B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith International is dismayed that the Metropolitan Opera in New York has chosen to include on its fall schedule “The Death of Klinghoffer.” This 1991 American opera glorifies the Palestine Liberation Front terrorists who took over the Achille Lauro cruise ship in 1985 and murdered American tourist Leon Klinghoffer.
This piece seeks moral equivalence between terrorists and their victims. This opera crosses a line of artistic expression and promotes an offensive position.
The Metropolitan Opera’s large audience, amplified by its live broadcasts to movie theaters nationwide, gives this anti-Semitic piece a large public platform.
Responding to a letter from CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting, Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb wrote of the composer: “… he tried to understand the hijackers and their motivations, and to look for humanity in the terrorists, as well as in their victims.”
Humanity in the terrorists? These men shot and killed a wheelchair-bound 69-year old man and dumped his body overboard. What’s to understand?
B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs and Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin expressed the organization’s concern to Gelb. Click here to read the letter.