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Tenors & Terrorists
The Met’s Staging of Klinghoffer Should Be Scrapped

Responding to public outrage, The Met has canceled global simulcasts of its staging of The Death of Klinghoffer in 2,000 theaters and 65 countries—a clear admission of the opera’s potential to spread hatred. The eight New York performances should be canceled as well.

Published on: June 19, 2014
Dr. Eve Epstein is a New York writer and opera lover.
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  • qet

    Your conviction here is unquestionable; your reasoning isn’t.

    • johngbarker

      What is questionable with the reasoning in this post? Please elaborate.

      • qet

        Her argument amounts to nothing other than: this is a highly offensive production. Well, it has a lot of company. Some critics have suggested that its artistic merit compensates for its offensiveness. Others say otherwise. Who knows? It is not a production I myself would see. My feelings–key word, feelings–on it are not different from those or Dr. Epstein. But there is no reasoning here that would not equally apply to a great many productions. Dr. Epstein asserts that “there are moral limits,” yet I have no idea what those limits might be from her piece, only that Klinghoffer is beyond them.

        • Andrew Allison

          ” . . . the real-life, cold-blooded murder of a disabled Jewish man should not serve as an evening’s entertainment for the New York glitteratiI” seems like a pretty good objection to me.

          • qet

            So which element is it that is decisive: the “real life,” the “cold-blooded,” the “murder”, the “disabled”, the “Jewish,” the “man,” the “glitterati” or the “New York glitterati”? Is it that it is an opera? Would you object if it were a film? Is it because Klinghoffer was a real, historical personage? I mean, have you seen what goes on in Game of Thrones for an evening’s entertainment? But of course, there is the film version of “In Cold Blood,” involving real historical murdered people. And “The Girl Next Door.” And those are just the ones I can think of sitting here typing now.

            My issue is not so much with anyone’s revulsion at the opera as it is at the assumption that it ought to be prohibited from being performed publicly, for reasons I’m sure I need not explain.

          • Andrew Allison

            We’re in agreement on freedom of of expression, which is of course exactly what Dr Epstein did (quite clearly in my opinion). You argued that “Dr. Epstein asserts that “there are moral limits,” yet I have no idea what those limits might be from her piece, only that Klinghoffer is beyond them.” I suggested that she was quite specific. Whether or not we agree with her opinion is irrelevant to whether she made its basis clear. That said: I have, for my sins, no idea what goes on in “The Game of Thrones”, but it’s clear to me that there’s no analogy between the acts of an individual psychopath and the Psychopathic Liberation Organization.

          • qet

            Yes, and I am saying that her specificity is the problem. Dr. Epstein has provided no standard by which to judge whether a work of art is so objectionable as to merit withdrawal from public view. ‘Real-life, cold-blooded murder of disabled Jewish man” is not a standard but a description of the particular work of art. Dr. Epstein’s argument amounts to claiming that it is self-evident that the work is so objectionable that it ought not to be performed publicly, and pretty much every commenter here seems to agree with her. I can certainly criticize the claim to self-evidence without suggesting that her feeling about the work is “wrong.”

            I accept that morality is a product of a collective. If enough people in a community agree that something is immoral, then it is immoral, Q.E.D. That is a historical fact. But people have forever attempted to explain why something is immoral, and it is such an explanation, in this case, that I am criticizing.

          • Fred

            I accept that morality is a product of a collective. If enough people in a community agree that something is immoral, then it is immoral, Q.E.D. That is a historical fact.

            That is a permissible argument, but it commits you to some pretty horrible things. Par example: In 1833 the Comanche raided the Parker ranch in Texas. They killed men, women, and children and took the rest as slaves. Among the people they took as slaves was a pregnant 17 year old girl. By the time the baby was born, the girl had learned enough Comanche to plead for the life of her child. However, the tribal council decided a child would distract her too much from her duties as a slave. So a group of warriors was sent to the girl. They took her baby from her, strangled it, and handed it back to her. When it still showed signs of life, they took it from her again, tied a rope to its neck, and dragged it behind a horse through a prickly pear grove. To be clear, this was not the aberrant action of evil individuals. It was all done according to the mores of the tribe. Now you may call the argument that torturing an infant to death is moral if it is done according to local mores “tough minded” or “realistic.” I call it what it is, nihilism. I pray you are a hypocrite and do not live by the moral nihilism you preach. If you do, I hope you are caught soon and locked away for a loooong time.

          • qet

            As far as facticity goes, what I said is irrefutably true. It is not nihilism, because I am not claiming that therefore no set of morals may claim “ought” status. I freely confess that I have not solved the eternal problem of morality. I will observe two things, however: (1) a morality that exists only on paper or as an unpracticed collection of concepts is not morality properly speaking, and (2) recent historical attempts to actualize sets of so-called universal norms and mores have directly caused the deaths–often horrible, bloody, violent, lingering deaths–of far more people than any Native American (North, South or Central) ritual practices. By the West’s own predominant utilitarian standards, that makes these so-called universal morals far more evil than those of smaller premodern communities.

          • Fred

            a morality that exists only on paper or as an unpracticed collection of concepts is not morality properly speaking

            True, but misleading. No thinker I know of has arbitrarily come up with some abstract “list of morals” to which everyone must adhere. Moral philosophy is an attempt (more successful at some times than others and never complete) to codify as best we can an objective morality that exists in itself outside any thought or lists about it.

            recent historical attempts to actualize sets of so-called universal norms and mores have directly caused the deaths–often horrible, bloody, violent, lingering deaths–of far more people than any Native American (North, South or Central) ritual practices. By the West’s own predominant utilitarian standards, that makes these so-called universal morals far more evil than those of smaller premodern communities.

            Obviously, I disagree. Utilitarianism itself is another form of moral relativism. Talking about morality in the absence of an objective moral order makes no more sense than talking about physics in the absence of an objective physical order. Evil on any scale is evil. If I kill a Jew because I hate Jews and want to eliminate them to strengthen the human race how is that less evil than what the Nazis did just because I only did it to one person and they did it to six million? It is the hatred and racism themselves that are evil not the scale of their manifestation. If I murder someone because I disagree with his politics how is that less evil than what Stalin did because I only did it to one person and he did it to millions? It is the illegitimate taking of human life that is evil, not the number of lives taken.

          • ahad_ha_amoratsim

            In stating objections to this piece, Dr. Epstein is under no intellectual or moral obligation to articulate a bright line test by which all other or future pieces might be judged.

          • f1b0nacc1

            There is a fundamental difference between arguing “this should not be produced by the Met”, and “the Met should not be allowed to produce this”. I fully endorse the former, but would fight to the end against the latter.
            Several of my relatives in NYC have informed the Met’s management that they will cancel their membership if this goes forward. Obviously that is not going to stop it, but it is an entirely reasonable and principled response tot his act of gross indecency. The Met is free to produce what it wishes, but it must also accept that it will encourage a response on the part of its audience.

          • qet

            I acknowledge the difference, but it is an increasingly merely formal difference. You have no doubt noticed that in the last, say, 10 years, there are increasing calls for various expressions (and their creators)–books, films, stage productions, commentary–to be boycotted/banned/regulated/prohibited by people whose ideological progenitors of 50 – 100 years ago were the targets of such calls by the ideological progenitors of those under attack today. I support anyone’s right to urge that action be taken by an artistic institution to address what the person sees as a mistake or injustice or outrage, but when such a person attempts to present an objective moral case for such a view, rather than a merely aesthetic one, her attempt is open to scrutiny and criticism.

            Remember Piss Christ? Lots of right-tilting folks were hugely offended by that, and were hooted down by many liberal New Yorkers when they tried to make such an objective moral case. If I had to guess, I’d say that not one commenter here who is vehemently agreeing with Dr. Epstein in the Klinghoffer matter also agreed with the calls for Piss Christ to be withdrawn from public exhibition. In my comments here, I have not once dismissed the “validity” of Dr. Epstein’s reaction, but I am trying to ascertain what general standards she feels apply to place Klinghoffer beyond the pale of acceptable art. “Incites hatred,” as one commenter suggests, is, to my mind, a tautology rather than a standard.

          • f1b0nacc1

            You would lose your bet. I was strongly of the opinion that Piss Christ should not have been displayed (not banned, simply not displayed), and I feel the same way about Klinghoffer.
            Lets be clear about this. The difference between being banned and not being displayed in a given venue is that when you are banned, you aren’t seen in ANY venue. That is not merely a formal difference at all. There is an enormous difference between something like Klinghoffer (or Piss Christ, if you wish) being shown at a major public exhibition (certainly the Met qualifies as that), and it being marginalized in some ideologically correct venue.

          • JimB_61

            “not banned, simply not displayed” is an extremely important distinction and one which I wholeheartedly support. The Met is not the appropriate venue for this production due to the high probability that it will give it’s content an implicit endorsement.

          • ahad_ha_amoratsim

            A better venue would be the local Bundhall, a KK rally, or a meeting of Students for Justice for Palestine.

          • ahad_ha_amoratsim

            You’d lose your bet twice.
            But it is common knowledge among some people that Jews and Jew-lovers are hypocrites, as you imply in your post, right?

          • ahad_ha_amoratsim

            Way to misread.
            1. No one is arguing that the Met or any one else should be prohibited from staging this opera. What is being argued is that anyone with a shred of decency or moral values would not choose to associate themselves with it.
            2. The opera falsely attributes words and opinions to real person who was brutally murdered, even though it is known that they were not his words and not his opinions, in order to make the playwright’s point that the Arabs who murdered him had a noble purpose to their lives and that middle class American Jews have none and know it.
            3. The opera endorses and does not condemn the stereoptype of Jews as rich oppressors of the world’s poor, engineering and profitting from human misery.
            Should this be illegal? No. Would anyone with a shred of decency present it, or attend it for an evening’s entertainment? No.
            Comparisons to the fictional Game of Thrones? Please.
            In Cold Blood? In fact, Capote was criticised for putting words into the mouths of the victims when he had no way to no what they said or thought. But at least he did not make them out to be awful people. The playwright put words and thoughts into Klinghoffer’s (H’yd) mouth that we know, from his family and other witnesses, are purely the result of the palywright’s delusion in order to advance his amoral thesis, and made Klinghoffer into something he was not.

          • ejochs

            Are the glitterati so degenerate that they’ll sit there? If yes, god help them.

          • ahad_ha_amoratsim

            “. . . the real-life, cold-blooded murder of a disabled Jewish man should not serve as an evening’s entertainment for the New York glitterati” and particularly when an integral part of that entertainment is vile slander about all Jews.

          • SueJB

            I’m conducting a poll. ahad_ha_amoratsim, have you seen Kilnghoffer performed live or on DVD? Or have you listened to it on CD, while following the libretto?

          • ahad_ha_amoratsim

            No. I have read reviews and have read parts of the libretto. Why should I pay the creators of this filth, and why should I encourage them?

          • SueJB

            In other words, you’ve decided it is “filth” without knowing what it is, because you have not seen it.

          • ahad_ha_amoratsim

            I know exactly what it is.

            I have never read Mein Kampf in its entirety,either, or the entire Hamas charter, or the entire Protocols. But I have read enough of each to know what they are, and no one has ever pointed to anything in any of them — or in Death of Klinghoffer — to suggest there was anything redeeming in them. Nor have you pointed to anything in this obscenity to suggest that it was anything but.

          • JimB_61

            We part company here and I do agree with SueJB on this point. If you are not willing to at least read the libretto or listen to an already existing recording of the work, then you are on Very Shaky Ground when you condemn it.

      • J. Dennision

        The reasoning is very straightforward: the Met’s promotion of this opera incites hatred. By its own admission, the Met cancelled its contemplated international broadcast of the opera because of concerns about inciting hatred. Here’s an example: “Wherever poor men—Are gathered they can—Find Jews getting fat”.

        While the article calls for the cancellation of the Opera, a more appropriate response is the cancellation and suspension of public funding of the Met.

  • Dahn Hiuni

    brilliantly stated!
    thank you, dr. epstein!

  • Bathsheva_Gladstone

    Brilliant Piece by Eve Epstein. If this Gelb cat doesn’t agree to scrap this mess, maybe theatre goers should cancel their subscriptions.

    • SueJB

      I’m conducting a poll. Bathsheva, have you seen Klinghoffer performed live or on DVD? Or have you listened to it as a recording, while following the libretto?

      • ahad_ha_amoratsim

        Have you? What can you point to that shows the author had any grasp of the Israeli point of view? That he was not spouting pure propaganda as to the events of 1948? That he disapproved of the anti-Jewish (NOT anti-Israel) canards in the libretto about Jews being religious hypocrites who cause world wide misery for their own fun and profit?

        • SueJB

          I have listened to the opera, following on the libretto. I found no antisemitic intent from Adams or Goodman. There was antisemitic content: how could there not be, in an opera about Palestinian terrorists? But it was clearly the viewpoint of the terrorists,not the authors. — I believe that some of the commenters here, like yourself, do not know the work at all, and are stirring up an internet book-burning mob based on ignorance.

          • ahad_ha_amoratsim

            Can you point me to something in the libretto that tells us the Adams does not share the Jew-hating sentiments of his terrorist characters, and that he does not believe their lies about how the Palestinians came to be stateless?

          • SueJB

            I don’t have the libretto open in front of me. In fact, it was a couple of years ago that I read it. Given that I won’t get a chance to see Klinghoffer on Met in Hd, I’ve just ordered the DVD from Amazon; it will arrive in a week or so, after which I’ll be able to give you chapter and verse. But on Youtube you can find the following clips, which give you a flavour of the work:

            Chorus of the exiled Jews

            Chorus of the exiled Palestinians

          • SueJB

            And on the subject of whether a work of art should point at bad guys and good guys, the librettist Alice Goodman said (in an interview with the Guardian):

            ————————-
            In one particularly caustic attack in the New York Times in 2001, Richard Taruskin denounced the opera for “romanticising terrorists”. Taruskin noted that Adams had said the opera owed its structure to Bach’s Passions. But in Bach’s Passions, argued Taruskin, every time Jesus is heard, an aureole of violins and violas gives Christ the musical equivalent of a halo. Klinghoffer has no such halo, while the Palestinian choruses are accompanied by the most beautiful music in the opera.

            “What upset Taruskin was giving beautiful music to terrorists,” snaps Goodman. “They have to sing ugly music. There has to be the equivalent of a drumroll when [1960s cartoon villain] Snidely Whiplash comes in because – God help us – we can’t have complexity. People will love evil if we give terrorists beautiful music to sing and we can’t have that, can we? Sorry, I can hear my voice becoming high-pitched and irritable.

            “There’s a certain romanticism to the hijackers and that’s something, again, that Taruskin picks upon. But the trouble is they think romanticism is good. Romanticism good, romanticism attractive. I don’t think that. I actually think the most dangerous thing in the world is romantic nationalism. Not religion, but romantic nationalism. And if it’s true, it’s also true for Israel. Israel is not exempt from the problem I have with romantic nationalism. If it’s an evil, it’s an evil all over the world.”

            ———————-

            http://www.theguardian.com/music/2012/jan/29/alice-goodman-death-klinghoffer-interview

          • ahad_ha_amoratsim

            But the contrast here is not between Israel and the terrorists. It is between an innocent American Jew and the terrorists who murder him. And the terrorists sing not only about the evil of Israel, but about the evil of Jews — all Jews. In both of these cases, the reviewer seems to validate the opera’s view, and that of the terrorists, that their perceived grievance against Israel justifies their murdering random Jews.
            Finally, the Guardian’s reviewer seems to have no quarrel with romantic nationalism being placed in the service of the Palestinian terrorists.
            While this is about what I would expect from the Guardian, it seems to validate rather than refute my concern that the opera endorses both terrorism and Jew-hating.

          • Jon Robbins

            “But the contrast here is not between Israel and the terrorists. It is between an innocent American Jew and the terrorists who murder him.”

            This issue is a war between Zionists and indigenous Arabs for control of land they both want. In the war, many innocents have been killed such as the Jewish American Klinghoffer and the young Turkish-American, Furkan Dogan, killed on the Mavi Marmara by the IDF. How about an opera about that for John Adams’ next work?

          • Bathsheva_Gladstone

            The mavi marmara was breaking international laws and maritime laws. They persisted even though they were warned repeatedly. They had weapons on board. There was nothing innocent about the agenda/intent the “people” had on board the mavi mrmara. There is no equation between a young thug wanna-be terrorist (sympathizer) and an old crippled guy in a wheelchair on a vacation cruise. How about you try truth?

          • ahad_ha_amoratsim

            Dogan was an unlawful combatatant who was killed in the course of his trying to murder IDF soldiers while they were lawfully enforcing a lawful embargo that Dogan and his friends were trying to run in order to unlawfully bring arms and supplies to the terrorist group Hamas. He was not innocent, and he chose to inject himself into the conflict.
            Klinghoffer was a wheelchair-bound elderly Jewish American on a tourist cruise in international waters nowhere near the area of conflict, when Arab murderers unlawfully commandeered the ship and murdered him for no other reason than his being Jewish.
            No one but a moral imbecile would even think of comparing the two.
            Leave aside the fact that Jews are also indigenous and that many Arabs are not.

          • Jon Robbins

            Dogan was in international waters where Israel had no right to detain or stop the ship, bringing relief to Palestinians at the mercy of the Israeli Leviathan state, and the dishonest version of events you propound is, of course, the official Israeli version.

            Your problem is that you demand special treatment for Jews and deny others their humanity. What a disgrace!

            There was absolutely no reason for organized Jewry to demand the censoring of Kinghoffer. It doesn’t matter though; you are losing the war regardless of the outcome of this skirmish.

            I can see the finale of “The Death of Dogan,” where a relentless IDF chorus drowns out the pleas of those on the ship and lays waste to them with automatic weaponry and chanting, “God gave us the land! The precious is ours! Death to Amalek! Death to the Goyim!” On the sides of the stage, the ghosts of the crew of the USS Liberty hover, lamenting the cruel narcissism of the Zionist Valkyrie. Curtain.

            Well, what do you think?

          • ahad_ha_amoratsim

            I think that you are mistaken on the law, mistaken on countless facts, and mistaken when you call the expectation that Jews be granted the same rights and dignity as anyone else, and that people dealing with Jews take responsibility for their own actions, “demand[ing]
            special treatment for Jews and deny[ing] others their humanity.”
            I also think that dragging the Liberty, Amalek, and fantasies of a Jewish conspiracy to exterminate non-Jews tells and your apparent delusions of an organized Jewish conspiracy shows that not only are you a moral imbecile as I first thought, but that you also are a bit of a Jew-hater.
            In short, I think you that you have the situtation reversed, and your head screwed on backwards.
            I’m sure the Met can be proud of those who choose to support the showing of this opera.

          • Jon Robbins

            What I think is that you have demonstrated your deep need for control over what others think. There was no reason that individual opera-goers should not have had the chance make up their own minds by seeing the opera. You have arrogated the right to suppress information for your own self-serving purposes, and there are obviously enough Jews who think like you (because it’s obvious that no one else wants to censor the production whatever they may think about it) to force Gelb into submission. You disgust me and you deserve the hatred that you are reaping. You do realize that the more you try to censor, the more ill will you generate, don’t you? As I said above, it doesn’t matter–you are losing the war–and rightly so.

          • Jon Robbins

            “Can you point me to something in the libretto that tells us the Adams does not share the Jew-hating sentiments of his terrorist characters?”

            In other words, can you prove the negative?

            “…and that he does not believe their lies about how the Palestinians came to be stateless?”

            What lies are those? That Eastern European Jews, under the auspices of British imperial control, entered Palestine in huge numbers, gradually eroded the 90% Palestinian majority of 1900, then, when they were in a position to do so, took possession of as much of the Palestinians’ land as possible and are now plotting to get their hands on the rest? You mean that “lie?”

    • Jon Robbins

      Why would we want to do that?

      • ahad_ha_amoratsim

        You wouldn’t want to. Human beings with a shred of decency would.

        • Jon Robbins

          Yeah–decent human beings should advocate the suppression of artistic work just because of your paranoia. I don’t think so.

          • ahad_ha_amoratsim

            Thanks for a good laugh. You spin fantasies of a relentless IDF laying waste to civilians (funny how many passengers on the Mari Mavra survived, by the way) with automatic weaponry, chanting, ” Death to the Goyim!” and you accuse me of paranoia? Sweet.

          • Jon Robbins

            There’s no question that you are seeking special privileges–the privilege to censor and to determine what people can and can’t judge for themselves. What’s so pathetic is is that your obsessive quest for those privileges simply leads to more anti-Jewish sentiment which leads to increased paranoia on your part, further attempts to control information and more backlash. I wonder where it will all end?

          • Jon Robbins

            t

          • ahad_ha_amoratsim

            I am done arguing with serial liars.

            Your concern about causing anti-Jewish sentiment is touching.

            For further elaboration, you may google: jabotinsky+”Who are we, to make excuses to them”

          • Jon Robbins

            It wasn’t concern. It was an observation. Don’t flatter yourself.

            I am quite familiar with Jabotinsky, that well known fascist and ethnic cleanser.

          • ahad_ha_amoratsim

            Give a Jew-hater an opportunity, he’ll out himself again and again. By the way, Jabotinsky fought the fascists, genius.

            “We constantly and very loudly apologize… Instead of turning our backs to the accusers, as there is nothing to apologize for, and nobody to apologize to, we swear again and again that it is not our fault… Isn’t it long overdue to respond to all these and all future accusations, reproaches, suspicions, slanders and denunciations by simply folding our arms and loudly, clearly, coldly and calmly answer with the only argument that is understandable and accessible to this public: ‘Go to Hell!’?

            Who are we, to make excuses to them; who are they to interrogate us? What is the purpose of this mock trial over the entire people where the sentence is known in advance? Our habit of constantly and zealously answering to any rabble has already done us a lot of harm and will do much more. … The situation that has been created as a result, tragically confirms a well known saying: “Qui s’excuse s’accuse.”
            Jabotinsky said it better than I can. Go to hell.

          • Jon Robbins

            “By the way, Jabotinsky fought the fascists, genius.’

            I know what he did. And what you, “genius,” imagine to be fighting “with” the fascists was in reality merely an intra-fascist civil disturbance. Don’t try and turn that night of the long knives into “a fight against fascism.”

            No one is asking for your apologies–as if your warped mind were capable.

            “Jabotinsky said it better than I can.”

            Anybody could have said it better than you can.

            And has far as going to hell is concerned, sorry, there’s way too long a line of Zio-fascists right at the moment and everything is back up. I’ll try again during the off-season.

  • Boritz

    Don’t forget that we live in an age when an invited speaker for a college commencement can be dis-invited because of the potential to say something that will impart discomfort to the audience. &nbsp some-might-find-offensive = shut-it-down.

    • Andrew Allison

      What in heck does somebody expressing opinion about the propriety of an opera production have to do with the closure of the “progressive” mind?

      • EllenO

        Clearly if you cannot see the linkage you should consider whether the ‘closure’ problem is closer to home that you think.

  • Mary O’Donnell

    The Metropolitan Opera brochure(2014-15) states that the “production [is] an anonymous gift in honor of John Adams.” Why the need for anonymity, pray tell?

  • Dahn Hiuni

    I would like to call for the resignation of peter gelb for such poor judgment!

  • Mack

    Anti-Semitism anywhere is disgusting; in the Metropolitan Opera it is especially inexplicable – how is it that the cultural leadership – or perhaps now one must say Fuhrerklasse? – in this nation has degenerated to such ethical and intellectual cowardice?

    • SueJB

      I’m conducting a poll. Mack, have you seen Klinghoffer performed live or on DVD? Or have you listened to it as a recording, while following the libretto?

  • jankel

    Id Mr Gelb a Good Yid? or just of some German descent…of poor intelligence ?
    Nobody tells us a true full information….Why? Fear of Defamation prosecution…???
    May I say ( also as a Jewish Anonymous???) that there are, alas, a lot of fu…. Jewish coreligionists in New York ? Or is it reprehensible?

  • Beatrix17

    Jews are Palestinian, too.

    Palestine is the name the Romans gave to Israel in 135 AD. Jews lived there for thousands of years before
    Arabs came as a marauding band in 637, but didn’t stay. Eventually, some Arab immigrants did stay and established families along with the Jews.

    When the UN, at the directive of the English Empire, divided Palestine into two nations, one for the Jews and one for the Arabs, the Palestinian Jews established their nation and called it Israel. The Palestinian Arabs went to war losing their land to Jordan and Egypt.

    In a preemptive 1967 strike, with Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and Syria lined on their border, Israel took back
    the West Bank and Gaza Strip and in the 1990s offered it to the Arab Palestinians in return for a peace treaty. Arafat and now Abbas have never accepted these terms because making peace with Israel gets Arab
    leaders killed. (Sadat of Egypt and the Grandfather of the present King of Jordan, the only two countries that have made peace with Israel, were both killed).

    The Palestinians have had nothing taken from them. They lost their land in a war they started. Their only
    victimization has been by their own leadership.

    • Loader2000

      To be honest, in the war of 1948 (or 49?), nationalist factions on both sides of the aisle were spoiling for a fight and committing reciprocal atrocities. The difference is that the Jews were ready for the fight while the Palestinian Arabs were not, and never really have been.

      • Beatrix17

        1948 was 3 years after the Holocaust. Jews were decimated, devastated and grateful for a land of their own. Muslims had not had a non-Muslim nation in the Mideast for thousands of years, and Egypt, Jordan,
        Syria, Iraq, and Palestine attacked Israel as soon as she became a nation. America didn’t become an ally of Israel until 1967. Some European nations, such as Czechoslovakia helped arm Israel, but Israel’s early wars were fought with spit, tin cans, sling shots, old
        army pistols, a lot of courage and a miraculous amount of luck.

        Muslims have never forgiven the inferior Jews, the ones the Christians picked on with impunity, for beating them in war. Palestinians expected Egypt and Jordan to side with them, but they were interested in a land grab. Egypt took Gaza and Jordan took The West Bank, which Israel won back in a 1967 preemptive strike. Palestine still hasn’t
        accepted these lands from the dhimmi Jews.

  • Michael Bergsma

    PLO stands for Push Leon Overboard,

  • GodOfSpinoza

    America has elites as do all countries. The unique feature of America’s elites is that they hate America.

  • rouxdsla

    My guess is that some of the contributors to the Met are Jewish. Maybe they should just take their money elsewhere.

  • isaac

    This is not John Adams and Alice Goodman’s only opera with Anti-Semitic elements. In “Nixon in China”, Henry Kissinger, the only Jewish character, is portrayed as a noxious, malicious, buffoon, whereas Mao, possibly the most prolific mass murderer in history, is treated with the greatest respect.

    • werewife

      Not to mention that the vaunted US premiere of “Nixon in China” was also a disappointing snore, despite an excellent performance by James Maddalena as Nixon. Every single d**n time the music seemed to get moving towards some kind of climax, it ended up dribbling away instead. Add the ludicrous caricature of Kissinger (who somehow ends up playing the villain in the Chinese hosts’ ballet entertainment [which, as staged by Mark Morris, was frankly pornographic] without explanation), and Mao’s invocation of Christian symbolism (WTH?), that was the end of my subscription to the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

      As for this production, well… true poetic justice would see jihadi terrorists attacking and taking the opening-night audience hostage.

      • SueJB

        Clearly isaac and werewife have attended a performance of Nixon in China. Now, I’m conducting a poll: have you seen Klinghoffer performed live or on DVD? Or have you listened to it as a recording, while following the libretto?

    • JimB_61

      It is entirely possible that Henry Kissinger was being accurately portrayed. He certainly was a noxious, malicious, buffoon (imho, of course).

      • ahad_ha_amoratsim

        That buffoon helped manipulate the US to ultimate victory in the Cold War.

  • skeets11

    The same people who put on this production scream against the name Washington Redskins. Go Figure.

  • Winston

    I’m curious. What exactly is the “perspective” that needs so vitally to be explored regarding individuals that shoot a 69 year old, wheelchair bound man in the head and dump his body into the sea? What insight are we supposed to gain? I think this “opera” tastelessly exploits cold-blooded murder. But the moral bankruptcy on display is worse. This production takes the perverse attitude that it wasn’t really murder, that the murderers are just actors in a drama that needed to be explored and humanized and their point of view investigated. It’s hard to think of an equivalency.Perhaps next they could do an opera that highlights a real racial lynching by the Ku Klux Klan where they can devote time to exploring and giving voice to the Klan’s point of view, to sympathize with their “plight” and humanize them as well.

    • JimB_61

      This is one of the few reasonable comments I’ve seen in this rather hysterical conversation. I am no defender of the apparent point of view of the opera itself but I also can see that such a production COULD be clearly condemnatory of the terrorists who murdered Klinghoffer; it could also be supportive of them. In either case, Adams is treading on thin ice because of the simple expectation that the overwhelming effect will be to confirm people’s own prejudices.

    • SueJB

      I’m conducting a poll. Winston, have you seen Klinghoffer performed live or on DVD? Or have you listened to it as a recording, while following the libretto?

  • Winston

    Also I would suggest to John Adams that terrorists are not desperate men pushed to the wall. They are in almost every case vicious, brutal, hateful and deluded. His view of terrorism is infantile.

  • Johnathan Reale

    Villains get arias in opera. That does not mean one mistakes them for heroes. I have seen this opera twice and plan on seeing it again in October. I am not someone who tolerates excuse-making for terrorists, and neither does this opera: the character of Leon Klinghoffer calls out the terrorists alleged justifications for the pathetic rationalizations they are: “You don’t give a sh*t / Excuse me, about / Your grandfather’s hut / His sheep and his goat / And the land he wore out / You just want to see / People die”. While your mileage may vary regarding the musical aesthetic of the opera, I can personally testify that the thematic elements bear no resemblance to the way you’ve described them.

    • SueJB

      I live in New Zealand, I love opera and consider John Adams one of the best opera composers working today. I am very disappointed that I will be denied the chance to see this performance broadcast on “Met in HD”. “The Death of Klinghoffer” is not an antisemitic work; Epstein is either reviewing from ignorance, or from malice. I hate the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, as many of the others commenting here probably do. The attacks on this opera are morally identical to BDS.

      • JimB_61

        Once again, the very fact that The Met is mounting this production lends it an implicit endorsement which is extremely dangerous and on this ground alone, management should be careful.

        The underlying problem is still whether the opera supports or condemns terrorism; it cannot be neutral, nor can the The Met.

        • SueJB

          Why should it be dangerous to “endorse” “The Death of Klinghoffer”? Is it dangerous to endorse “La Boheme”? The only danger I can see is to the financial position of the Met – that’s for them to calculate courage vs. money.

          • JimB_61

            I was thinking morally and politically more than financially.
            Opera always has a moral (in the sense of expressing values and the emotions they generate) as well as aesthetic content. Without it, it is, at best, journalism. A look at the history of opera and its very frequent subjection to censorship through most of its history will prove its power and danger (to various interests).

            IIRC even La Boheme caused some controversy. Another related example: even Beethoven was forced to include as his text in the 9th symphony, an Ode to Joy (Freude) instead of the original, Ode to Freedom (Freue).

          • Jon Robbins

            Yes, lots of operas caused controversy: The Marriage of Figaro, Rigoletto, Un Ballo in Maschera, Parsifal, and many others. We laugh at the forced relocation of Ballo’s setting from Sweden to New England because the depiction of a king being killed on stage was unacceptable to censors, and we are amused at the hit to Mozart’s funding that the outrages of Figaro caused. Now, we have organized Jewry trying to impose this kind of censorship again. I have no idea why anyone would support such efforts.

    • Winston

      When the villains murder a Jew they get an opera. When they murder anyone else they get condemned. The whole underlying point of the opera is that Jews are non-persons, that even the most cold-blooded murder of a Jewish man is qualified by “grievances” that we supposedly need to appreciate. It isn’t “The Murder of Klinghoffer”, but a “death” like some natural disaster, more in sorrow than in anger, and the murderers are mere actors in a play with a POV as valid as the man they murdered.

      • Johnathan Reale

        “The whole underlying point of the opera is that Jews are non-persons, that even the most cold-blooded murder of a Jewish man is qualified by ‘grievances’ that we supposedly need to appreciate.” That’s quite a claim. Usually by “point”, one means intent, and there are multiple interviews with the opera’s creators that contradict your claim. If instead you mean “combined effect”, I’d submit that this isn’t the first time reasonable people have disagreed about the overall impact of a work of art.

        • Winston

          I just don’t think people have carefully thought through
          what they are defending

          To you the opera is fair, giving equal time to the victim
          and his murderers. It intends to not take sides. Yet how exactly does a moral person approach cold-blooded murder evenhandedly, neutrally? They can’t. Here
          you have an opera that treats the victim on the same exact level as his killers. And in this purported evenhandedness is actually an extraordinary prejudice, that somehow it wasn’t murder, a conclusion that can only follow if on some level you accept that Klinghoffer wasn’t a person but a thing. That is what the opera is truly about, that a murder wasn’t a murder because the victim wasn’t a person who deserved moral protection.

          Point to another example. An opera or play that treats a racial murder victim on the same plane as his murderers? A homophobic murder where again it is approached “evenhandedly,” giving equal time to victim and his murderers, not taking sides? You can’t. Because the amoralism of this opera is precise a sickening moral judgment that Klinghoffer is on the same level as his murderers. Because he is not a person. Because he is a Jew, and therefore forfeits his humanity.

          It is the “death” of Klinghoffer. Death, not murder. That is clearly intended. The NY Times with mind numbing empty-headedness tried to defend this production. First it says that this was a “terrible murder.” But then it praises the opera precisely because it doesn’t treat a
          terrible murder as murder at all, for being nonjudgmental and evenhanded (that mindless word again). They couldn’t or wouldn’t admit that being nonjudgmental
          in the face of a “terrible murder” is a judgment, a claim that we shouldn’t judge it, shouldn’t condemn it, should find some nuance in something so clear cut. A terrible murder wasn’t murder, the murderers were men of
          ideals, and Klinghoffer wasn’t even a human being.

          Seems pretty intentional to me.

          • Johnathan Reale

            “To you the opera is fair, giving equal time to the victimand his murderers.” I’ve said nothing of the kind (others may have). For me, opera is not history, it is not news, it is not anthropology. As one of the forms of music that is married to text, there are moral choices being made in the libretto, but they are not the same choices faced by a historian or journalist. They are rather the considerations of poets, and the dark side of humanity is as legitimate a subject of poetry as the good. Expect audiences to know the difference. Some will not, surely, but I’m glad Adams and Goodman did not limit their choice of subject to avoid all chances of someone misinterpreting their work as advocacy. (I suppose this controversy itself is the price they as creators and I as their target audience have to pay. It’s not a large cost, and totally worth it.)

          • Winston

            Art doesn’t exist in a moral vacuum. And perversely immoral art should be condemned as such. Think Triumph of the Will or Birth of A Nation.

            I’ve said me piece. But I will add this: A few days ago three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped. This is an appalling, indefensible crime. Yet the world has shrugged its collective shoulders. Some time before that Jews were murdered at the Jewish museum in Brussels. And the world yawned. Some time before that a shooter targeted the Jewish center in Kansas City, murdering innocent people. Again, nothing. Some time before that a father and his children were gunned down walking in front of a Jewish school in France. Again, indifference. This opera seems to be consistent with the attitude we know see, a rationalization of violence and dehumanization and the loss of moral outrage if the violence targets Jews. Adams and Goodman are not being misinterpreted. This is not some latent meaning. An artist is morally responsible for what he intends and the underlying meaning of his work. Here both are the same.

          • ahad_ha_amoratsim

            The world angrily condemns Israel for ‘killing children’ when soldiers Israel shoot a 17 year old armed Arab in the act of trying to murder Jews. That same world has nothing to say when two Arabs for sneak into a Jewish home at night and cut the throats of a 3 month old infant, her 4 year old and 11 year old brothers, and her parents, H’yd, orphaning her 12 year sister and her 11 year old and 4 year old brothers.
            Correction — some of the world has something to say; Israel’s Arab peace partners celebrate the two murderers as heroes.

        • ahad_ha_amoratsim

          Sometimes a point is made when a work of art reveals one’s unconscious assumptions and values. In this case, that there are two sides to the undeniable fact that terrorists chose to murder an elderly defenseless man because he was an American Jew and they felt they had a grievance against Israel and because they blamed Jews for all of the world’s problems.

    • JimB_61

      Finally, a comment based on the facts of the case. What does Adams and the opera itself say about the murder of Klinghoffer?

      I still stand by my earlier comment that the overwhelming, and unfortunate, effect of the work will be to confirm prejudices on both sides; then will its didactic force sway some opinions. It is a great pity if the Met is seen to endorse terrorism.

      • Johnathan Reale

        I think I still have a press kit (which I was inexplicably handed as a 20 year old student in attendance at the BAM premier 🙂 ), and if I can dig it up, I’ll post some contemporaneous quotes. There’s no question in my mind at all that Adams’ position was principally one of specifically avoiding moral positioning not due to a commitment to relativism, but to let musical considerations take precedence. Same with Goodman’s libretto and her commitment to the abstractions of language and poetry. I think those are valid artistic choices, and I am no moral relativist.

        • JimB_61

          Sorry, Jonathan, if those were their stated rationales for their posture of impartiality, it still fails for the reasons I stated earlier.

          At the very least, the emotional content of the music – as well as the libretto – cannot be neutral if it is to have any artistic impact. To claim otherwise is simple disingenuous.

          • Johnathan Reale

            I suppose we disagree regarding the centrality of emotional content to artistic impact (I’m a big fan of abstract/expressionistic music as well as romantic/dramatic music). That’s okay; lots of people have lots of differing opinions on what works in art and what doesn’t. It’s a great big world with room enough for all of us (I hope!).

            But I’m posting now because I actually managed to find that old press kit (and playbill and ticket), which amazingly contains a full libretto _including_ the subsequently dropped prologue scene with the Rumor family! If you’re interested in any first-hand info, I’m happy to provide.

            Lastly, you might be interested in this interview John Adams gave in 1995 where he talks about the opera and his work in general. It’s pretty evident he has no special interest in the political content of the plot, even as he found the event useful as a big story with historical implications to dramatize through music and poetry. Of course, that very attitude is what’s offensive to some, or what would lead the opera to fail to you. Again, art affects us in different ways. I just don’t think anyone should consider this piece so outrageous as to be worthy of a boycott.

          • JimB_61

            I agree with almost everything you say here except that I am not arguing for any specific position re the centrality of emotional content to artistic impact. I am simply saying that artistic impact cannot be emotionally – or politically – neutral, as many have suggested. The very act of selection is itself a statement of position. Now, what that may be is open to debate, but that debate must be informed.

            I would be most grateful if you could scan and let me see the libretto and other materials from the press kit. In fact, the source itself means that there would be no problems with copyright since they already released it.

            Similarly Adams’ interview would be very interesting – and perhaps definitive. At this stage, I don’t see any links or leads to it. If I send you my eddress, perhaps we can continue this exploration privately.

          • Johnathan Reale

            Whoops, forgetting to include the link was an oversight. Here it is: http://www.earbox.com/interviews/klinghoffer-and-the-art-of-composing . And I think you’re right, that it would only do this debate (even if only a few people are interested at this point) a service to make some source materials available. When I get the opportunity, maybe I’ll scan and make the scans available at a DropBox link. My only hope here is not that people appreciate the opera the way I do, but that they think attempting (even through peaceful means) to silence it isn’t the best use of their energies.

          • JimB_61

            @Jonathan: Thanks for that. I will definitely listen to it. Btw, I am not trying to silence the opera, just trying to find out whether or not it deserves to be shunned. At this stage, I simply don’t know enough about it to make an informed decision and hysteria on either side doesn’t help.

          • Johnathan Reale

            I didn’t have time for scans, but the following photos are fully legible: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ptmhrv5t5snooj4/AABtYK96QxlFcf3H4sIZqNZ5a . That’s the 1991 press release and libretto for your consideration.

  • Jon Robbins

    How pathetic that Gelb was forced to submit to the book burners. The HD simulcast of “Klinghoffer” should never have been cancelled and the staging should certainly go on as planned. Eva Epstein is a cultural commissar who wants the authority to censor, plain and simple. I’m surprised that she isn’t demanding that Die Meistersinger, also scheduled for next fall, be cancelled and replaced with Nabucco.

    • ahad_ha_amoratsim

      What a pathetic and amoral reading of her article.

      • Gary Acheatel

        Many of these comments are equally persuasive as Epstein’s essay. So here are the questions I raise.
        1. If you believe the opera is in fact propaganda masquerading as opera as many argue, with the implied intention of justifying terrorism, should it be staged at the Met with partially state sponsored funds?
        2. If the answer to the above is no for that or any other reason, what are YOU doing about it besides pontificating on this blog role?
        If you wish to actually get involved like some of us who find it morally incumbent when witnessing something wrong to stand up and say STOP, than please contact
        us at http://www.advocatesforisrael.org. We assist in making your effort effective regardless if you reside in NY or elsewhere.
        Gary Acheatel

        • JimB_61

          As much as I sympathize with AFI and do my part to keep the larger discussion fair and effective, in the context of this discussion I do smell a bit of opportunism.

          AFI does not need to ride the coattails of a reaction against a specific artist enterprise, whatever its value.

          • Gary Acheatel

            Jim, why does it matter if this blog role is fair and effective? People are getting killed because of disgusting propaganda such as this opera. For example google ‘Al Dura’ and see how Israel’s enemies systematically employ propaganda to recruit terrorists.
            Yes, for me this is an opportunity to wake up couch folks and ask them to get involved. We need passionate people who are disgusted by inactivity, Federations who cast absurdly wide tents to include their enemy for political correctness purposes.
            Are we really so ignorant or forgotten history how propaganda can influence the mob.?How do you think townspeople turn into a lynch mob? How do otherwise hardworking citizens chain and drag homosexuals behind a truck?

            While the intellectual Jews and other fine citizens in the most progressive country in the world were being fair Nazis were instilling their propaganda using these same tactics to demonize Jews. Don’t you get it? Now they are demonizing and deligitmizing Israelis. It’s the same thing only they are lying about a country instead of Jews in the days of the Nazis. And what are most of the good folks doing this time? Writing on blog sites. Get real. Roll up your sleeves and do what it takes to stop the insanity because good innocent people are being terrorized by those who believe the lies told in this opera!
            Opportunist? absolutely! Every chance I get I will stick it in complacent folks face. Get involved because if not evil persists. . Complacency doesn’t work. Action does. This is precisely why Advocates for Israel exists. And don’t presume you know what we need. We need passionate activists because many of us get tired carrying the water for folks like you trying to be fair.

          • Jon Robbins

            No, people are getting killed because two groups of people want the same piece of land. Don’t try to obscure that reality in discussions about this opera. You could as easily argue that people are getting killed because of the ideas in the Tanakh. Are you prepared to ban that as well? How much totalitarian evil has stemmed from that work of chosenist proto-fascism? You exhibit characteristic hypocrisy which is generating well-earned animosity.

          • Gary Acheatel

            No you are wrong. One cannot make the argument ” that people are getting killed because of the ideas in the Tanakh.” In fact I should have said murdered instead of killed. There is a distinction. Arabs are getting killed by Israelis when on occasion the Israelis must act in self defense to root out terrorists or respond to being warred upon.
            Jews are getting murdered.
            People must be clear, propaganda such as this, is a tool used by political types to recruit terrorists. Gelb has admitted to its potential use by anti–Semites, hence his cancellation of the broadcasts. So if that is true why continue with the staged opera at all?
            History is repeating itself. Haters produce lies (propaganda), intellectuals think it is a free speech issue and recruitment occurs. The question is if people will rise up and take action when action is required? Have we learned from history or not? If they can justify the kiling of Klinghoffer, as they do, based on some b.s. narrative that is obviously false, than certainly opera goers can justify whatever behavior suits them based on the clear knowledge this is pure propaganda masquerading as art. There is no doubt allowing drivel such as this opera and other propaganda events that are similar in nature to this one to play to the public without protest/stoppage will in the not too distant future cause innocent people to be butchered.
            Propaganda is a political tool. It is purposeful. People need to wake up and take action or be responsible for the consequences. Writing on blogs does not substitute for taking action. Get involved with the stopping of this opera, and then be ready for the next one, because the haters will not cease until they face enough resistance. Join us or find
            your own activity but do something. This is your opportunity! Advocates for Israel.

          • Jon Robbins

            “Propaganda is a political tool. It is purposeful.’

            How true! Every day, AIPAC, the ADL, this API of yours, and dozens of other propagandistic organizations work to obscure the truth and silence any opposition to the storm troopers of Eretz Israel. “Join us, Hasbarists! This is your opportunity to impose torah on the goyim!”

            “One cannot make the argument ‘that people are getting killed because of the ideas in the Tanakh.'”

            Why not? Chosenism is at the heart of the tanakh and at the heart of Zionism. What other rationale do you have for the progressive destruction of the Palestinians? Hitler and his predecessors were merely emulating you when they tried to slake their lust for Lebensraum.

            If Jews think that they are owed intellectual submission and the subordination of the free exchange of ideas (such as Klinghoffer) to the insane impulses of the Judenreich and its operatives, then anti-Jewish animosity (or “anti-Semitism” as you call it) it manifestly legitimated.

            The more you try to seize control of the culture, the more it will all slip through your fingers. You have reserved the royal suite on the ash heap of history for yourself. Congratulations.

          • Gary Acheatel

            Your Israel hatred, which you obviously tried to disguise was obvious from the beginning. Now you have certainly revealed yourself and it only took 2 posts to draw you out!

            You state, ” Every day, AIPAC, the ADL, this API of yours, and dozens of other propagandistic organizations work to obscure the truth and silence any opposition to the storm troopers of Eretz Israel.” Storm troopers? How colorful. Aren’t you clever?

            Thank you for making my case by exposing yourself. . You guys can hide behind your pseuo intellectual b.s., but so very quicly you reveal your true sick nature and ignorant bias.
            Already 9 new recruits have signed up on our website. This last post of yours will no doubt swell our ranks as folks are waking up to the enemy amongst us.
            Time for you to try and hide again somewhere else you are exposed

          • Jon Robbins

            No substance–not one bit. You demand special treatment for your yourself. From you, it’s just “I want, I want, I want.” Ethnic cleansing is bad except when you do it. Freedom of expression is good except when it offends you.
            The murderous ideas of the Jewish bible aren’t really murderous. The ideas of an opera that is disliked by both Jews and Palestinians are too heinous for anyone else except you to have a chance to judge.
            You are disgusting. And it took no posts at all for you to give us your usual refrain. Judeo-supremecism and its voracious psychological needs expose themselves in this incident of Klinghoffer as in much else. You are doing a favor by attempting to suppress the opera.
            Congratulations on your “recruits.” They will be no more effective than you are.

          • Gary Acheatel

            You state “Congratulations
            on your “recruits . They will be no more effective than you are.”
            How absurd! Now we have 2 more inquiries presumably because of my dialogue with you. I call this very effective. This opera, article and you are a recruitment dream! Finally folks are awakening from their complacency slumber as a result of the rats coming out of the woodpile. Thank you and others for revealing yourselves. Oddly, in recent decades, somehow miraculously it has seemed, thousands of years of anti-Semitism aimply disappeared. Isn’t it marvelous. A modern day miracle! How could that be, social scientists have pondered. Well no, actually it hasn’t disappeared at all! Anti-Semitism has s morphed into anti-Israelism. As coined by noted international legal scholar from Harvard Law School, “Israel is the Jew amongst nations.” Just as lies and myths have historically been told about Jews, now they are told of Israel. This play is a perfect example.
            But now things are different. We have a state of our own again. We will not sit back and be slaughtered. The Nazis taught us that the antidote to propaganda is truth. People remember Joesph Goebels and the impact he had on German society. He explained his methods, Muslim Brotherhood leaders in the 1930’s were his guests and learned from his instruction that “If you make a lie big enough and tell it often enough the public will believe it.” Today’s PLO emanates from the same Muslim Brotherhood. Hmmmm, go figure!
            Jim, The fact is Advocates for Israel is amazingly effective.
            Our mission is: To strengthen support for Israel by ensuring the public has accurate information. (Thanks for asking.)
            Our 100% volunteer organization fulfills this mission in multiple cities. In MN alone, volunteers consisting of teachers, attorneys, housewives and event planners gave over 125 talks to churches, schools and civic organizations at no charge. Our target audience is the public, folks who are earnestly trying to understand this complicated topic and wish to hear Israel’s perspective.
            Another example of many, in CO we managed to get a renown expert coming to Aspen, interviewed by major media reaching an estimated audience of over 600,000 people via indepth interviews at no cost.
            I call this effective and not sure why you don’t agree.
            We have dozens examples of passionate Diaspora Zionist volunteers who implement proactive proven initiatives. Often times they start their own initiatives. We support those efforts. We have amassed effective content in the form of films, books, speakers, how to manuals. We have proven methods on how to push back against the vile propaganda represented in efforts such as this opera. Now AFI and others simply need to ‘scale up’ the effort to counter the ridiculous unholy alliance of Western so called ‘progressives’ such as you partnered with vile, fascist Islamists. Your messaging is always the same, revisionist history, grandiose lies of atrocities, and repeating the myths over and over, When confronted with accurate information you guys return to the woodpile, exposed for what you are. Our path to winning this ‘propaganda war’ you wage is simple. We are in need of more folks actively contributing to exposing the lies or we are endanger of the consequence of losing such a war.
            Our efforts against the absurd play, “My Name is Rachel Corrie” comes to mind. In numerous cities we turned that negative event into a positive learning experience for thousands of theater goers and hundreds of thousands who read our messages in the media. Effective? The jury has returned on that one, Jim.
            Folks who are bothered by this play and anti-Semites such as this dude, folks that are tired of endless discussion and who actually want to make a difference should check out our website.
            http://www.advocatesforisrael.org.
            Jim, John, and the MET Opera, thanks for helping to wake up folks that have been passive too long as they are beginning to realize as Einstein said, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who do nothing to stop it.”

          • Jon Robbins

            Thanks but I didn’t need your brochure. Is it a hasbara technique to follow a post that you really don’t like but which you have no way to censor with a long, pointless screed in an attempt to focus attention away from it? (And still no substance at all!)

            Yes, the suppression of “I am Rachel Corrie” does indeed come to mind as does the so-far successful campaign to prevent a commercially available English translation of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s “200 Years Together.” Do you maintain a list of prohibited books and works of art?

            Face the facts, you are a book-burner, a censor, and a hater of “degenerate art.” You glorify the armed conquest of Palestine and then demand that any expression or artwork that refuses to glorify it likewise be suppressed. What a sick, demented approach to the world of ideas you have, Herr Gauleiter. And yes, you sure are “in danger of losing the war.” Fighting a war to ban books, block operas and plays and any dissent from your noxious views is a losing campaign to begin with. You repel many multiples of those you attract as your foot soldiers.

            “The Nazis taught us that the antidote to propaganda is truth.”

            Maybe that’s what they TAUGHT you, but what you actually learned appears to be that the antidote to propaganda is counter-propaganda and suppression of ideas. I think you’re just a little off the mark there.

            I love your use of the phrase “fascist Islamists.” Quite humorous. Islam, like Christianity, has its own issues but both are universalist, trans-national ideologies and therefore completely at odds with fascism which has, at its core, hyper-nationalism. But guess which religion also has nationalism at its core? Yes, Herr Gauleiter, there is ONE monotheistic religion that aligns quite well with fascism. And the lust for hegemonic control over the flow of ideas and information that we see in this opera suppression campaign should tell you which one it is.

            Yes, folks, don’t be “passive.” It’s Fahrenheit 451 time. There are a lot of dangerous ideas that need censoring if not outright burning.

            “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who do nothing to stop it.”

            So true! Now I want you to commit to amending your evil art-censoring ways and become an apostle for the freedom of expression. You’ve got your mission; now move out.

          • Gary Acheatel

            Nothing much more to say other than thank you, you have done us a great service. I hope you enjoy the company you have climb into bed with. You deserve each other.

  • JimB_61

    SueJB has a very important question that MUST be addressed before the argument can proceed to anything like a useful conclusion: What is your own knowledge of the opera itself? Have you seen, heard or even read the libretto? Please include this information when you make your comments.

  • Jon Robbins

    Glad to see that the concept of “degenerate art” has made a comeback. When does the book burning start?

  • Timothy Taylor

    If “Book of Mormon” can be viewed as hilarious comedy and tour across the U.S., I have a hard time understanding why “The Death of Klinghoffer” should be out of bounds. I intend to avoid both of them.

  • Joe Joe

    “But the real-life, cold-blooded murder of a disabled Jewish man should not serve as an evening’s entertainment for the New York glitterati.”

    No, let’s keep opera a museum piece and aid its death spiral by insisting it remain a repertory of entertaining costume dramas.

    Opera is an art form and in its 400 year history has carried much controversial content, often censored and veiled. When an art form ceases to provoke or deal with relevant issues, it becomes a walking corpse. By pressuring the Met into de facto censorship, Klinghoffer’s adversaries are throttling the potential of life in a dying art.

  • Winston

    Well today we found out that three Israeli teenagers were murdered in cold blood. To a collective yawn or feckless moral equivalency. As I said, that is exactly what this play is about. It is not quite murder because again they weren’t quite human.

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