Editor’s note: Joseph Farah is in Israel this week leading a tour of the Jewish state with best-selling author Jonathan Cahn.
JERUSALEM – If you don’t think America is being sucked into the anti-Semitic tidal wave sweeping across the planet, just consider the New York Metropolitan Opera’s latest production, “The Death of Klinghoffer.”
Leon Klinghoffer, for those too young to remember, was the elderly Jewish, wheelchair-bound tourist shot by Arab terrorists and pushed into the sea from the deck of the cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985.
If you were expecting an opera condemning such behavior, you would be greatly disappointed after paying $400 for a ticket.
In fact, in this show, Klinghoffer got what he deserved. He was a Jew, after all. And Israel is an apartheid state that oppresses poor Arab “Palestinians” with their walls and their guns. Right?
Those promoting and defending this travesty claim it’s “art” – so, apparently, anything goes. Some go even further in their apologias.
- Director Tom Morris : “It’s the job of dramatic art to allow us to understand why people might do terrible things.”
- Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager: “For those who came to listen and watch, it was a deeply moving experience that left no doubt which side the opera was on: the side of humanity.”
- Seizing on the controversy of a production debuting in New York, the home of more Jews than Tel Aviv, the Met used this clever marketing slogan: “See It – Then Decide.”
No thanks. Not only will I not pay to see it. I wouldn’t see it if the Met paid me. As an Arab-American who understands right and wrong, I wouldn’t be caught dead witnessing a production exploiting the death of terrorism victim Leon Klinghoffer in such a shameful way.
I know enough about loathsome, despicable anti-Semitic propaganda to understand the concept behind “The Death of Klinghoffer.” Still, it’s shocking to me that such garbage would find a home in America – and in New York, no less.
What you will see and experience in this opera is nothing short of a defense of the kind of terrorism that took place on the Achille Lauro, or on 9/11, or that is taking place right now, today, through the auspices of ISIS.
Who were the killers of Leon Klinghoffer?
They were motivated to hijack the cruise ship over the imprisonment of their buddy, Sami Kuntar, who was convicted of a brutal terrorist attack himself. Kuntar and his accomplices invaded an apartment building in Israel and brutally murdered 31-year-old Danny Haran and his 4-year-old daughter, Einat. Kuntar smashed the girl’s head with his rifle butt. Haran’s 2-year-old daughter was inadvertently smothered by her hiding mother who tried to keep her quiet during the attack.
It gets worse.
On July 16, 2008, Hezbollah exchanged the remains of two captured Israeli soldiers for Kuntar and four other prisoners. Today, Kuntar is a hero to Arab Palestinians for his murderous behavior. He was given honorary citizenship and told an Arab TV broadcast: “God willing, I will get the chance to kill more Israelis.”
None of that will be seen or heard in “The Death of Klinghoffer.”
Instead the production is rife with anti-Semitic stereotypes: While the Arabs are concerned with “justice,” the Jewish characters are only concerned with money and comfort.
That’s what you should expect from a composer who has claimed the Jews control Congress and that Americans wrongfully scold and ridicule Palestinians for perpetrating terrorist acts. He did that before scoring this so-called “opera.”
Throughout the show, actors are framed in a mock-up of Israel’s anti-terrorism walls to make the case for Israeli “apartheid” – slightly incongruous given the events depicted took place 20 years before Israel built the walls that have significantly diminished terrorist attacks.
Being anti-Israel is now considered “cool” on college campuses and in elite cultural circles. I get that. It’s sickeningly ignorant and morally contemptuous. But can anyone deny this trend is moving closer and closer to blatant and hateful anti-Semitism? What next, a Broadway show celebrating the Sbarro pizzeria bombing?
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