Anti Semitism

Demonstration Against the Met’s Production of “The Death of Klinghoffer”

Shalom Y’All:

Starting October 20, the Metropolitan Opera (Met) in New York City is scheduled to begin eight performances of “The Death of Klinghoffer,” an opera portraying the 1985 murder of Leon Klinghoffer by Palestinian terrorist hijackers aboard an Italian Cruise Ship, the Achille Lauro.

In 1985, Klinghoffer, a 69 year old wheelchair bound American Jew, and his wife decided to celebrate their wedding anniversary by taking a cruise on the Achille Lauro. On October 7, 1985 four Palestinian terrorists hijacked the ship off the Egyptian coast. They held the passengers and crew hostage, demanded that the ship sail to Syria, and that Israel release 50 jailed Palestinians.

The next day, after Syria refused to let the ship land, the Palestinians singled out Klinghoffer for murder. While sitting in his wheelchair, they shot him in his head and chest and then had some of the ship’s crew throw his body and wheelchair overboard. The ship sailed back to Egypt and the hijackers disembarked.

The hijackers then tried to fly to Tunisia, but U.S. President Ronald Reagan ordered a U.S. fighter plane to force the get away plane to land in a Naval Air Station in Italy. The Italian authorities arrested and tried the Palestinian hijackers, but let the leader of the group, Abu Abbas, fly to Yugoslavia.

The Syrians found Klinghoffer’s body and returned it to the U.S. for burial. Three months later his wife died.

Their two daughters established a foundation to combat terrorism funded by a settlement paid by the PLO to settle the lawsuit brought by the daughters. This lawsuit helped to expedite the passage of the Anti Terrorism Act of 1990, which makes it easier for victims of terrorist acts to sue for damages.

Abu Abbas was captured by the U.S. in Iraq in 2003 and died in custody a year later of heart disease.

The Achille Lauro. continued to sail until it caught fire off the coast of Somalia in 1994 and sank.

“The Death of Klinghoffer,” is an opera based on this hijacking incident. The music was written by John Adams and the English libretto by Alice Goodman. The idea for the opera came from theater director, Peter Sellers, who was a major collaborator, as was the choreographer, Mark Morris. First produced in Brussels and in New York in 1991, it was commissioned by five American and European opera companies and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

The Opera seeks to “understand” the Palestinian hijackers and their motivations, and to see the humanity of the hijackers and of their victims. It romanticizes the terrorists and gives credence to the false narrative that the hijackers were driven to such acts of “resistance” because the Jews “stole” their land and massacred hundreds of Palestinian Arabs in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in Lebanon. Both rationales are false.

As the Klinghoffer daughters noted in 1991 when they saw the Brooklyn Museum production, “We are outraged at the exploitation of our parents and the cold-blooded murder of our father as the centerpiece of a production that appears to us to be anti-semitic. Moreover, the juxtaposition of the plight of the Palestinian people with the murder of an innocent disabled American Jew is both historically naive and appalling.”

How can one condone the murder of innocent people in the service of a nationalistic or religious goal? One has to look no further than the recent murders of James Foley and Steven Sotloff to see that credo in action. Would it be fine to produce an opera which extols the humanity of the ISIS members who beheaded the two Americans and explains the ISIS justification for the killings, if it also included the American view of things? Are they really of equal moral standing? Why not compose an opera showing the humanity of Klu Klux Clan members who lynch an African American and their justification for the act? Where is our sense of morality? The Met wouldn’t dare stage either such operas. Why does it feel its OK to stage an Opera spouting anti semitic sentiments?

A protest rally was held on Monday, September 22, opposite the Met, to coincide with its season opening. Speakers called for the Met to cancel the Opera, as it is anti semitic and glorifies terrorists. Those speaking included Elliot Engel, a New York City congressman, former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former New York State Governor, George Pataki.

Klinghoffer Opera Must Be Cancelled

Freedom Of Speech Is Not Freedom To Spread Hate

Victims of terror who survived a bus bombing in Israel, the World Trade Center attack and terror in Africa also spoke.

Speakers noted that freedom of speech does not include freedom to spread hate. Those believing the show not to be anti semitic should explain the following words uttered by the hijacker in the Opera,” Wherever poor men are gathered they can find Jews getting fat. You know how to cheat, the simple exploit, the virgin pollute. Where you have exploited, defame those you cheated, and break your own law, with idolatry.” Sound familiar? The German propaganda machine spewed similar sentiments.

The Met originally intended to simulcast this Opera on theater screens around the world. However, after receiving many protests that this would spread anti semitism, the Met decided to cancel the simulcast. Does the Met believe that it’s still OK to spread anti semitism in New York?

The Met’s general manager, Peter Gelb, said he did not believe the play to be anti semitic, but thought it could be so interpreted.

Event organizers also called for the  Met to divulge the name of the individual who gave an anonymous multi million dollar donation to the show and promised to return in larger numbers on opening night, October 20,  if the show was not cancelled.

All terrorists have some rationale for what they are doing. Understanding does not mean excusing. It certainly does not mean glorifying. Terrorism kills innocents. We must not condone it. Remember, a wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf. Anti Semitism disguised as opera and art is still anti semitism.

To protest the staging of this work, call 212-870-7457 or write to Gelb at Pgelb@metopera.org.

Categories: Anti Semitism | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Anti Semitism Disguised As Anti Israel Protests

Shalom Y’all:

Less than seventy years after the end of World War II and the Holocaust, it is frightening to see the amount of anti semitism being unleashed by Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli war on Hamas in Gaza. The war didn’t create anti semitism. It just gave people free reign to couch it as criticism of Israel.

In case you think I’m over reacting, check out these Youtube videos .

Anti Semitism In Europe

Anti Semitism In Europe 2

Anti Semitism In Paris

Anti Semitism In Europe 3

Anti Semitism In Spain

These are but a few of the videos showing how anti Israel pro Gaza Hamas rallies have turned into anti semitic hate feasts, and how hatred of the Jews has resulted in violent actions actions against Jews and their property.

Unfortunately, Anti Semitism is not limited to Europe. It is also growing in the United States. Here are a few links to videos showing what happened at Pro Gaza Anti Israel rallies in our country:

Anti Semitism Increases At Pro Gaza Rallies

Anti Semitism At Boston Pro Gaza Rally

The bottom line: It’s OK to protest Israel’s actions in Gaza. But when protestors start  spouting anti semitic slogans, they have crossed the line from acceptable to totally unacceptable, from criticism of Israel to anti semitism.

Categories: Anti Semitism, Gaza War, Israel, Jewish, Middle East, Politics | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Hypocrisy re Israel at the United Nations Human Rights Council

Shalom:

It is a well known fact that despite all the violations of human rights around the world, the United Nations seems to be preoccupied with Israel. Beginning in the 1960s, the Arab States and Russia introduced many anti Israel resolutions with the support of the Third World countries. In 1975 the UN adopted the” Zionism is Racism” resolution. This infamous resolution was not repealed until 1991.

The United Nations and its member agencies have continued their pattern of propaganda against the Jewish state. Sadly, one of the worst offenders is the body, created in 2006, charged with the equality and protection of Human Rights, the Human Rights Council (HRC). Its website claims that its mandate is “the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.” 

In 2006, the Council passed a resolution calling for an annual review of Israel’s alleged human rights abuses and the appointment of an individual to report on the Israel Palestine problem. No other country has such a review or reporter.

Also in 2006,  Kofi Annan, then UN secretary-general, stated that the Council should not pay more attention to Israel than other nations, but should pay equal attention to violations by other countries. Needles to say, the Council did not heed him.

The UNHRC continues to single out Israel for alleged violations of human rights. As of 2013, Israel was condemned in 45 resolutions, almost as many as all the other countries combined. Myanmar was next with 10 resolutions. 

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, is critical of Israel and has called Israel’s response to rocket fire from Hamas “excessive.”

The UNHRC is composed of 47 nations, elected for three-year terms.  The current composition of the countries in the HRC is as follows: 26 Asian and African, eight Latin American, seven Western, and six Eastern European. 18 of the countries belong to an Islamic Organization. Current members include: such paragons of human rights as Algeria, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

The latest attack on Israel occurred on July 23, 2014 when the HRC voted 29-1 to authorize a commission of inquiry to investigate alleged Israeli abuses in Gaza. (The one vote against was cast by the United States. All 11 European countries on the Council abstained.) The resolution condemns “in the strongest terms the widespread, systematic, and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms arising from the Israeli military operations. ”

The HRC resolution also  “condemns all violence against civilians wherever it occurs, including the killing of two Israeli civilians as a result of rocket fire,” and calls for “an end to attacks against all civilians including Israeli civilians.” However, Hamas is not mentioned and, as of this date,  no commission of inquiry studying the human rights violations by Hamas will be established. So, it seems that according to the HRC, shooting rockets into civilian areas, housing rockets and ammunition on homes, schools and mosques and firing from these places, using human shields, kidnapping, building tunnels to attack civilians, etc. are not war crimes when committed by Hamas or its supporters.

To see first hand the absurdity that is the HRC,  spend a few minutes watching the Kafkaesque video of the Commission hard at work on this Israel National News link: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/183294#.U9ExHGv5qLs.email

What a farce!

As Israel is not a member of the HRC, it cannot ask that investigators study Hamas’ actions for human rights abuses. It falls to the United States to request that the UNHRC investigate Hamas for war crimes. If you agree, please call, email or write to the President asking him to do so. 

Phone Number: 202-456-1111; White House Email; or

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Another route is to contact your Senators or Congressional representatives and ask that they persuade the President to request an investigation of Hamas’ actions.

Categories: Anti Semitism, Gaza, Gaza War, Israel, Jewish, Jewish Blog, UNHRC, United Nations | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

International Holocaust Memorial Day

Shalom Y’All:

Yesterday was International Holocaust Memorial Day, a day established by the United Nations in 2005 to mark the liberation of the  Auschwitz-Birkenau camp on January 27, 1945.

Israel, in 1953, designated the 27th of Nissan, which is a few days after the end of Passover, as its Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day. Other countries have designated other days. 

With all these Holocaust Memorial Day celebrations, is the world any closer to ending anti-Semitism? Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding NO.

In the years since the Holocaust, Jews have been physically attacked for no other reason than their Jewishness, in such countries as Poland, France, Germany, Austria, England, Sweden, India, Bulgaria, Australia, etc.  Jews in Europe are now afraid to publicly display their Jewishness.  This past year alone, there were anti-semitic incidents in North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Australia, and Africa. To date, only in Antarctica here have been no reports of Anti-Semitism.

In many parts of the world and, in particular, the Middle East, anti-Semitism is often disguised as anti-Israel sentiment. However, the Arabs cooperated with the Nazis during World War II and the Palestinian Arab leader, Mufti Haj Amin al- Husseini, who is still venerated by many Arabs today, was the first non-European to request admission to the Nazi party. He was one of the initiators of the plan for the systematic extermination of European Jewry and appeared regularly on German radio broadcasts to the Middle East to spread his anti-semitic hatred to the Arab masses. Today, the PLO charter still calls for the “liquidation of the Zionist presence,” a euphemism for the State of Israel.

So, it appears that the end of World War II and the liberation of the concentration camps was merely the end of one chapter. Unfortunately, the book of anti-Semitism is still being written.

 

Categories: Anti Semitism, Holocaust, International Holocaust Memorial Day, Jewish, Jewish Blog | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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