Demonstrators protest the New York Metropolitan Opera’s production of The Death of Klinghoffer on Monday. (photo by Amelia Katzen via jns.org)
Several hundred protesters gathered at New York’s Lincoln Centre on Monday to protest the opening night of the New York Metropolitan Opera’s production of The Death of Klinghoffer.
The opera depicts a 1985 cruise ship hijacking by members of the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) and the killing of disabled Jewish-American passenger Leon Klinghoffer. Critics of the 1991 John Adams opera say that it promotes antisemitism and glorifies terrorism.
At the rally, protesters held signs reading “Klinghoffer Opera: Propaganda Masquerading as Art” and “The Met Opera Glorifies Terrorism.”
High-ranking New York politicians – including former New York governor George Pataki, former U.S. attorney general Michael Mukasey, U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind – joined the protesters.
Additionally, several Jewish and Christian organizations, such as the Zionist Organization of America, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, the Catholic League and the Christians’ Israel Public Action Campaign, co-sponsored and attended the rally.
The protesters read a letter that was written by Judea Pearl, the father of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal journalist who was executed by terrorists in 2002. “We do not stage operas for rapists and we do not compose symphonies for penetrating the minds of ISIS (Islamic State) executioners,” the letter reads.
“This antisemitic opera viciously falsifies history to malign and incite hatred against Israel and the Jewish people. The opera is a disgrace and should be canceled immediately,” said Morton Klein, national president of the ZOA, in a statement.