in newspapers and magazines.

    It turned out to be a complete waste of time and money. Znaider’s American profile was as low at the end of the campaign as it was at the beginning.

    It’s the old adage of trying to sell a pig in a poke.

    The public wasn’t buying.

    And I know all about this because I work for one of the big New York agencies that turned Znaider down as a prospective client.

  11. Perhaps I should add that we told Znaider and his agents, quite candidly, that trying to promote him would be a waste of his time and money.

    Which it was, as things turned out.

  12. He's a POS and always has been a POS.