The Metropolitan opera taunts those who protest the opera, The Death of Klinghoffer, with the canard that they had not heard the opera (“ ‘Klinghoffer’: a drama onstage and off,” WJW, Oct. 23). Well I did hear the opera. Not anti-Semitic? It compares the alleged suffering of Palestinian exiles to the genocide of Jews in the Holocaust and mocks the Jewish survivors who are labeled “Jewish exiles” as having spent all their money on taxis.
Not anti-Israel? The opera was supposed to be about a murder in 1985 but quickly makes clear that this is 2014, and the action takes place in front of the security barrier built to keep out the terrorists who blew up buses, cafes and family celebrations, slaughtering and maiming thousands, but labeled a ghetto wall in the opera.
Does not condone terrorism? After romanticizing the terrorist when he sings about how he loves sad love songs and then showing him cradled in his mother’s lap, he is driven by his mother to avenge the losses suffered by his family at Sabra and Shatilla. The opera never mentions that this was a massacre carried out by Lebanese Christian militias, not Israelis.
He is a tortured soul, and we understand his righteous anger when he rises from her lap and shoots Leon Klinghoffer. Tortured soul? This was a well-planned hijacking orchestrated by a terrorist organization to secure the release of other jailed terrorists. The opera manufactures justifications for wanting to kill Israelis. And when they are not available, any Jew will do. As we saw in Boston and on 9/11 and are seeing with ISIS, maybe any American will do as well.