The Met admits the controversial "opera" inspires anti-Semitism -- so why is the show going on?
Apparently for the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center, European anti-Semitism is unacceptable, but in America, anti-Semitism is acceptable. That seems to be today’s message amidst the Met’s announcement that it has canceled plans for a live transmission of the opera "The Death of Klinghoffer" in movie theaters “because of concerns that it could fan global anti-Semitism.”
Despite widespread controversy and condemnation - the show planned for October 2014 will go on as planned at Lincoln Center. A New York Times op-ed article some years ago which said the show is guilty of "romanticizing terrorists", op-eds (including mine in the NY Post), petitions, civil rights organizations’ press releases and vows to protests – yet, the the Met won't yet cancel the live NY performances.
As an American teenager has been kidnapped by Muslim extremists in Israel this week, do the armchair liberals at Lincoln Center only subscribe to the “global village” when it suits their purposes?
In a rather curious statement today, Peter Gelb, the Met's general manager, said he "become convinced that there is genuine concern in the international Jewish community that the live transmission of 'The Death of Klinghoffer' would be inappropriate at this time of rising anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe." So, if Gelb viewed anti-Semites as more of a danger here than the show would be cancelled here? Is he saying that Jews in Europe are in danger? Or Jews here are not? Is the Met the gatekeepers of Jewish safety?
The Metropolitan Opera’s statement about the play notes that this opera “looks for humanity in the terrorists.” Bluntly, as Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America said yesterday, “If one 'humanizes' killers of gay people, you are anti-gay. If one “humanizes” killers of blacks, you are anti-black. If one “humanizes” killers of Jews, you are anti-Semitic.”
Humanity cannot be found in terrorist killers.
The daughters of murdered Leon Klinghoffer in their statement said “The Death of Klinghoffer” perverts the terrorist murder of our father and attempts to romanticize, rationalize, legitimize and explain it. The political approach of the composer and librettist is evident with the opera’s disingenuous and dangerous juxtaposition of the plight of the Palestinian people with the coldblooded, terrorist murder of an innocent disabled American Jew.” They added that this shows “rationalization of terrorism and false moral equivalencies provide no thoughtfulness or insight.” Are victims’ rights also no longer important?
A show which was cancelled for live worldwide showings should also be cancelled in New York. If it was not acceptable after September 11th, what now makes it acceptable for Lincoln Center to glorify the murderers of a disabled World War 2 veteran?
In 2012, in response to an “outpouring of reaction” of fans that Met officials and the publishers of Opera News had decided to stop reviewing Met shows, Gelb said, “I think I made a mistake. The Metropolitan Opera only exists with the good will of the public.”
He was right then that he made a mistake – and now again he has and must own up to this mistake and immediately cancel the show.
An American boy with New York roots is currently missing in Israel at the hands of the same terrorists glorified in The Death of Klinghoffer. Terror knows no boundaries – and anti-Semitism anywhere in the world is dangerous and despicable.
New Yorkers of all religions, colors and ethnicities must stand together and say that humanizing killers is unacceptable. There is no artistic value which can be attributed to celebrating the murder of innocent people.
The plug must be pulled – entirely – on the anti-Semitic “Death of Klinghoffer.”
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