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
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