Join us in protesting the Met on Monday Oct. 20 at 6 PM (with a press conference beforehand, at 5 PM) against the production of the Klinghoffer opera. Monday Oct. 20 is the opening night; there will be a caravan of 100 wheelchairs there to dramatize our protest and oppose the Met’s glorification of the Arab terrorists who murdered a wheelchair-bound American Jew. Please join us on October 20th!
Thank you to the THOUSANDS of people who came from far and near to join the protest at Lincoln Center (65th Street and Broadway) on Monday Sept. 22!!! The protest was a great success and received widespread media coverage. Former Governor Pataki, Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Israeli Knesset Member Ze’ev, Zionist Organization of America President Morton Klein, 9-11 Hero’s Sister Debra Burlingame, Catholic League President Dr. Bill Donahoe, Mother of Victim of Terrorism Devorah Halberstam, and many other luminaries spoke at the protest!
In “Death of Klinghoffer,” the terrorists sing that they are “men of ideals.”
In a New York Times article (Dec. 9, 2001), famous musicologist Professor Richard Taruskin praised the Boston Symphony for canceling “Death of Klinghoffer” and pointed out that “Death of Klinghoffer” romanticizes terrorists, to the detriment of the fight against terror. Professor Taruskin wrote:
“‘The Death of Klinghoffer’ trades in the tritest undergraduate fantasies. If the events of Sept. 11 could not jar some artists and critics out of their habit of romantically idealizing criminals, then nothing will. But isn’t it time for artists and critics to grow up with the rest of us, now that the unthinkable has occurred?
If terrorism — specifically, the commission or advocacy of deliberate acts of deadly violence directed randomly at the innocent — is to be defeated, world public opinion has to be turned decisively against it. The only way to do that is to focus resolutely on the acts rather than their claimed (or conjectured) motivations, and to characterize all such acts, whatever their motivation, as crimes. This means no longer romanticizing terrorists as Robin Hoods and no longer idealizing their deeds as rough poetic justice. If we indulge such notions when we happen to agree or sympathize with the aims, then we have forfeited the moral ground from which any such acts can be convincingly condemned.”
Tell the Met Opera to follow the Boston Symphony’s good example. Cancel “Death of Klinghoffer”!
It is troubling that Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman asserts that because one of many anti-Semitic passages was removed, the “Death of Klinghoffer” opera to be performed at the Met is no longer anti-Semitic (“High Drama Over ‘Klinghoffer’ Opera,” June 27).
The opera still contains outrageous libels stating that Jews cheat, exploit, pollute virgins, defame, break laws, are idolaters, and get fat from the poor. By contrast, terrorists who murdered a disabled elderly American Jew sing, “We are soldiers fighting a war, we are not criminals, we are not vandals, we are men of ideals.” A passenger even sings that the terrorist “Omar” was “extremely nice.”
The opera’s falsification of history to malign Israel’s Jews (to “justify” murdering an American Jew) is also anti-Semitism. The opera DVD begins with a little Arab girl watching Jews shoot at, beat and chase Arab women and children from their homes. Israeli Jews are falsely accused of “razing” and “laying waste” to Arab homes in 1948. In fact, contemporaneous British police reports and numerous other independent sources documented that Israeli Jews begged the Arabs to stay in their homes and live together in peace. The Arab High Committee and seven Arab nations invading the fledgling State of Israel in 1948 told the Arabs to leave, to make the job of killing Israel’s Jews easier.
The opera also leaves the false impression that Jews massacred Muslims in Sabra and Shatilla as another “justification” for murdering Klinghoffer (when it was Christians who massacred Muslims), and portrays what the Nazis did to the Jews as similar to what Jews do to the Arabs.
The Met’s own form letter openly states that “Death of Klinghoffer” tries to show the “humanity of the terrorists.” Would the Met perform an opera showing the “humanity” of the murderers of three Israeli boys earlier this month, or the killers of gays, Muslims, blacks or Hispanics?
Especially in this time of increasing anti-Semitism, the Met should cancel its still-planned eight live performances of the opera this fall.
Morton Klein President, The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA)
Elizabeth Berney, Esq. Long-Island/Queens Region Executive Director, ZOA