So I went back to an article that a famous Israeli poet, Yitzhak Laor wrote in Ha'aretz of 31.7.2008. concerning the contracts that most Israeli artists, and there is little doubt that the JQ have also signed such a contract (though of course the Culture Ministry of Israel doesn't provide the names of those who contract with it)! And what does the contract say?
The service provider is aware that the purpose of ordering services from him is to promote the policy interests of the State of Israel via culture and art, including contributing to creating a positive image for Israel."
Well that's pretty clear isn't it? The "purpose of ordering services from him is to promote the policy interests of the Israeli state via culture and art." So the actions of those like the JQ are considered a service with which to promote the policy interests of the state via culture and art." A Marxist couldn't have put it better!
And as SHELLEY KLEIMAN of the World Zionist Press Service reported "The Quartet now serves as Distinguished Musicians, performing for troops three times a week." That was their national service, providing a morale booster for those who had to go out and smash a few heads or break a few bones.
And the Jerusalem Independent in 2003 reported that "the bulk of their IDF service was as a quartet, performing for soldiers all over Israel. When their military service ended three years ago, they changed status to Distinguished IDF Musicians and continue to play for troops three times a week when they're in Israel. "
Note they don't play for the IDF's victims, they don't refuse military service, quite the contrary. They have no criticisms whatsoever of the role of the Israeli Occupation Forces. Their role is not dissimilar to that of Leni Riefenstahl, Ezra Pound and many other distinguished people of culture who lent a willing hand to repressive regimes.
They are supported by the Jerusalem Foundation, set up by the late Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek. As Ruth Cheshin, Jerusalem Foundation president explained "Supporting the quartet until they are financially independent will help the city as well as the players." Quite. And what kind of Jerusalem will that be? One which is ethnically cleansed of its Arab inhabitants who are slowly being dispossessed by Jewish settlers. But according to Cheshin 'The quartet will be a magnet in Jerusalem, promoting music education and love of music in schools and community centres citywide." And what better way to pretend that the indigenous people don't exist than to retreat into violin and string sonatas and the like?
And if there is any doubt about their stance, then as Zlotnikov explained:
"We feel good... We love to play, whether it's in an international contest or a renowned concert hall, at an IDF base somewhere in Israel or in the city that's our home."