The Embassy of Israel in Washington announced Thursday that it will open its doors to the public for the only time this year in an event dedicated to the memory of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
The event on October 25, a concert designed to promote "tolerance among peoples," had kept its venue secret until Thursday for security reasons, according to director of the ongoing musical Embassy Series Jerome Barry.
Security has been a growing concern at embassies in light of the recent attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, which killed four Americans, and the ensuing attacks on American embassies across the Middle East and North Africa. Last year, the Israeli Embassy in Cairo was attacked by several thousand protesters, forcing dozens of staff members and their families to return home.
The Embassy of Israel did not immediately respond to request for comment about why they chose to welcome the public to the event.
But Pearl, who was brutally killed 10 years ago while in Pakistan for an investigation relating to al-Qaeda, was of Israeli descent. His father Judea Pearl, who now runs a Daniel Pearl foundation with his wife, is a prominent Israeli-American scientist and philosopher. The foundation is also helping host the memorial concert.
"This concert is about tolerance. That's what the family of Daniel Pearl wants," says Barry, who says his series of classical concerts has been held in 63 different embassies over the last 19 years. "It's an honor and privilege, especially with what's happening now with the Taliban, and with the 14-year-old girl."
Barry is referring to 14-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, who was shot two weeks ago in Pakistan for her efforts on female education. Yousufzai is now recovering, and in stable condition, in the U.K.
The concert will be put on by the Israeli Chamber Project, an ensemble of young Israeli musicians that claims on its web site to "believe in the power of music to heal and to transcend geographical and cultural boundaries."
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