Ominous sign? NY Met plans to stage anti-Semitic opera

I’m thinking of writing an opera called “Why Michael Brown Deserved to Die.” Do you think if I write a thought-provoking, probingly-artistic contemporary opera on the subject of his untimely shooting, it will be met with critical acclaim?

Maybe it will be performed by the New York Metropolitan Opera during its 2015 season, and will be described as “dialogue” on a difficult subject.

You don’t think so? I can’t imagine why.

It seems right in line with what the Met has planned this year with “The Death of Klinghofer.” You remember Leon Klinghofer, don’t you? He was the 69-year-old Jewish man who, in 1985, was pushed off the cruise ship Achille Lauro to his death by Palestinian terrorists. Pushed into the water in his wheelchair. Because he was Jewish.

The opera portrays this murder as justified, not only because of Palestinian grievances against Israel, but also by the alleged evil and exploitative actions of Jews against others around the world.

In the opera, the terrorists are presented as heroic freedom fighters, who have been forced by Jewish and Zionist oppression to take extreme actions – and what could be more extreme (and brave!) than pushing a wheelchair-bound senior citizen overboard?

In the opera’s libretto, there are passages that defame the Jews as a people. For example, the principal terrorist says, “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.”

At one stage, the terrorist leader says to Klinghoffer, “America is one big Jew.”

The opening scene honors terrorists with a backdrop of graffiti on a wall proclaiming “Warsaw 1943, Bethlehem 2005,” implying a moral equivalence between the acts of the Nazis and Jews today.

The Palestinians sing, “We are soldiers fighting a war. We are not criminals and we are not vandals but men of ideals.”

How is this “art?” How is this blatantly anti-Semitic performance acceptable? How can the Metropolitan Opera justify this egregious move?

Would the Met stage that comedy classic, “My Son, Mohammad, the Bacon-Eating Cross-dresser?” Probably not.

How about that tragic romance, “The Mexican Problem?” I doubt it – not in an election year.

Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world as Israel attempts to defend itself against an aggressor sworn to its destruction. This anti-Semitism, hiding behind a facade of anti-Zionism, is unparalleled since Nazi Germany. We must not allow it to fester on our shores.

I hope you’ll join me in calling or emailing Peter Gelb, director of the Metropolitan Opera, and demanding he cancel this production. You may call him at 212-799-3100, extension 2891 or email [email protected]

579 COMMENTS

  1. This is the next step in the attack on traditional American values, known as Judeo-Christian values. The Christian part has been under attack in classic progressive style, using ridicule, taunts, snide comments, and open disdain for Christianity and it’s principles.

    Now it’s time for the leftists to demean the Judeo part of the system, and here’s the beginning. Use the arts, in this case a play, to offer a set of ideas and values that contradict Jewish values. Use the press to condemn your enemy, in this case Israel makes a good target because libs can selectively condemn Israeli combat actions while ignoring terrorist attacks on Israel.

    You knew this was coming, right? Jews in America are traditionally very hard working people who value intelligence and education combined with personal responsibility and respect for religious beliefs that stretch back over 3500 years. Sounds like the deadly enemy of the progressive liberal to me.

    • Your position might have some validity if those “terrorist attacks on Israel” were actually causing death and destruction in Israel, which the Hamas rockets are not. Three Israeli citizens have been killed in this conflict compared to 2100 Palestinians. This isn’t a war in the conventional sense. Instead, it is an attack by a heavily armed military against a trapped and unarmed civilian population. Why do you think the world is condemning Israel? For no reason? Israel is using a totally disproportional response and no one is buying the excuse that Hamas is the one killing civilians when it is obvious that it is Israel who is the party firing mortars and rockets into a densely populated Gaza. You don’t shoot the baby a terrorist might be hiding behind, just for a chance to kill the terrorist. That form of reasoning is sick and perverted and has led to the death of over 500 innocent children in Gaza and the maiming of thousands more. Netanyahu, even though a war criminal and a monster, had enough common sense to realize that if Israel continued the slaughter in Gaza, Israel would find itself totally isolated from the world community of nations and it’s leaders brought before the International Criminal Court to face charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. His unilateral decision for a cease fire was undoubtedly made in an attempt to save his own ass, slow down the rapidly expanding BDS movement and the prospect of Israel facing an arms embargo coupled with UN troops stationed on the 1967 border between Israel and Palestine.

      • “Might have some validity”?

        Israel was just one example of how our media is beginning to slant anti-jewish, and that stems from progressive ideals being incompatible with the Judeo-Christian culture that America used to stand for. It’s pure slander, and get ready – more is coming.

      • Hamas has stated this in its Covenant: ” Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).” Second Paragraph

        http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp

        “Obliteration” is genocide.

        It has also stated in its Covenant that it will raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine. That means there is no room for the Infidel state of Israel at all–no land for peace will satisfy Hamas except all the land.

        They say they cannot set aside any of the Muslim-only eternal land trust for any Infidel state. Article Eleven. That is racist.

        They say they will not negotiate for a permanent peace because the only peace they are interested in is the one that comes after they have removed the Infidel state of Israel and replaced it in its entirely with an Islamist state. They are not peaceful; they are racist.

        This is their Covenant, and their words, not my opinion: their opinion.

        Are you saying you support genocide, racism and ethnic cleansing?

      • The Palestinian ambassador to the UN Council on Human Rights has stated in open forum that Hamas is guilty of double war crimes:

        http://www.inquisitr.com/1408611/hamas-guilty-of-double-war-crimes-says-palestinian-u-n-human-rights-council-ambassador-video/

        “The missiles that are now being launched against Israel, each and every missile constitutes a crime against humanity, whether it hits or misses, because it is directed at civilian targets.”

        “Khraishi spelled out very clearly the fact that, in his opinion, the Israeli side followed proper war protocol, unlike the terrorist factions occupying Gaza:

        “ ‘Please note that many of our people in Gaza appeared on TV and said that the Israelis warned them to evacuate their homes before the bombardment. In such a case, if someone is killed, the law considers it a mistake rather than an intentional killing because [the Israelis] followed the legal procedures ‘.”

        A Harvard law professor has stated that “The law is clear: using civilians as human shields—which the Hamas battle manual mandates—is an absolute war crime. There are no exceptions or matters of degree, especially when there are alternatives. ”

        Aerial maps show that there ARE alternatives in Gaza; in other words, Hamas had an alternative but chose –specifically chose–to launch missiles and rockets indiscriminately into Israel (over 3,000) from places where it knew children and adults would suffer injury and death. Hamas knew this and had an alternative and chose this instead of the alternative and you blame some one else. Nice work if you can get it ; but I’m not hiring.

        Look at the map of Gaza yourself: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4580/gaza-population-density#

      • How ridiculous to parrot the ‘argument’ that because Israelis do not incur a simialr number of casualties, they are unjust. Loathsome justification that simply beggars rationality…It is Hamas that is using its own citizens as human shields, as well as using UN-supported schools and hospitals as launching bases; this has been documented time and time again. Remember those tunnels built under Israel in preparation for a planned terror attack on Rosh Hashanah, the stated goal of which was to kill as many Israeli children ( the tunnels meandered under kindergartens ) and civilians as possible? More damaging to your wildly inaccurate and anti-Semitic depiction of this conflict is the recent poll that reveals that 89% of Palestinians support jihad terror attacks on Israel. The poll was conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, should you need verification.

      • Hamas spent ten percent of the humanitarian aid it received to build rewnforced, concrete tunnels with electricity and tram trackways for use in infiltrating Isreal.

        Hamas purposely hides its military infrastructure in residential areas, near hospitals, and near orphanages.

        You know nothing about what truly happens in Pallywood. NOTHING.

      • So someone shooting a gun at you is not dangerous because he ‘missed’. Liberal logic at it’s best.

      • If Hamas would STOP firing thousands of Rockets> Israel wouldn’t have to use the IRON DOME to successfully ‘protect’ its children &Citizens!!… compared to Hamas **impaling** their children on fences near Israel’s ‘forewarned’ targets to increase the childrens/civilain ‘Death Toll’ for their MEDIA campaign to increase International Criticism of Israel!! and sorry to say….those ‘babies’ grow up to be terrorists and would slit your throat in a minute given the chance! They are ALL a cancer that needs to be eradicated!

  2. Thank you Col.! I’ve been addressing this matter all afternoon. It is one of the most abhorrent an insensitive things I’ve seen in a long time!

  3. Jews need to start putting time and money into supporting our constitutional rights, like our 2nd amendment and other God given values.. And stop supporting this diversity multiculturalism and other leftist agendas right now. Jews ; I blame you for most of this crap. You brought it on yourselves as on US as well..And you will face the Islamic threat alone and unarmed when we righties are gone..

  4. How about a play called “It’s Time To Start Killing Liberals Because They Are Destroying Our Way Of Life”? Now, that’s a Broadway show I’d like to see.

  5. Here’s An Idea : America’s Terrorists = African American, Black-Colored, Negroes .. The Pathetic Political Animals Of The American ‘Left’ .. Whom Know NO Shame, But Still Seek Fame As All Terrorists DO …

    • Why is this racist garbage still up here? Perhaps so the rest of us can see the true nature of the high level of critical thought and exposition out there.

      • IT’S A Great Country Ain’t IT ??? …. WELL … IT Used To Be Anyhow …. Seems Like Just About Everything Is ‘Going Ghetto’ Now ….

    • Go play in traffic, you dirty racist. Anti-Americans have no color. They are all around us.

      Many black people are the way they are because of the systematic history of oppression and enslavement of their race BY GOVERNMENT DEPENDENCY. Racist LBJ hated the newfound freedom of blacks and so sought to destroy them with his “Great Society”.

      You are obviously ignorant of the facts around you and have no place in either a civil discussion like this site or elsewhere.

      I hope you end up on the receiving end of one of those “Knockout Games”. It’d do my heart good to see an idiot like you being beaten up by the very thing you hate most.

      • I AGREE With You About Some Of the Reasons WHY ‘Many’ Black People Are The Way They ARE … ALSO, I Agree That There ARE Racists Of Every Color All Around Us… WHAT I CAN’T Agree With You On … Is YOUR Poor ‘Discernment’ Of Me OR My Opinions … ARE YOU Ignorant Of The ‘Fact’ THAT 95% Of Blacks Voted For The Political-PERVERT, Obama ??? … AND ‘SEEM’ To Be ‘Acting-Out’ THAT Political PERVERSION In The Streets Of OUR Nation, With Horrendous Activities, Such As YOU So Adroitly Describe … Getting ‘Beaten-Up’ By Perverts Such As These Is NOT The Thing I Hate Most … I’m Well-Armed … But The ‘Fact’ That These ‘Perverts’ Were EVER Given ‘Life’ Is Really The Thing I Hate The Most … Heh, heh …

  6. The word “opera” makes me nauseous I don’t attend them anyways. The tone of this sickens me. I can’t imagine a true American paying money to see such rubbish.

      • The Morman religion, despite its followers being Hellbound for not believing in Christ, does a lot of good in the world. The Mormons I’ve met are more giving, more sacrificial, and more humble than me and many other Christians out there.

        The eternal fate of one Mormon family That my family grew up with in particular especially troubles me.
        I can’t look them in the eye without tearing up, becausey very time I see their behavior and their love, selflessness, humility, and honor, I am reminded that they are going to Hell because they practice a non-Christian faith.

  7. Anybody who takes ALLEN WEST’S word for the content of an opera that hasn’t even been produced yet should have his head examined.

  8. Not really into opera, but I might just actually pay money to see the comedy classic, “My Son, Mohammad, the Bacon-Eating Cross-dresser? Think I’ll call the Met and demand they get started on it right away!

  9. Thanks, Ms. Hickford for including their phone number and email adress…heh heh.
    Okay, everyone else, “Let’s Roll!”

  10. Nice to see where your priorities are. Yes, anti Semitism is on the rise. The Islamic movement is killing Christians daily. But don’t be fooled, an American President who can turn his back o Israel is no accident. However for you my brother to invoke the name of the recently slain Micheal Brown to raise the Jewish flag is ungodly. His name and your picture are the only thing black on your site. And all the while, it’s been open season on us year round! Glad you got your priorities straight brother!

    • It isn’t just anti-Semitism that is on the rise; it is anti-Infidelism.) An Infidel is someone who does not believe in Islam, and an Infidel is both Jewish and
      Christian, or any non-believer in any religion.) Are black people not Infidels? Do you imagine you are immune from the Anti-Infidelism spreading around the world today?

    • I love it when racists claim a black man who does not drink the leftist Kool-Aide is not a real black man and has no right or place to mention the struggles of his own race.

      Stereotypimg all black people as liberals and insulting those who think differently is RACIST, pure and simple.

      • Right, because the party of Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, and Willie Horton is obviously looking out for the best interests of The Blah.

      • a black man who does not drink the leftist Kool-Aide is not a real black man

        Said no one, ever.

  11. Let the free market do it’s job. They should absolutely be allowed to stage this performance, whether or not you or I agree with it. If they can sell tickets, good for them. If the majority of people find the content of this performance reprehensible and the Met can’t sell tickets, well then justice has been served.

      • Indeed. In the “free election,” the Nazi party finished third, and actually had lost seats over the previous parliamentary election. Hitler became chancellor only because the top party–the social democrats–was unable to form a majority coalition, and the 2nd place party were able to form a majority coalition with the Nazis and felt that the head of that party would make a stronger leader than their own party leadership. Of course, in just a few months, the winning party was outlawed. It is a very common thing that the most stridently authoritarian conservatives are 1) no fans of democracy, 2) do everything in their power to distance themselves from historical fascism, even though their own policy preferences and social attitudes are not significantly different. It is no better than feces throwing, and the logic of “I know I am but what are you!”

      • I’ll bet you’re also one of the people that cried violation of the first amendment when A&E temporarily pulled Duck Dynasty from their lineup because Duck Dynasty should be allowed to say whatever they want. Not only was that not a violation of their first amendment right, but the Met also retains the right to hold operas that disseminate just about any viewpoint they want without the masses clamoring for their undoing.

      • Also, if it was truly a free election that brought Hitler to power, then what’s your argument? So the people did a terrible job of choosing their leader. Should they not have been allowed to choose their leader in a free election? Should a person with socialist or communistic views be barred from running in a free election in the United States? No, they should absolutely be allowed to run. Would I vote for a candidate with those views? Certainly not, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be allowed to run.

    • Except the MET is supported with tons of tax dollars. Free market? Don’t make me laugh. Defund the MET of all tax dollars and then let them put on any show they want.

      • The Met, like most non-profits in the US, survives on donations and can’t make ends meet on box-office sales. They have occasionally received NEA grants, but that is a pittance. So, “tax dollars” is a rather twisted claim. On the other hand, they do produce over 20 different operas per year. The idea of letting the free market work is a legitimate one, certainly more so than urging them to cancel (ie censor) a work that has been mounted successfully around the country and without this extreme of complaint. Many of the people crying out on this blog against the opera would be among the first to cry “censorship” if anyone were to cancel one of Colonel West’s events.

  12. Oh, you want to go way back to the death of Leon Klinghofer. Great, let’s go all the back to the Rosewood Massacre of 1923,( for 6 days) where a racially motivated group of white men over ran a black community and killed 6 blacks. Rosewood, FL was destroyed.

    • Lets do something REALLY interesting… And go back to this week…

      And look at the Former Marine beaten into a Coma by a black mob.. who followed him from one restaurant to another while shouting racial comments… Then attacked him…

      But there’s no race involved according to the DoJ?

      OR… we can have fun and go back to another thing from the early 90’s… Heard of the Crown Heights Riots? When Mr. Sharpton incited a mob to Murder… Again… Blacks killed White people (Jewish people in this case)… and even committed a murder based on Mistaken Identity! They killed someone because they THOUGHT he was jewish..

      But wait.. the black man who stabbed the Jewish man was acquitted of the Murder? LATER found guilty of violating civil rights?…. Then admitted stabbing him.

      But no.. You’re right.. Lets go back almost 100 years to before the civil rights movement and discuss racism then.. Since the country hasn’t changed at all…

      • For every one white person that dies or gets beaten up, there are hundreds of blacks dead. This country was based on racism, supported on racism and still continue with racism. Iinstances like Brown just proves my point. Look at it whatever way you what, but you are wrong bec you refuse to see the truth.

      • … There ARE hundreds of blacks dead… Usually by other blacks. That’s not a racism problem.

        And you’re correct. There is a racism problem in the country. When the Department of Justice refuses to press civil rights cases for people with white skin. When An incident like Ferguson happens and Everyone shows up to scream racism before any facts are known. (You can also see this in Trayvon Martin).

        When the Media reports “White Kills black” and people immediately scream racism and search for ways to prove it…

        Yet, when blatant racism happens… IE Marine beaten while they shout racial comments… No one mentions racism? And the Law Enforcement agency (See DoJ above), refuse to consider race a factor?

        You’re right that racism is a problem.

      • What about the problem with white and white crimes. What are you doing about that? You right wing people love blaming the media for making everything racism. That’s what they do. Ratings, money . So what? Sensationalize. I guess you thought the world is coming to the end when Brad spilt with Jennifer.

      • Prosecute them too. I don’t say Black Crime is the only problem.

        If there is a racial element, of course you prosecute it.

        But if there is not, do not add it in to inflame things.

        And you left wing people love claiming EVERYTHING is racism.

      • You’re right! (Once).

        We on the right do claim they are innocent. Especially of something as heinous as a hate crime. Until there is evidence to prove it.

        I’ll give you the briefest lesson in American Law, which you should be ashamed to be ignorant of.

        In America, when accused of a crime. We have what is known as the presumption of innocence. This is commonly referred to as “Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”.

        So you are right. The right does always think they are innocent… because we use the constitution, not politicallying or socially convenient assumption.

      • And what about the cases that don’t get national attention? How many black , or Latino or poor people or immigrates are automatically accused?

      • You mean like the cases of Whites getting hate crimes from blacks that don’t get national attention?

        And please clarify where they are Automatically accused… or are you just assuming they are because “Racism”?

        Furthermore, Accusation is not determining Guilt. (There actually HAS to be an accusation to have a trial, doncha-know.)

        So.. while we say “Black Male suspected in Robbery immediately before death”… you say “White Police Officer Murders Unarmed Black Teen”…

        Do you see the difference?

  13. Thanks to Allen West for joining our coalition’s ongoing efforts to get the opera about the murder of Klinghoffer cancelled by Peter Gelb of the Met Opera. We have been protesting against this all summer long, and continue to do so on a daily basis outside Lincoln Center while free HD opera performances are offered on the Plaza outside the Met. We ask that everyone who is offended by this travesty call Peter Gelb- 212-799-3100×2891 or email him: [email protected] and express your outrage.

    • It is absolutely your right to raise your voice in protest over a perceived wrong. Have you heard the opera? Do you know what you are protesting?

    • Get the surviving family members to threaten a lawsuit claim for defamation and false light. You may not be able to stop the production, but you can make the MET pay dearly, perhaps kill the company with a large enough verdict.

  14. This is how Hamas describes its own goals and strategies, and Gelb picks on Jews:

    “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as [Hamas]
    obliterated others before it” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed
    memory)”.—Second Paragraph (“In the
    Name of Most Merciful Allah”)

    “The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] is a distinguished Palestinian movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and whose way of life is Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine, for under the wing of Islam followers of
    all religions can coexist in security and safety where their lives, possessions
    and rights are concerned. In the absence of Islam, strife will be rife,
    oppression spreads, evil prevails and schisms and wars will break out.” Article Six.

    Perhaps Gelb has not been paying attention, for it is in the very
    presence of Islam, all over the world, that strife is now rife, oppression
    spreads, evil prevails and schisms and wars have broken out.

    “The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that
    the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf [land trust] consecrated for future Moslem
    generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be
    squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up”.
    Article Eleven.

    ( Note, no part may be given up is equivalent to Article Six: the banner of Allah every inch of Palestine). If they can’t give it up, then no matter how much land Israel cedes to them in exchange for peace, they will come back for even more. Not one inch for Israel.

    If you care at all about what Hamas leadership is about, watch the video or read the translation here: “not one inch for Israel”. URL: http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/4429.htm

    4. Special Dispatches –
    No. 3080
    Hamas Leader Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: “Our Plan For This Stage Is To
    Establish A Palestinian State Without Recognizing Israel and Without Giving
    Up The Right Of Return; Our Ultimate Plan Is To Have Palestine In Its
    Entirety”

    URL: http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/4429.htm
    – July 06, 2010

    “ There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives,
    proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain
    endeavors.” Article Thirteen
    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp

  15. Have you seen the opera? It does not justify the murder of Leon Klinghoffer or glamorize terrorists. Write an opera? You don’t have the talent or the energy or the work ethic. But I don’t mean to discourage you – have at it, and enjoy whatever “fame” comes your way.

  16. I find it shocking that the MET would allow such a production.

    However, if they censor it, and stifle the free speech (false though it is), what sort of message are they sending ?

    On the other hand, if they paint Jews and this discrete family in a false light and spread false and defamatory information about them, is not the MET opening itself up to a defamation law suit ?

    A publication (and that is what this is) can reasonably be expected to self-senor itself when it has concerns about liability for defamation. They have a responsibility for presenting the truth and liability for spreading a falsehood about someone or a discrete group, like this man’s surviving family members.

    This lawsuit could be a company killer, and deservedly so.

      • Yes, you were very vague and hand-wavy about this whole “lawsuit” thing. This might help – I’ve seen the opera – it doesn’t defame anyone.

      • The defamation is about the ridicule and irreverence it gives to the dead Jew pushed off a boat by depicting his murder as totally justified. The surviving family can and should sue for defenition and use of their murdered loved one without consent or royalty.

      • What ridicule or irreverence are you talking about? The depiction of Klinghoffer’s murder is a moment of sheer horror, right up there with the murder of Banquo in Macbeth. Goodman and Adams did not justify his murder – you are just repeating lies you heard from someone who has no respect for the facts.
        And don’t quit your day job, because your lawyering skills aren’t up to snuff.

      • Go to the nearest hospital with a psyche ward and check yourself in, save your friends and family the trouble (assuming they still talk to you, as compulsively contentious as you are). Still hating on Jews ? Are you an Islamist ? Terrorist ? Go to Syria/Iraq – they want you there. Well, that’s what I heard at least.

      • Well, that’s what I heard at least.

        The voices in your head are just gluttons for attention, eh?

      • And if you attack me again, I will report you to the Department of Homeland Security as a terrorist suspect and sympathizer. Are you housing terrorists in the US ? Sending them money ?

      • Why should re-reading what you wrote change his mind, since what you wrote was factually untrue?

      • … dah ! … Because I answered his question in the original text …. Are you so defensively blinded that you cannot read and think ? Maybe you don’t find the Opera offensive for similar reasons, an inability to think for yourself and see beyond your own natural biases and prejudices, perhaps ? Do you hate Jewish people ?

      • I think you are confused about what the original text is in this case. The original text is the opera libretto, which, if read in its entirety without picking out random phrases said by certain characters because they are offensive, is hardly an endorsement of terrorism or the murder of the title character.

    • They have a responsibility for presenting the truth and liability for spreading a falsehood about someone or a discrete group, like this man’s surviving family members.

      The only two members of the family depicted were both dead when the opera premiered, and you haven’t provided any evidence that there were any defamatory “falsehoods” told about either of them. Indeed, the opera literally gives Marilyn Klinghoffer the last word as she berates the captain for “embracing” the terrorists. So what does that do for your internet lawyering?

      This useful maxim from Ken White of Popehat seems apropos: “vagueness in defamation claims is a hallmark of meritless thuggery.”

  17. You must be really dumb.

    You seem to have the delusion that everything said by a character in a work of art is a direct expression of the creator’s beliefs.

    That’s pathetic.

    Stick with your Dick and Jane books.

  18. I’d like to thank Allen west and Michelle Hickford for telling readers what to think about a work of art they have never seen. Don’t bother doing any research on your own just accept their outrage as your own.
    I plan to protest ‘The Sound of Music’ because it portrays Nazi’s. Oh, and ‘West Side Story’ because it glamorizes gang violence and murder.

    • Yes, we must see every form of vile filth ourselves and never trust others who warn us against wasting our time and money on “art”.

      • You read an opinion piece and reached a conclusion based on it. If you did no other research outside of this opinion piece before reaching your conclusion then my comment is directed at you and others like you. You don’t have to go see it to learn more about the work as well as the controversy surrounding it. But most people are satisfied being spoon-fed their opinions.

    • Both of those stories weren’t explicitly saying that what the bad guys did was good or should be commended. Neither one said it was right to support a Nazi or engage in hang violence. In those stories, that was a factor of the plot, not the message of the movie.

      This fiasco of a production explicitly and directly commends the murderers and outright says that killing an innocent, crippled man is a fully justified act because he was Jewish. It literally sides with the murderers and does so without expression of comedy, irony, parody, or dramatization.

      • You keep saying this without providing a single quote from the text of the play. Where is your proof?

      • How do you know? Have you seen it? If so I defer to your opinion. Otherwise, I cannot conclude that the production commends the terrorists as justified heroes based on what I read in the opinion piece. How is the audience to know what is in the minds of the terrorists without them expressing it somehow? Including the views and attitudes of the terrorists is necessary to provide context to the story; it does not mean that the terrorists have been portrayed as heroes. (BTW, WSS is about racist white kids who want to commit acts of violence against people because of their ethnicity. So are white racist street gangs portrayed as justified and heroic? Or do their racist views add necessary context to the story?)

      • “This fiasco of a production explicitly and directly commends the murderers”

        Document or retract.

  19. If characters in a fiction say a thing, the work must be supportive of that thing. Even from Allen West, that’s pretty reductive and capricious reasoning.

    • The only wrong word in that sentence is “pretty”.

      Talking down, aka “idiotface” (similar to blackface) is a characteristic of modern concervatism. Ben Carson is a past master.

      • How deep in your backside did you have to reach to pull out a “Republucans are racist” lie that somehow compares Ben Carson’s manner of speech to blackface?

        Need I remind you that the only black man in the Senate is a Sourh Carolinian appointee by a minority woman governor into Strom Thurmond’s seat?

      • The only one who was able to pull racism out of their ass was you. My comment had nothing with racism, it used a historical example for comparison.

  20. Hey Colonel West in you Opera can you put in my song about how Obama let Bibles be burned in Bagram Afghanistan in 2009. I sang in my Song “Obama burnt my Bible”.
    on youtube.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQB2qQ_WowY

    I bet Iranian Slum Lord Valerie Jarrett must have wanted to sing
    When she seen you bow down to that Muslim King
    At Georgetown you had them cover up Jesus and His Cross
    You showed Netanyahu and Cardinal Dolan the kings your boss
    Abdullah’s proud you showed the infidels who’s your boss

    • There’s a difference in referencing or recounting anti-Semantusm and writing a play celebrating the very people who murdered a real person in cold blood.

      This okay is explicitly taking sides and commending the murderers for doing what they did.

      How many Nazi stories do you see that say the Nazis were right to do what they did, and say it without comedy, irony, sarcasm, or obvious indication of drama?

      • anti-semantusm?

        But seriously, anyone who uses the word “celebrating” in relation to the0 depiction of palestinian characters in Death of Klinghoffer hasn’t seen the play. Starting to notice a pattern?

      • No, I have not seen it, but nearly anyone who has (including all serous critics) has said that the terrorists are not lionized in any sense of the word.

      • Somehow, Gibson’s Passion (which did, in fact, portray Jews as inhuman monsters) did not upset these people as much.

        Nor are they upset by the fact that the Metropolitan Opera is presenting, in the very same season, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, even though Beckmesser has been argued to be an anti-Semitic caricature and the anti-Semitic opinions of Wagner are even clearer than those allegedly of John Adams. He wrote whole pamphlets excoriating the Jewish influence in music (I think this was at least partially to make us forget how much he was indebted to the Jewish composer Meyerbeer).

      • John Adams has no reputation for being anti-Semitic–apart from people running around with their hair on fire about this particular opera, and it is 100% about their pre-baked opinions about the Israeli-Palestinian situation and not very much about the piece itself. As is abundantly clear here.

      • I have seen it. The terrorists present their opinions and self-justifications. As you’d expect in any serious drama. But the music, the words of the chorus, and the words of the Jewish characters display a stronger and more hopeful sense of humanity. Terrorism is depicted as nihilistic and unappealing. So, most of the rants against the opera are misplaced–and the personal attacks on anybody stating actual facts about the opera horribly misplaced and do not redound to the intelligence of the person calling the names.

      • It’s not “anti-semantusm” the person is trying to say, but “anti-semantic,” since the comments lack much in the way of grammar or logic.

  21. I wonder if the lunatics would have rioted, and looted and protested if Michael Brown was a white man and the cop was a black man…

    • Right, because shootings of white people by black cops happen all the time. And definitely the black cop would not have been arrested by now.

    • Of course the white folks would have rioted! ‘Cause you see, there is such a long history of white people being mistreated, beaten and shot by black cops.

      • Actually, several cops, both black and white, shot that unfortunate young man. And there are protests going on and the police are scrambling to justify their actions.

      • You missed the point. “Nobody cares” didn’t mean “absolutely nobody cares.” The President has not commented, the DOJ has not flown in, the protestors are not stealing everything out of a store and burning it down, they’re not smashing shop windows, shooting at each other, throwing bottle rockets and bottles of pee at the police. No white supremacists have flown in to speak at the kid’s funeral. The crowds are not chanting for the death of the cops. The state governor has not promised a swift prosecution of the officers.
        Also, this Latino kid had not just robbed a store and manhandled the clerk, and he didn’t beat up or bum rush an officer. He also wasn’t a 300-pound hulk on drugs.
        I’d say it’s a much bigger case than the one in St. Louis, and the reaction is totally different because we have black race-baiters and racist politicians. I hope justice is done in both cases, but it is obvious that black racism is having a heyday in St. Louis right now, and outsiders have been the instigators.

      • As I mentioned elsewhere, pretending that “white people getting shot by cops” is a historical problem on par with “black people getting shot by cops” is a fairly aggressive display of ignorance on par with the whole “war on whites” nonsesnse. A trip to wikipedia followed up by reading some primary sources would be a good idea, but you’re probably too tired after typing that long paragraph so no biggie.

      • Your reply is a veritable catalog of false information and false equivalencies. Hope that helps.

      • Gosh, you’re using those big words like “veritable” and “equivalencies.” How scary! You must be really, really smart!

    • A black cop did shoot a white kid dead and notice his friends and family and town are not rioting and it is not on the news. He was white, so in other words, who cares about whitey

      • His family, friends, and town are not rioting because the murder, beating, and harassment of white people by police officers is not a frequent occurrence. But you knew that.

  22. I’m disgusted! And the Met is not only getting a call from me, they will not receive money from me ever again! The fact they even thought about this, says that even if the show is canceled, they are anti-Semitic. I hope the singers will speak out against this. I hope to hear my favorite performers display some real anger against this opera-style!

      • This is really the most fascinating feature of this discussion , the way they conflate lack of hate speech against Palestinians with hate speech against Jews/israelis. It’s way past any of the ” antizionism is antisemitism” nonsense I’ve grown accustomed to.

      • If you want me to pay attention to you please learn to provide evidence for the claims you make. Have a safe day!

      • If Israel self-defends herself, she’s that bad one,but Palestinians, a historically non-existent people created by the Romans who renamed the Holy Land Palestine and the people Palestinians as a way to slander Jews with hate and insult, are always the good guys because Rome was anti-Semitic, the church was until after Hitler slaughtered 6 million while the church ignored, and the world is mostly Jew-haters, despite a Jew allowing Himself to be crucified for all and risen for all–God comes as a Jew and gives us the greatest gift and Jews get hated despite Romans doing the crucifixion.

      • You guys should really make up your minds. Were the palestinians created by the romans, the nazis, or the Saudis? All equally popular theories.

      • Nothing about Opera is Anti-Semitic. It is this particular opera the Met wants performed that promotes Palestinians and degrades Israel and Jews.

        If opera were Anti-semitic, I would not be a classically trained opera singer who has performed many recitals and loving it. And my Christian parents never would have let me attend a music school to study opera if it were Anti-semitic.

        We are discussing the column written above about the Met and an producer there bringing in a anti-Jewish opera that supports the terrorists and calls them freedom fighters and the Jews the terrorists.

        My response was directed to the Met because I have supported it with money and will not any longer.

        And if I am honest as someone trained and who only performed in local stuff–no, I never had the desire to go to the world stage, I love writing and talking politics and history and doing radio too much–I will tell you all that if you truly want to hear great voices, see talent, gifted actors and singers, go to your local theaters to see operas and opera recitals. No egos will be found, because your audience is your local county people and nothing is a worse critic than your neighbors, friends, locals, those who know you and can tell you off if you act snotty.

        You don’t care about ego or showing off in local theater, you really try hard to do your best because your county local eyes are on you and can put you down worse than any press could, so you become humble and grateful for the compliments, you spend 6 months working–not that Met singers don’t, they do work hard– hard toward every performance and you cannot be full of yourself in your own home county or you’ll never forget it.

        My comment was directed to the Met and my hopes that those I love to see perform will speak out against this new opera and say no

      • They have no interest in getting their facts straight, obviously. I can think of another group of yahoos who went on the attack against “liberal elitist artists.” It was over 80 years ago. They didn’t understand art, but they sure understood anti-semitism.

      • No, see, we understand what the column _says_ is antisemitic. Its evidence is weak, leading us to believe that the columnist has not read, seen or heard the opera.

        And you guys say _we_ can’t read.

      • Mr. West’s claims of antisemitism do not stand because his column is full of misinformation, Lisa. See Nullifidian’s first comment at the very top for more information.

  23. I wonder if Mr. West and his supporters realize that when the heroes in a drama are without flaw and the villains are without any virtues, the resulting story is as interesting as drying paint? Shakespeare knew that. His heroes had flaws; his villains had some measure of virtue, and the resulting drama was compelling. Shoot, if Shakespeare was alive and writing plays now, you guys would be baying for his blood. Or, ahem, his pound of flesh.

      • You speak from ignorance. The PLO terrorists are not depicted as heroes in John Adams’s opera. They are depicted as human beings. Imperfect, paradoxical human beings. You missed the point, sir, by about 39 miles.

      • Listening to the director of this so called art…what’s his name? Adam or something, here is what he says: “…One of the passengers, Leon Klinghoffer, died, he was killed within the hijacking…”

        Died? Really? He was killed? Really? Just like that?

        PC is the lowest kind of human expression It keeps the “enlightened” and “progressive self righteous” idiots from dirty their hands.

        To this adam (which ironically means a human being in Hebrew, what a sick joke) Mr. Klinghoffer was not killed. He did not just die. He was MURDERED. And he was murdered for one reason only, he was Jewish.

        Repeat after me: “m-u-r-d-e-r-e-d”, can you say it? no? mmmm…that means you are morally superior…NOT.

        I did not see the show (and have no interest) but from hearing this Briton’s words, I can tell that some (if not more than some) strong sympathy to those murderers’ cause has definitely a huge influence on this “opera”.

      • Mark, John Adams is the *composer*, not the director. He is not a “Briton”, he is American. His librettist was Alice Goodman. Please do yourself a big, big favor and read up on this topic (and not from rightwing websites!) before commenting further.

      • Well, jeez, nattering over a stage director choosing “killed” over “murdered” strikes me as petty. Straining at gnats while swallowing camels.

      • You are right, not much of a difference.Imagine your sister getting raped and I would say that she simply slept with someone she did not really know…well, not much of a difference there either…

      • There is a helluva difference between sex and rape, and that’s about the most offensive analogy you possibly could have come up with.

      • There is a hell of a difference between “killed” and “murdered” but you of course do not think it would be offensive to mix the two.

      • I was expecting an apology from you for your equating sex with rape, but apparently you’re not up to behaving like a civilized human being. You’re more concerned about a stage director’s word choice made in an interview years ago.

      • My point exactly 🙂 You are offended by my deliberate choice of words but don’t think I should be offended by a miserable and deliberate choice of words???

        The point is, I will never relate to rape as “an intercourse done by someone the girl did not previously knew” But you, progressive low lives would have no problem saying that “someone was killed within an event that took place” instead of saying, “He was murdered by PLO Arab terrorists”

        Selective PC eh? Miserable lefty

      • “Selective PC”

        Your equating consensual sex and rape isn’t merely un-PC, it is weapons-grade d1ickishness. Says a lot about your character that you don’t understand the difference.

      • This is an incoherent rant. It has nothing to do with “PC.” And you don’t even have an accurate view of who did what in the making of this actually very moving piece of music. As to this “Adam” you are referring to–could you mean the composer, John Adams (one of the most important living American composers, btw)? Making fun of thinking of an artist as human–that’s called dehumanizing. I hate to bring up Godwin’s Law, but by engaging in dehumanization yourself, you are behaving no differently from those types.

    • Shakespeare did not write about real specific people but rather he wrote about reality of people. Big difference. Glorifying murder of a specific person can bring pain, if anyone cares.

      • Shakespeare did not write about real specific people

        Please, get yourself educated about Shakespeare so as to avoid making ignorant comments like this. And I can’t believe this needs to be repeated: the opera does not glorify murder or terrorism.

      • Yes, you are technically right, his plays were based on true characters and he just made them more dramatic (or comical)…Alas, I do not dare compare Shakespeare to this…what’s his name?

      • Alice Goodman’s libretto is a quite excellent piece of dramatic poetry. If you don’t care about your facts enough to even get the gender of the writer right, why should anybody care what you have to say?

      • Are you aware of Shakespeare’s history plays? There are a bunch of then, all about real, specific people. The opera does not “glorify” the murder of Mr. Klinghoffer.

      • Yes, yes, I already commented that technically you are right, Shakespeare did write about real people. Ne used fictional names (as far as I know..) and made the plays more dramatic or comical.

      • “He used fictional names and made the plays more dramatic or comical.” Which also shows that you don’t know much about his history plays, which use the real historical names of the chief figures. Some of these historical characters are portrayed as villains (Richard III) even if the truth as historians have come to understand it is more complicated.

      • Please stop digging yourself in deeper because this is becoming painful to see. I am cringing for you. Nothing you can say at this point can possibly recover things.

      • I guess among your smug “progressive” “enlightened” friends, admiring a mistake is not something you people really appreciate. Not much of a surprise there really.

      • On the contrary, I admire your mistake tremendously. It was a real doozy. Then to compound it by asserting that Shakespeare changed the names of his historical figures as if he were a scriptwriter for Law and Order was even better. But at that point, I thought it best to warn you that there was nothing you could possibly say that would rehabilitate the idea that you’re familiar with Shakespeare’s work. As much as I admired the display, I just couldn’t stand by and let you continue.

      • MMM…let me see, I am bad in expressing myself in English so I will start from the beginning.

        When Shakespeare wrote Henri and Richard’s plays he wrote about people that were long dead. They were not there to disagree or agree or get insulted if things were not in their favour. However, from what I remember (it has been 30 years) the plays were generally in favour of the English kings.

        However, when he wrote plays about more controversy issues like moral values, love, sex, betrayals and things related to human nature (as opposed to history), he used fictional names. Hamlet was a fictional Danish King, Othello was a Moore but the name Othello was not in existence until Shakespeare wrote the play (like many English words) people think Shakespeare play was based on King James but he did not call the play James: King of England. Romeo and Juliette were fictional (again , maybe based on an English royal and Lady in waiting, who knows).

        My point is that this play perform now is taking a recent historic event and making it more interesting to people and by doing so maybe, just maybe, hurting and insulting the Leon’s family.

        I did not see the play but is the act of the murder clearly shown on stage or did the character of Leon just disappears from stage as if you need to use your imagination?

        When listening to the director’s “explanation” of Leon’s death he said that was killed in the event of the ordeal (or something to this effect). Leon was murdered by PLO Arab Muslims, period. You want to be politically correct but you show is nothing but? Selective aren’t we? I wonder why?

        Reminds me an event just occurred in England when about 10 Arab Muslim immigrants rapped over 1,300 girls in a span of 10 years. Many knew about it but did not say anything “in the fear of not looking racist”. I say they were afraid to say anything period.

        The even more pathetic part is the fact that when the story broke out, newspapers wrote that “10 Asians” were responsible for this. Newspaper in England are even afraid to write the words Arab Muslims on their paper, pathetic. Trying to be politically correct Or just being cowards. completely miss the point of why it happened to begin with.

        It’s so nice the Brits are trying to be politically correct when it comes to Arab and Muslims but have no problem calling names when it comes to Israelis and Jews.

        Shakespeare wrote about history in details and was probably accurate but when wetting about more sensitive issues he made sure the characters were fictional.

        I hope I made my point, if not, let’s say you are right and I am wrong and you can sleep better tonight.

      • When Shakespeare wrote Henri and Richard’s plays he wrote about people that were long dead.

        So? It wasn’t the style to write plays about living people when Shakespeare got started, although the ripped-from-the-headlines domestic tragedy did begin to blossom in the Jacobean period (e.g. A Yorkshire Tragedy, a play ironically first attributed to Shakespeare in the Stationers’ Register but now widely agreed to be by Thomas Middleton).

        However, from what I remember (it has been 30 years) the plays were generally in favour of the English kings.

        I warned you. I really did. When you find yourself in over your head and with no chance of digging yourself out, don’t try.

        No, they weren’t all in favor of the English kings. The most famous of Shakespeare’s history plays is Richard III. How is it possible that this portrayal was deferential to Richard?

        King John is portrayed as weak and cowardly, Richard II as vain and vacillating (it’s notable that this was the play the rebels ordered played on the eve of the Essex Rebellion), Henry IV as a usurper desperate to legitimize his rule (he’s the Henry Bolingbroke (the last syllable pronounced “brook”) who forced Richard’s abdication in the previous play), and only Henry V is a genuinely admiring and heroic portrayal. Henry VI is pious and good, but far too unworldly and incompetent to be a leader, and Henry VIII is probably the second-most favorable portrayal of an eponymous monarch, though he is shown as lacking a certain amount of judgment by placing too much faith in Wolsey, and the complexity of the court politics means that nobody comes out either a hero or a villain.

        However, when he wrote plays about more controversy issues like moral values, love, sex, betrayals and things related to human nature (as opposed to history), he used fictional names.

        No, he didn’t. How many betrayals are there in Richard III? How much love does the king have for Anne Boleyn in Henry VIII? How much does Richard II defend the moral value of obedience to the monarch in his abdication speech? And leaving this aside, there are the plays about classical history: are you going to tell me you find no betrayal in Julius Caesar or Coriolanus and no love in Antony and Cleopatra? Do you really think that Shakespeare’s historical plays are boring, unemotional patriotic pageants?

        My point is that this play perform now is taking a recent historic event and making it more interesting to people and by doing so maybe, just maybe, hurting and insulting the Leon’s family.

        They didn’t seem to be bothered by the not one but two TV movies of the Achille Lauro hijacking, so I think they’ve rather lost their right to be taken seriously as being wounded by this production, which they claimed to be. But the fact that wounded them wasn’t that it portrayed his death (otherwise they would have hated both TV movies), but that it treated the Palestinians too much like human beings.

        And even if they were wounded by the mere depiction, nobody seemed to care too much about Wael Zwaiter’s family being wounded by the depiction of his murder in Munich, and that’s got far more international visibility than this opera has.

        I did not see the play but is the act of the murder clearly shown on stage or did the character of Leon just disappears from stage as if you need to use your imagination?

        Half and half. In this production, before any music begins, the audience hears two shots and then a splash of water falls on an empty wheelchair strongly lit by a single white light. It’s a moving evocation of his murder without actually depicting it. Then, in the opera proper, Klinghoffer is killed offstage while Marilyn is above decks, but we know that Klinghoffer is dead because it then segues into the “Aria of the Falling Body”, after Klinghoffer has been shot and thrown out of his wheelchair.

        Leon was murdered by PLO Arab Muslims, period.

        You think the opera gives the impression that he was killed by anybody else (although technically not by the PLO, but by members of a splinter group called the Palestine Liberation Front)?

        You want to be politically correct but you show is nothing but? Selective aren’t we? I wonder why?

        Exactly what are you ranting about? Nobody has mentioned “political correctness” here except for you, and that’s a term I don’t think has any fixed meaning. It’s just an infinitely flexible label for anything right-wingers think is “bad”. I’ll settle for being factually correct about the content and nature of this opera.

        The even more pathetic part is the fact that when the story broke out, newspapers wrote that “10 Asians” were responsible for this. Newspaper in England are even afraid to write the words Arab Muslims on their paper, pathetic.

        They could have written it, but it would have been inaccurate because the accused were Pakistani. Pakistan is 2,500 kilometers from Arabia. But it is in—drumroll, please—Asia! That’s why the newspapers use the term “Asian”: you don’t have to distinguish between whether someone is ethnically Pakistani, Indian, Turkish, Syriac, etc. It has nothing to do with “fear”, except for fear of getting the facts wrong, which is obviously a fear that’s never hindered you.

        It’s so nice the Brits are trying to be politically correct when it comes to Arab and Muslims but have no problem calling names when it comes to Israelis and Jews.

        Exactly what “names are called” in this opera except by the largely unsympathetic terrorist characters? And what do the Brits have to do with an opera being presented in New York and written by two Americans (though Alice Goodman is now an emigre to the U. K.)? Are you just free-associating now?

        Shakespeare wrote about history in details and was probably accurate

        Uh, no. He was as inaccurate as his sources were inaccurate, usually Holinshed. He was not a historian and never strove for accuracy.

        but when wetting about more sensitive issues he made sure the characters were fictional.

        Again, false, but that’s been covered above.

        I hope I made my point, if not, let’s say you are right and I am wrong and you can sleep better tonight.

        Actually, you didn’t. I have no idea what your point is except that the director should have rephrased himself in an interview and somehow this reflects on the opera he’s directing, even though he has no input into what the opera says, that the Klinghoffer family might be upset, and you don’t know anything about the content of Shakespeare’s plays beyond the names of some main characters.

  24. I hope the family of the murdered elder sues this production for all it’s worry, or at least gets away with its revenue.

    I like opera, but itʻs just trashy to condone genocide on stage.

    The reason people aren’t outraged is because no one knows this trash even exists.

    However, I’ll forgive them if they write an opera detailing the life of the Prophet Muhammed. They can even put a bag over his head to lull the butt hurt kebabs!

    • Another comment offered up from ignorance. The family has no standing to sue. Did you know that murder is quite often depicted in opera?

  25. To those who would complain that the writer of this article hasn’t seen it and cannot thus decide if it’s art or propaganda, I’d say that it is not important.What is important is that the librettist and the composer(and now the MET) have given an opportunity for the forces that use violence rather than discourse to further their aims. It matters little that certain lines are cherry-picked from the libretto to prove that the “opera” is a forum for supporting this violence/racism, what matters is the whole idea that “responsible” people think these should be given a forum any more than another violent/racist group. The arts reflect our culture and it seems that voices like Rep./Col. West and Ms. Hickford are in the minority, unfortunately, and that presents a bleak outlook for the survival of a morally responsible culture in this once great land of ours.

    With the BDS movement being all the rage, by people who support productions such as this, I’d encourage people, who oppose this “opera” to weaken the source in the pocketbook, not only to boycott the MET and all it’s DVD productions, but most of all the composer of this “opera”, John Adams.
    If one can begin to understand the depth of corruption in the cultural circles in America, this creator of an “opera” who glorifies terrorists was commissioned to write the music commemorating the 9/11 attack… what a supreme irony!

    • Could you please provide some (any) proof that “the librettist and the composer(and now the MET) have given an opportunity for the forces that use violence rather than discourse to further their aims”?

      • To both the above posters, one of the main aims of terrorists is to remain in the public eye…the recent beheading was a PR victory for them…if you cannot fathom how writing such an “opera” glorifies or helps terrorists, perhaps you can, at least, see it from that viewpoint.

      • It’s early in the morning to be invoking Godwin’s Law, but that’s like saying that the many, many plays, books and movies that depict Nazis support their goal of keeping National Socialism in the public eye. No such thing a bad publicity, huh?

      • Nazis were thoroughly defeated, when, G-d willing, the forces of Islamist terrorism are finally defeated, we can have all the “artistic” “operas” about them anyone wants.

      • Ha ha! There were plenty of plays, books and movies depicting Nazis while they were still in power. You’re not really taking this seriously, are you?

      • Enfant, you’re clearly an imbecile (and are quite aptly named). It’s just a good thing you weren’t around at the time to discourage people from taking the Nazis seriously.

      • Being that I gave up waiting for even one single concrete fact or shred of supporting evidence from you, I’ll simply let my previous posts stack up against yours any time.

        You have a lovely day, blissful in ignorance.

      • It’s really appalling that you keep calling people ignorant when it is obvious on the evidence that you have neither listened to the opera nor read the libretto all the way through. This column and all your comments are just infantile ravings about character quotations taken out of context. A legitimate argument can be made as to whether the opera is really good or not (I think it is), but that would have nothing to do with its representation of terrorism, which is far from sympathetic.

      • Yes, a legitimate argument can be made about that. But, my point is that it shouldn’t, because the point is not whether the opera is really good or not (much less what YOU think), but rather what such an opera focused around such an event SAYS about the event and events like it. But, that’s clearly something that people like you have trouble recognizing. So, there’s no much more to say about it. Enjoy your “art” while Islam still lets you… but when you hand them the keys to your kingdom, don’t be surprised when they ban it all (that is, if they don’t behead you first).

      • the point is not whether the opera is really good or not (much less what YOU think), but rather what such an opera focused around such an event SAYS about the event and events like it.

        An art work’s goodness is what it is says. What it says to me is that there is tragedy on both sides. Klinghoffer’s tragedy is obvious. Adams and Goodman, bless their hearts, give him the eloquence of the prophets in the moments before his death. (Why is there no mention of that in your comments?) The tragedy of the PLO terrorists is more subtle. They somehow convinced themselves that violence against innocent people would advance their cause. That is a tragedy. Portraying that tragedy does not absolve them of their crimes. Nor does it silence the crying out of Klinghoffer’s blood for justice.

        So what production of this opera have you heard???

      • “people like you.” Ridiculing what “I think.” You do not know me enough to dismiss what I have to say, or to declare that I am unqualified to say it. You also seem to have a rather paranoid and misshapen view of Islam (hardly surprising considering you are an eager contributor to the deranged colonel’s opinion blog site). Since you like to use the word “ironic” in ways that show that you are not fully in control of the meaning of the word, has it occurred to you that ranting against this work and ridiculing the humanity of its authors and its status as art makes you no better than the evil Islamicists of your own fevered imagination?

      • That is exactly why I am dismissing what you have to say. Because you have yet to say anything of substance relative to the position I put forward. I am talking apples, you are talking oranges. If I were interested in oranges, I would listen attentively. But, as I am not, yes, I am dismissive.

        As for “ironic”, I am using it exactly as defined. I fully understand the concept of irony. Perhaps you just don’t see the irony in cloaking narrow-minded intolerance beneath of mask of tolerance (almost the epitome of ironic) simply because you are guilty of exactly that. And, so, for you, it would not be nearly as ironic, would it? 🙂

      • I say kind things about your letter to Peter Gelb and this is the thanks I get. I’m disappointed that your eloquence was but a thin veneer covering a rather typical unfocused rage. Oh well, such is life.

      • And its all you ever will get, because at the bottom of the conservative “mindset” is a seething rage that reality is passing them by and they lose power by the nanosecond.

      • It is entirely possible to make an opera that glorifies terrorists. However, we were looking for proof that this specific opera glorifies terrorists. Thanks for playing, and come back soon!

    • Another comment offered up from ignorance. “The Death of Klinghoffer” does NOT glorify terrorists. If you are going to criticize the opera, at least be factual in your comments.
      One more thing: art is not propaganda, and it seems like John Adams’s loudest critics don’t understand the difference.

    • I find it deeply ironic that a person with the nickname “Donna Elvira” can be so ignorant of opera.

      But since you are, let me assure you that depictions of violent groups aren’t exactly thin on the operatic ground. If you don’t believe me, watch Verdi’s I Vespri Siciliani.

      • Usually I don’t reply to people who preface their statement with an insult but I’ll briefly reply.

        See my reply below concerning historical reference to defeated evil groups,”we can have all the “artistic” “operas” about them anyone wants.”
        Besides, in “I Vespri Siciliani’, a mature Verdi opera that was never popular, one can see that the libretto wasn’t a source of Verdi’s usual level of inspiration…not like “Nabucco” which launched his triumph as an operatic composer…how about that “”Va, pensiero”? 😉

      • See my reply below concerning historical reference to defeated evil groups,”we can have all the “artistic” “operas” about them anyone wants.”

        But in the Sicilian Vespers, the Sicilians massacred the French and prevailed. That’s why Verdi wrote the opera, as a metaphor for throwing off all foreign influence and uniting Italy under a single, nationalist banner. Of course it wasn’t popular in France, though the libretto that you disdain was originally co-written by the famous Eugène Scribe. For some reason he wanted to document a major French rout.

        Besides, in “I Vespri Siciliani’, a mature Verdi opera that was never popular, one can see that the libretto wasn’t a source of Verdi’s usual level of inspiration…not like “Nabucco” which launched his triumph as an operatic composer…how about that “”Va, pensiero”? 😉

        Do you want my honest response? I hate Nabucco and I hate “Va, pensiero” as many times more as I’ve had to hear it out of the context of the opera. I vastly prefer his middle- and late-period works to the ones that sound like they ought to be accompanied by a barrel organ. And if anything counts as an unpromising libretto! If it weren’t for the fact that “Va pensiero” summed up the nationalist aspirations of the Italians, with which Verdi was always in full sympathy, I don’t think we’d have heard any more of it or the opera.

      • Besides, in “I Vespri Siciliani’, a mature Verdi opera that was never popular

        Did you read that off a record jacket cover?

  26. My open letter to Peter Gelb:

    Mr. Gelb,

    As a patron of the arts, I am shocked, disappointed, and disgusted that your esteemed and reputable organization, The Metropolitan Opera, would stoop to soliciting provocative, cheap thrills using morally repugnant, offensive “art”.

    Your upcoming production of “The Death of Klinghoffer” is exactly that. This “opera” is quite simply terrorism apologetics marching under the banner of “art”, with the deflective and intellectually dishonest tactic of giving “equal voice” to two morally unequal sides to a conflict.

    Furthermore, the greater conflict aside, the title incident itself was unquestionably an act of terror. No decent human being has ever even attempted to offer any semblance of a rational defense for such a heinous and savage act; it was roundly condemned from virtually all corners of the earth. In today’s times, then, where we are increasingly bombarded by savage imagery in the news, this production serves only to embolden those savages responsible. Regardless of the plot particulars, the existence itself of this production romanticizes savage terrorism, giving it a soapbox on which to promote its vile, perverse agenda, and implying that such savagery may be subject to debate and may even be deserving of indulgent clemency and self-righteously misguided “understanding”. To put it into perspective, if you were approached today with an opera lending voice to “both sides” in the recent James Foley beheading, would you take even a split second to consider it? (Should we be bracing ourselves for an upcoming Met production of “The Death of Foley”?)

    While I am quite certain that you can easily use your Jewish heritage to deflect accusations of promoting anti-Semitic agendas (after all, it is even more productive than the usual, “some of my best friends are Jewish”), I would still hope that you would take a long, hard look at something that you yourself have only just recently admitted, “would be inappropriate at this time of rising anti-Semitism”. But, even beyond that: I would hope you can honestly give thought not just to this production vis-à-vis Israel, Jews, or anti-Semitism in general, but to the farther ramifications to which this production extends—to terrorism on a global level, across all borders and victim-religions, as we are now experiencing worldwide.

    Quite simply put: a production like this has no place in refined society—or in any society!—much less in a society surrounded by today’s world of increasingly savage terrorism.

    I sincerely hope that with further soul-searching, you might come to recognize with the associated ethical responsibilities that come with managing such an extensively influential platform as the Metropolitan Opera, that this abominable production must be canceled. Unless and until it is, I will lend my voice and effort to any and every initiative to boycott and denounce your organization, and will encourage as many others as I can to join in.

    Sincerely,
    Paul Arking

    • Nice work on your eloquent expression of your ideas, but your premise is wrong. The Death of Klinghoffer does none of the terrible things you accuse it of.

      • In your “enlightened” (and obviously quite forgiving) opinion, maybe not. But, in my opinion, just having a play built up around something like that is a travesty, let alone specific passages in the opera like the following:

        “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.”

        or

        “We are soldiers fighting a war. We are not criminals and we are not vandals but men of ideals.”

        or

        “America is one big Jew.”

        Your moral compass is clearly out of whack if you think there’s nothing wrong with such operatic passages. That, or you know nothing about the play and just like to argue for the sake of argument. Neither explanation is very good.

      • OK, great some evidence. Now, please demonstrate that these statements and ideas are treated positively by the opera.

      • Another clown.

        Apparently you didn’t quite comprehend the premise of my argument in the letter. It’s not about specific plot particulars, but rather the fact that the perpetrators of terrorism are given a platform to “explain away” their culpability. The opera gives the terrorists a voice—a voice which essentially justifies the murder, based on both alleged Israeli “crimes”, as well as the alleged evil exploitation of the world by Jews. Again, the play overall might not justify it, but it presents it as a “two-sided issue”, when there should be no room for savagery or terrorism, and no allowance for soapbox propaganda or circumstantial forgiveness.

        How about YOU please tell me YOUR interpretation of the opera. How about YOU give ME some evidence of YOUR opinion. Maybe a few cited lines of your own from the opera?

        Or are you just another ignorant rabble-rouser looking to frivolously argue with others?

      • Why should I tell you anything? You made a claim that the opera presented terrorists in a favorable light, and proceeded to give quotes out of context. I made no claim about the opera whatsoever except that most critics and audiences haven’t found it antisemitic. You can choose to attack the claim I made, but that still doesn’t absolve you of the responsibility of of producing evidence for your claim that the opera is antisemitic or provides support to terrorists.

        When I make claims, I supply evidence when it’s demanded of me. Why shouldn’t you have to do the same?

      • Why? For one, because I’m not your dancing monkey. You want proof, go see the play yourself, rather than spout off ignorantly on something about which you clearly know nothing.

        But, also, as an altruistic gesture: your buffoonery was overwhelming and I was giving you an opportunity to redeem yourself. Glad to know I wasn’t wrong (on either count).

        Next time you want to join a debate: (1) have the requisite intelligence to sit at the table; and (2) bring some actual debating points with you, rather than sideline heckling challenges with zero substance of your own.

        Now, go drool on your toys and stop trying to play with the adults.

      • So, no evidence other than out-of-context quotes for the claim that the death of klinghoffer is antisemitic or favorably portrays terrorists. Gotcha! Thanks!

      • Yes. “Gotcha”. I’ve already presented far more evidence in 5 minutes than you’ve mustered up in all your ignorant ramblings. Including the last one. 🙂 You’re obviously all talk and no substance. I have better things to do with my time than try to educate the mentally challenged, so have a great day and a great life. Bye bye.

      • Run out of insults, Paul? Too bad. Hopefully, the Met and PBS will muster sufficient gumption to do a broadcast of this opera, so you can see for yourself how wrong you are.

      • And if they don’t find their courage, there’s still the Penny Woolcock film and the Nonesuch 2-CD set. For a modern opera, it’s got an unusual amount of exposure. Or perhaps he could see the live performance. But I’d rate the likelihood of his listening to something he’s already made up his mind about as only slightly less likely than him dressing up in drag and singing the score to Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

      • To paraphrase Schiller even more appropriately in this situation, “mit deiner Dummheit kämpfe ich vergebens”.

      • You know, Mr. Arking, calling other people “ignorant” when you are the one lacking in knowledge just makes you look like a blithering idiot.

      • I’ve offered way more explanation and evidence in my responses here than anything you’ve contributed (and probably have yet to contribute to the discussion). At least I have that to rely on when I feel comfortable calling others ignorant.

        You, on the other hand, have yet to contribute anything to the debate, and yet you already feel worthy of tossing around “blithering idiot” epithets. How ironic. And hypocritical. 🙂

      • You have a curious idea of evidence. I cannot imagine that an intelligent human being who had actually read the libretto and/or listened to the opera all the way through would make the claims you do, far less have the call to call “ignorant” those who clearly have more familiarity with the work than you do. What you offer isn’t even a competent synopsis of the work. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and sit down with the recording and listen to it. At least then, if you still despise the work, your comments will show more a balance toward intelligence and thoughtfulness than wild venomous spewing.

        Also, are you familiar with any of John Adams’s other works? The Met has produced two of his other operas in recent years, and he has written many concert works, including some that you might find patriotic and moving. I recommend “The Wound Dresser.”

      • Then I take it your answer to the question to “are you familiar with any of John Adams’s other works” is “no.” If that is the case, considering that Adams is one of the most frequently performed of living composers, I think that says it all.

      • only if you apologize for insulting people who know more about the topic than you do. You know, nobody would fault you if you said, “no I haven’t listened to the work and I don’t know anything else by John Adams and i was unaware of the two other operas by him that the Met produced, but the fact that terrorists and murderers say anything at all on stage really really offends me and makes me very angry.” But saying, “I am ignorant, and proud of it because I have moral clarity, and anybody who knows more than I do is stupid!” [or substitute any other pejorative adjectives you have used] is not a very convincing way of demonstrating intelligence, or maturity.

      • If John Adams isn’t your cup of tea, that’s fine. Keep listening to Toby Keith. And don’t presume to know more about John Adams’s music than those who actually listen to his music.

      • Don’t presume to know what I listen to, what I read, who I read, or what I think or know. That’s your primary mistake all along.

      • The Met has produced two of his other operas in recent years, and he has written many concert works, including some that you might find patriotic and moving. I recommend “The Wound Dresser.”

        You have a wry sense of humor. I quite like it.

      • You want proof, go see the play yourself, rather than spout off ignorantly on something about which you clearly know nothing.

        It’s not a play; it’s an opera. It might improve your credibility slightly if you were able to get details like that straight.

        And I did the see opera. I saw the St. Louis production, which is the same one that is coming to the Met, as presented by the Long Beach Opera in March of this year. I’ve also seen the movie version directed by Penny Woolcock and I have the complete opera on CD from Nonesuch. None of them resemble what you (or Hickford) have said about this work.

      • If that’s the best you could is nitpick on a word I mistakenly used (after calling it an “opera” twenty other times), then there’s not much to be said in response to you.

        As for your claim to have seen the opera and to have the opera on CD, perhaps you should listen to it again. But, again (it bears repeating, since many of you seem to miss this point): it’s not the plot particulars or specific dialog lines that are particularly objectionable (although there *are* several that I’ve quoted and several more yet), but rather the fact that this has even forced a debate in the first place on the concept of terrorism as something to “explain”.

        If you don’t get that, then I’m sorry for your clouded judgment. I suppose you should just be thankful that these savages you’re trying to “understand” don’t yet run your country, because when they do, you can forget about all sorts of “art”. (Just try bringing some nice open-minded liberal art to Iraq, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc. and see how long you survive—literally survive.)

      • If that’s the best you could is nitpick on a word I mistakenly used (after calling it an “opera” twenty other times), then there’s not much to be said in response to you.

        Actually, I can do considerably better, but you’re not worth my best.

        As for your claim to have seen the opera and to have the opera on CD, perhaps you should listen to it again.

        I probably will listen to it again with the greatest pleasure. But since the content won’t change, because CDs and DVDs don’t work like that, nothing you say will be justified on a rehearing or reviewing.

        But, again (it bears repeating, since many of you seem to miss this point): it’s not the plot particulars or specific dialog lines that are particularly objectionable (although there *are* several that I’ve quoted and several more yet),

        Which you won’t quote, because you don’t know anything more about this opera than you’ve read in this post, which only presented a handful of quote-mines and all of them from the terrorist characters, none from Marilyn or Leon.

        but rather the fact that this has even forced a debate in the first place on the concept of terrorism as something to “explain”.

        That is an incoherent statement, but I’ll try to see if I can pull some shreds of meaning from it.

        It would be a tall order for an opera—any opera—to undertake to “explain terrorism”, but I think what you mean (and refute me if I get it wrong) is that you hate the fact that the terrorists are portrayed as people whose violence is motivated by something. You don’t really care what that something is, because the very fact of acknowledging that violence doesn’t drop on us out of thin air is enough to condemn it.

        Never mind that other operas (not to mention literature, sociology, history, etc.) also do the same thing, because those other examples aren’t recent and they don’t usually feature Muslims. You really don’t care if people tease out the motivations behind the Sicilian Vespers or the St. Bartholomew Day’s Massacre, both the subjects of operas, because they’re remote and feature People Like Us: white Europeans whose violence can be safely analyzed for motivations because we’re rational people, not rabid animals like those damned Ayrabs.

        Have I got it pretty much nailed down or no?

      • No, you have nothing straight at all. As for your contention that I “won’t quote” anything, I’ve already cited 4 direct quotes from the opera in my comments here. I guess you have trouble with reading comprehension or following threads. That’s a shame, and it explains why you seem to think you have so much nailed down when you’re way off.

      • No, you have nothing straight at all.

        But notably you don’t explain what I got wrong.

        As for your contention that I “won’t quote” anything, I’ve already cited 4 direct quotes from the opera in my comments here.

        Which are the same four quotes as in the article. What I said is that you won’t quote any more because you know nothing about the opera independently of this article.

        I guess you have trouble with reading comprehension or following threads.

        Your projection is so strong that we could show IMAX summer blockbusters with you.

      • Have YOU seen the opera or listened to the CD? It appears you have not or you wouldn’t be spouting this nonsense.

      • Dont bother. They have already said a number of times that merely seeing the opera makes you an antisemite. It’s got some supernatural power, like the King in Yellow or something.

      • Paul Arking, you evidently have no first-hand knowledge of this opera whatsoever beyond the accounts you have read on your favorite political opinion sites. There is a CD recording, which has been available for almost 20 years. This production is also not new and does not do any of things that the writer of this column says. It is easy enough to check the claims of the article, and the claims that you are making ,and see that they don’t stand up. At all. The opera is clearly not supportive of the point of view of the terrorists, who are presented as characters only and do not get the last word. Alice Goodman’s libretto clearly underscores the sense that peace and love must inevitably transcend terror. This column is simply an attempt by Allen West’s deranged website to gin up faux outrage against “those damned liberals” from people who really do not have a clue about what they are talking about. So, please stop calling people “clowns” when they are better informed and literate on this subject than you are.

      • Really? What makes that “evident”? You think I haven’t seen or heard it? On what grounds?

        And you think I am basing this only on Allen West’s article? Again, you’re presumptions make it clear that you’ll think whatever you want, even if you have no idea of reality. I only found Allen West’s article *after* I wrote my open letter to Peter Gelb, while seeking out others who might be offended that this opera is coming to town shortly.

        So, keep assuming whatever it is you want to assume, but I have no reason to prove anything to someone who already made up his mind based on his own false presumptions.

      • Paul, are you now claiming that you have heard the opera? All the available evidence (your words, duh) suggest that you haven’t, and that you are relying on 3rd-person accounts from people with an ideological (not artistic!) ax to grind. So tell us: did you listen to the Nonesuch CDs, or watch the DVDs or (gasp!) attend an actual performance?

      • “Available evidence”? Such as…?

        I find it hilarious that you’re going to tell me what I did or did not do, based on your conjured up, mixed-up sense of reality.

      • I note that you are being very coy about not answering my question about whether or not you actually heard the opera. I leave the conclusion as an exercise for the reader.

      • He said he read the libretto and that the specific words don’t matter. He has not said he has listened to the opera, but he did ridicule me for referring to music as if it were relevant to the discussion. I think that suggests that the emperor has been streaking.

      • My apologies if I have wrongly presumed, but your references to the things that offend you in the libretto convey your knowledge and comprehension of the work about as well as an understanding of Shakespeare would be expressed by saying that Hamlet is primarily about clown necrophilia and the specifics of fencing technique.

      • I am not “someone who already made up his mind based on his own false presumptions” but am in fact a professional music historian and teacher who has studied the music of John Adams closely across his long and illustrious career. My “false presumptions” are based on having a modicum of ability to read for comprehension and have read the libretto and listened to the music many times since the recording came out almost 20 years ago. There is very little that you are saying that shows that you even have that basic, factual familiarity with the work. Maybe you think your “superior moral and intellectual clarity” exempts you from bothering with that. But you shouldn’t be calling “ignorant” those who have a more accurate grasp on how the opera depicts the different political elements in the story.

      • I am referring to your presumptions about my knowledge of the libretto, your presumptions about my knowledge vis-à-vis that of yours and others, and your presumptions about what sites I frequent, and where and how I form my opinions. But, you don’t read very well, as you clearly missed that point. Maybe I should sing it to you. Or put it into a libretto. Then, maybe you’ll suddenly master the essence of what I’m saying in all your infinite musical expertise that you tout so self-righteously.

      • Dude, you realize you’e been on for 2-4 paragraphs without _actually saying whether or not you have seen or heard or read the opera_?

        I’m going to give you the benefit and assume you just don’t know how evidence works so I will now explain. You have been spouting random nonsense about a work based on some out-of-context quotes. Now what appears to be a professional music critic appears and proceeds to spank you based on the reasonable assumption that you have not, in fact, read or heard or seen the opera. Why is this a reasonable assumption? Mostly because _you have refused to say if you have seen or heard or read the opera_ and attacked people for asking you. Also, the nonsense that you spout is additional evidence that you have not heard or seen or read it. Does that help any?

      • Well, what is your musical expertise that you can ridicule mine? (Or does absolute right-wing moral clarity exempt you from having any expertise?) And, are you familiar with any of John Adams’s other works?

      • I’m not dissecting this for a musical analysis. That’s the problem with your apples and oranges approach—and also why your loudly touting your musical background in a debate having nothing to do with musicality is as comical as a nuclear physicist touting his credentials at a beauty contest.

      • Last time I checked an opera is a work of musical art. I am not asking for “musical analysis,” or saying anything “loudly” (certainly not as loudly as you are spewing your hate and dismissiveness, ,but to say that knowledge of music is irrelevant to, um, music is …what is the word?….cretinous. And on those grounds, why should Mr. Gelb take your “open letter” seriously at all?

      • By that logic, if you’ve never been a politician, then you should shut your cretinous mouth when it comes to politics. Or if you’ve never been a soldier, then you should probably keep your opinions to yourself about the Iraq war or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

        That said, though, you twisted my words. I never said knowledge of music is irrelevant to “um, music”. I said that expertise in musicality is irrelevant to a debate about ideas in a libretto that could easily be in a play, in a movie script, or in a book. It’s not the music at the heart of this debate, so proclaiming your expertise at music has no relevance for the original discussion.

        Again, though, I’ve explained that all already, and I have better things to do with my time than repeat myself for someone with an attention deficit and/or reading comprehension problem.

        Bye bye.

      • “Attention deficit and/or reading comprehension problem” Projecting much? You’re the one with problems. I repeat: an opera is a work of music, and as such the music does have an effect on the presentation of words, in giving them weight, clarifying the emotion behind them, delineating the sympathies that the composer and librettist wish to cultivate in the listener. And when you take the music of Klinghoffer into account–because, damn it, it is part of it, your view that the words that offend you are the main message “glorified” by the work becomes a whole heckuva lot weaker. It does in fact suggest that you either haven’t listened to the work or haven’t done so with much understanding.

      • We should start a drinking game with this guy.

        “Threatens to leave and then comes back? Drink!”

      • I did not say that you can’t comment on the opera without being a musician. I do seriously ask how it is possible to pass judgment on an opera without reference to its music, which is an integral part of what it is. And why you think you are able to win arguments by crowing about how much less you know about it than the people you ridicule for their “ignorance.” You say the word “ignorant,” but I don’t think the word means what you think it means.

      • “not about specific plot particulars” So you have an ideological point of view that terrorists (and maybe any of the larger group of Palestinians from which the terrorists emerge) should no have a voice in opera, even if that voice is rendered compromised and in a sense judged, and you don’t need no plot particulars in order to justify your rigidly authoritarian and dismissive venom.

      • Paul, those lines were sung in a theater piece called an “opera”. “Operas” are created by “composers”, often in collaboration with “librettists”. These artists create “characters”, who define themselves by what they say (or sing) and by what they do. The bad characters say (sing) and do things that express their badness, like make antisemitic remarks or murder innocent people. These bad words and actions deepen the plot and move the story forward. And even if they say something positive about what they are doing (“soldiers fighting in a war” or “men of ideals”), we do not believe them. ‘Cause they’re BAD! And they do not reflect the values of the composer or the librettist. Does that help?

      • No. That doesn’t help. I’ve been to the opera and your patronizing nonsense has nothing to do with the premise of my argument. I suggest you pick up a dictionary and reread my original letter.

        But, just so we’re all clear on this: you would have no problem with a similar opera coming out called, “The Death of James Foley”, where ISIS terrorists can, as villains, present their rationalization to the world, and propagate various lies and libels about Jews and Christians—all because it’s “art”?

        You’re the type of person who would let your enemy’s buddies all piss on your face, and then enthusiastically defend it by saying that it’s “art”, not piss, and that it also doesn’t reflect the opinions or antagonism of your enemy, but rather it’s a mere “expression” of the “artists”.

        The heads of naively ignorant people like you will amazingly still be smiling even as the Muslims are sawing them off of your necks.

      • Oh, and with that, I am obviously done with you, as your “debate” is clearly not too much more intellectual than Stavitsky’s. Have a nice day.

      • Well, I’m not done with you! 🙂 I’ll give you props for keeping your rage in check long enough to write a respectful letter to Mr. Gelb, but when your mask slipped, it was enough to make the Phantom of the Opera himself throw up a little.
        Art is not propaganda, Paul. Art inspires us to see the world in new ways, and prompts us to reflect on life’s tragedies and dilemmas. Propaganda reinforces existing world views and affirms a political loyalty. The bottom line here is that you and others of your ilk demand art that flatters your world views. It’s a shame that you’d settle for such thin gruel.

      • Unlike many liberals who cloak their narrow-minded intolerance and anti-Semitism beneath the ironic mask of “enlightened tolerance”, I don’t wear masks. I am consistent in all my posts here.

        The problem is that you’re presumptuous enough to assume you deserve the same level of my respect that Mr. Gelb does. And that’s where you’re wrong. I tolerated your nonsensical answers and your patronizing silliness enough to at least respond to you, but it doesn’t mean I need to respect you. If you want respect, earn it with some intelligent conversation and some actual facts and supporting evidence.

        And as for your non-answer to new “The Death of James Foley” opera, it’s pretty much all the answer anyone here needs to know in evaluating the validity of your arguments.

        As for “art is not propaganda”, I’ll tweak that to say “art should not BE propaganda”. By politicizing your art beyond a certain morally acceptable level, you lose the “art” in the “propaganda”. To people like you (people of no apparent morals), all anyone needs to do to excuse their politics, their biases, or their immorality is to call it “art”. Here’s a question for you: if an artist created a sculpture out of the bones of dead Jews (or maybe lampshades of their skin?) in the name of art, would you similarly defend it? If so, say no more—we can all see you for what you are. If not, then please do explain to us exactly where you draw the boundary line between art and immorality. (Judging by your inability to directly respond to ANY of my questions so far, I won’t hold my breath for this one either.)

        I don’t demand art that flatters my world view. But, at the same time, I won’t stand idly by while morals are compromised in the name of “art”. A real art enthusiast is not one who calls anything and everything art, as “your ilk” are wont to do. A real art enthusiast can actually see what is real art and what is ugly hatred dressed up as “art” to fool self-delusional, self-enlightened troglodytes like you.

        (Oh, and I suggest you look up “propaganda” in the dictionary, where you might find an entry that says, “information, esp. of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view”… which is exactly what is happening as a result of this “opera”.)

      • And as for your non-answer to new “The Death of James Foley”

        You’re babbling.

        Here’s a question for you: if an artist created a sculpture out of the bones of dead Jews (or maybe lampshades of their skin?)

        Godwin’s Law rides again!

        I thought you were all done with this discussion, Paul. Why couldn’t you let it go? Your letter to Peter Gelb seemed to indicate that you had given some serious thought to why you object to the Met’s staging of the The Death of Leon Klinghoffer, but further dialogue has shown that your words come from a place of ignorance and unfocused rage. It’s a great thing that there is impassioned debate over an artwork like this opera. It’s not so great that so many of its detractors are coming from a place of ignorance.

      • With all due respect, I must say that you are wrong in everything you wrote. You’re wrong on principles, on the power of alive theater, no matter opera or drama. Art is not propaganda, you right about that. But art is extremely powerful tool to inspire and promote the ideas. How would you define a “bad” characters? You wrote: “These artists create “characters”, who define themselves by what they say (or sing) and by what they do. The bad characters say (sing) and do things that express their badness, like make antisemitic remarks or murder innocent people”.
        The “bad” characters in this opera didn’t sing anything like: “We will kill everyone who is not muslims”, “We want to kill every Jew – that’s what Allah wants”, “We’re coming to the place near you” – that’s what “real” murderers/terrorists are saying openly in real life. Right? But not in this “creation”. In this opera they sing that:
        “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.” – among other things.
        There’s nothing here that shows that they are “bad” characters, and there’s a lot to show that Jews ARE THE REASON for what’s going on. Therefore, here, they aren’t expressing their badness, they are showing the “badness” of other people, namely Jews, supposedly the victims in this opera, who became “bad” characters and this is to some (I would say to many) that maybe… just maybe… make the actions of these animals justifiable. And this is what every anti-Semites believes in. And that what is wrong with this opera.

      • Do you watch TV? Read newspapers? Do you know what’s going on in Europe now? France? Norway? England? My “maybes” are to all my opponents to start thinking.

      • Yes, and if we based all our social policy decisions on “maybe” we’d never leave the house.

      • You have twisted logic and even common sense to the breaking point and have revealed that you don’t understand the difference between art and propaganda.

      • I’m not normally one for quoting the bible, but “do not cast your pearls before swine” seems appropriate here.

      • Why not? It’s fun! No, seriously, I’m a big John Adams fan and it irks me to see his work misrepresented in this way. Btw, you and Nullifidian have won the internetz today, imo.

      • Why thank you, kind sir!

        I learned a long time (ok, 1-2 years) ago not to have serious debates with people who don’t know how to debate.

      • The “bad” characters in this opera didn’t sing anything like: “We will kill everyone who is not muslims”, “We want to kill every Jew – that’s what Allah wants”, “We’re coming to the place near you” –

        So we should only have portrayals of Muslim terrorists (or all Muslims?) that turn them into cartoon villains from a far-right fever dream?

        that’s what “real” murderers/terrorists are saying openly in real life.

        Is there a reason why you put the word “real” in scare quotes?

        Is there a reason why Alice Goodman should have written a libretto 25 years ago according to what you allege “real” terrorists “are saying” (present tense) now?

        Can you even find sources for all these quotes, since real people are saying them and all?

        There’s nothing here that shows that they are “bad” characters,

        Since you favor quotation marks, let me use them. There is such a thing as “context”. Even if you don’t find overt, Jews-run-everything conspiratorial nonsense like “Where poor men are gathered, you can find Jews getting fat” as something bad—which is an, ahem, interesting idea, but let’s run with it—perhaps there are other things in the opera that make the terrorists seem self-aggrandizing, violent, and disturbed? Just maybe Ms. Hickford would conceal that from you because she’s not seen the opera herself and because she wants to manipulate you?

        …and there’s a lot to show that Jews ARE THE REASON for what’s going on.

        Really? In the opera The Death of Klinghoffer? Tell me, what parts specifically place the total burden of the conflict on the Jews?

        I’ve seen it. I’m betting you haven’t. So isn’t a little unwise to make such definite assertions and lecture people who may know the work better than you do?

      • Please, you’re obviously a smart person. Isn’t it clear to you yet that you’re wasting your time?

      • I’d be wasting time if I think the idea is to change innessa’s mind, but not necessarily if I can inject a little reality for some other person who might find this discussion.

      • This site is a reality-free zone. I never take these people seriously, and you shouldn’t either.

      • I’m not. But I do take the opera seriously, so I like defending it to people who obviously haven’t even thought of either seeing or listening to it.

      • I’m happy that Joseph Stavitsky found you to be a “smart person”. I’d say that you are a BLIND person. Good that this production is opera, not a ballet – you wouldn’t understand a thing. But you didn’t understand it anyhow. Let me tell you something: I’ve been in the theatre all my life. I directed dozens of plays. Everything in the theatre depends on accents – where you put them. One can make “Othello” about how good that man was – not that difficult, believe me; another – about how bad Desdemona was – again, a piece of cake. This opera is about wrong message. That’s it! But this is too complicated for you – you have your “educated” opinion and it’s fine with me. Enjoy!

      • One can make “Othello” about how good that man was – not that difficult, believe me; another – about how bad Desdemona was – again, a piece of cake.

        Except for that whole thing about Emilia confronting Iago and saying that he told “an odious, damned lie”, then spilling the beans about the handkerchief, leading to Iago’s wounding and arrest and Othello’s suicide.

        And Othello is a good man who is “being wrought, perplex’d in the extreme” by Iago’s machinations and was thus induced to “[throw] a pearl away richer than all his tribe”.

        If you’ve been in the theatre all your life, I hope I don’t ever run across any of your productions.

        However, leaving that aside, what is it about the “accent” of a production that hasn’t even opened yet that convinces you that it’s pro-terrorist and anti-Semitic?

        This opera is about wrong message. That’s it!

        So what message is the “wrong message” and what specifically about this opera conveys that “wrong message”?

      • That what is the problem with people like you – the “theater goers” who come to the theater to see words of play pronounced on stage with emotions. You would never ever understand that in serious theatrical productions the vision and believes of directors and company is what the play is all about. Not words, sir. But this is not important. The wrong message about this opera is that librettist gave a platform, as she said, to both sides. Murderers don’t deserve to have a platform! Their actions are their platform. And this what MUST be shown emphasized with words that come out of their mouthes. Not in this opera. If a child molester has a platform and give us a tearful testimony about his miserable life, blaming everyone but himself, it won’t make him less than a scum! Unfortunately nowadays we lost, completely lost, a sense of responsibility. Everything goes. Not for me. But for you obviously.

      • That what is the problem with people like you – the “theater goers” who come to the theater to see words of play pronounced on stage with emotions. You would never ever understand that in serious theatrical productions the vision and believes of directors and company is what the play is all about. Not words, sir.

        Well, guess what? We’re talking about opera. In opera, which is an art form you obviously don’t know, you don’t have the freedom to hack and slash at the source work until you get something that conforms to your private philosophies or obsessions. No matter how crazy the Regietheater staging gets, it’s still Don Giovanni being performed with the music and the words in the order that Mozart and Da Ponte wrote them.

        But let’s assume that the director had the freedom that you describe for “serious theatrical productions” (and I will observe that I’ve never experienced your notion of what “serious theatrical productions” are like in America, Canada, or Britain, except at a few Fringe theatres, but only in Germany), then how can you pronounce so confidently on a production that hasn’t opened yet and isn’t due to open for two more months?!

        The wrong message about this opera is that librettist gave a platform, as she said, to both sides. Murderers don’t deserve to have a platform!

        So? Let’s assume they don’t. Can’t they be given one anyway? “Use every man after his deserts, and who should scape whipping?” (But I guess that’s my hidebound, text-worshiping side coming out).

        Please, explain why it’s wrong for “murderers” to be given comprehensible motivations. Since you brought up Othello, was Shakespeare wrong in giving him a comprehensible motivation for destroying Desdemona? Was he wrong to make him the sympathetic gull of the sociopathic Iago? Should we reject all art that doesn’t make black-and-white moral judgments? Do that and we’ll be stuck with performing nothing but medieval morality plays for each other and reading out of Jonathan Edwards’ sermons. Even Milton could conjure up some sympathy for Satan, so I guess Paradise Lost really should be lost and never Regained

        Now I really don’t want to come to your theatre’s productions.

      • It doesn’t matter if you have been in 1000 productions, you are still a someone who knows very little about theater and it’s mission. And about life really. You live in that fantasy world when your social believes are the core of everything without thinking of any consequences. And God forbid if you EVER come to my productions, It’s not for you. My plays are for people who are able to think and understand the complexity of the world and it’s not your strongest point – otherwise, you wouldn’t be arguing about this particular production. But I’m not going to continue this discussion. We have different believes and different views on everything. Just the last thing: yes, murderers could be given a platform but only for one reason: to show the horrific underneath of their inhumanity. Thousand ways to do that that have nothing to do with black-and-white. All other reasons are criminal.

      • It doesn’t matter if you have been in 1000 productions, you are still a someone who knows very little about theater and it’s mission.

        Well, then educate me: what is the mission of theatre? What purpose unites everything from ancient Greek and Eastern drama to Sarah Kane, Elfriede Jelinek, Dario Fo and Neil Simon today?

        You live in that fantasy world when your social believes are the core of everything without thinking of any consequences.

        I doubt that I do, simply because I can’t make any sense of this statement. I very much doubt whether you have a better handle on my social beliefs than you do about what I think about theater, either.

        And God forbid if you EVER come to my productions, It’s not for you. My plays are for people who are able to think and understand the complexity of the world….

        That’s not evident in what you’re saying here. What you’re saying here is quite different: moral complexity is bad, rigid moral judgments must be pounded home to the audience, evildoers should be given no chance to explain themselves or worse yet charm the audience, and anyone who doesn’t do this (including, as I pointed out, most of the world’s playwrights since the medieval morality play went the way of the dinosaur) should be condemned.

        “Complex” isn’t the word for this kind of theatre. “Boring” and “didactic” is.

        Why didn’t you bother responding to my historical evidence that drawing sympathetic portraits of violent and even wicked people is something that literature does all the time, both on the stage and off it? I wasn’t typing for the practice, but because I really do want an answer. If we’re to take your view as normative, what becomes of Shakespeare? What becomes of Schiller? What becomes of Kleist who wrote movingly of the terrorist Michael Kohlhaas? Or E. L. Doctorow who took Kleist’s figure, made him a black revolutionary, and placed him in turn-of-the-20th-century America? What becomes of Milton who made us sympathize with the greatest of all possible evils, Satan?

        …otherwise, you wouldn’t be arguing about this particular production.

        But we’re arguing because you object to a complex and nuanced portrayal of violence on stage, and the fact that the people who wreak the violence are allowed to present justifications in their own words. So you’re projecting your own failures to comprehend and deal with complexity onto me. I have no problem with the way the terrorists are portrayed on this. You do, because you want them to have been simplified into mute cartoon villains, or, if allowed to speak, to only say things that condemn themselves out of their own mouths. Basically, you want the theatrical equivalent of Leon Uris’ awesomely racist agitprop, Exodus, where the only Palestinian character allowed to speak does so to sing the praises of Zionism.

        Just the last thing: yes, murderers could be given a platform but only for one reason: to show the horrific underneath of their inhumanity. Thousand ways to do that that have nothing to do with black-and-white. All other reasons are criminal.

        You’ve just contradicted yourself in the space of a sentence, or else you don’t know what black-and-white thinking is. I don’t care if there are many ways to achieve an end, because as long what’s being achieved results in a didactic, one-sided presentation of moral disapproval, then that is black-and-white thinking. (Did you think I was talking about filming in black-and-white or something?) All murderers are inhuman regardless of what external and internal pressures they were under. Anything that presents them as something other than slavering monsters is bad. In reality, there is nothing so human as the crimes we commit against one another (which is not the same thing as saying they’re humane). The possibility of doing extreme things lives in each one of us, so we ought to be interested in the circumstances that send people on the path of violence and destruction, compared to those of us who live sedate and peaceful lives. Saying that they did it because they’re not really human and anyone who thinks otherwise is as “criminal” as they are is simply strong-arming people to adopt your moral philosophy. It might make you feel good and worthy, but it’s really nothing but intellectual bullying.

      • That what is the problem with people like you

        *Nullifidian* is the problem???

        The wrong message about this opera is that librettist gave a platform, as she said, to both sides. Murderers don’t deserve to have a platform!

        Palestinians = murderers. Spot the flaw.

        The librettist, Alice Goodman, gave the Palestinians, not murderers, a platform. They do have legitimate grievances, you know. At the same time, she portrayed a group of Palestinians (PLO terrorists) who convinced themselves that violence would somehow help their people. That is in itself a tragedy. If you know anything about theater (as you claim), you know what I mean.

        On the other side, Adams and Goodman give Leon Klinghoffer the eloquence of the prophets as he denounced the PLO terrorists’ hypocrisy, which makes his murder all the more horrible. Another tragedy, if you know what I mean.

        There’s tragedy on both sides. That’s the message.

      • Really? Would you be so kind to tell me what grievances Palestinians have that give them rights to murder an innocent person? If for you there are TWO tragedies, you’re quite messed up in your head! And that is not a surprise for me.

      • Oh, that is so easy. Even legitimate grievances do not justify the murder of an innocent person. I can’t believe you would entertain such idea.

      • Grievances? Are those barbarians who killed an innocent man in this particular production get on their knees asking for forgiveness at the end? Or in the middle? Or during the killing? “Justify the murder”? NO – nothing in the world justifies a murder of an innocent man. NOTHING!

      • Waitaminute, Joseph just raised a legitimate question. Is English your mother language. ‘Cause if it isn’t, I apologize, and promise to take things easier with you.

      • You seem to be equating the specific terrorists who murdered Klinghoffer with the Palestinian people in general.

      • You seem to be equating the specific terrorists who murdered Klinghoffer with the Palestinian people in general.

        Bingo.

      • No. The opera does that.

        The opening libretto were entitled “Chorus of the Exiled Palestinians” or “The Chorus of THESE Exiled Palestinians”?

        And what Palestinians are you exposed to throughout? The terrorists.

        Even if, as you claim, it is not meant as such.. The terrorists embody the entirety of the Palestinians represented in the production.

        There are no Moderate Palestinians present.

        So it is not a stretch to view the Palestinians presented, the terrorists, as representative as the Palestinian people.

        Just like the Rumors were representative of the Jewish People. (Until they were removed for being blatantly anti-Semitic)

        As you keep saying, It is art… And in art you use representations… Because they chose to represent Palestinians solely through the terrorists, whilst providing them reasoning from a general Palestinian viewpoint. It provides a clear, if unintentional message.

        “The Palestinians have a grievance against the Jewish people. Look at why. Now, watch as your only interaction with actual Palestinian people in the production commit acts of terrorism that we’ve spent the entire production explaining and humanizing.”

        It also says quite a bit when you think about the fact that they had to remove an entire section because it was too blatantly Anti-Semitic. And the composer needed an outside perspective to realize it was so.

      • Michael, it is standard procedure to revise operas after they have been premiered, adding or subtracting scenes, arias, etc. Most of the great ones did it. Beethoven tinkered endlessly with Fidelio, even writing four overtures.
        The Rumor family scene was taken out because it didn’t work, not because it was antisemitic. It depicted an ordinary family who happened to be Jewish, dealing with everyday problems. I think it was meant to offer some comic relief, but it was too jarring within the context of this very serious opera. Adams did right to take it out, imo.

      • People who dance on the streets where thousands of innocent people were murdered; the people who voted for Hamas; the people who want just one thing – to kill all the Israelis; the people who send their kids to kill themselves and are proud of their acts… yes, I blame Palestinians for their culture of death and hate and don’t know whom you call “the specific terrorists”.

      • The specific terrorists in the opera who murder Klinghoffer, and who are portrayed as separate from the Palestinian people in general, who are shown as a chorus. Apparently you see all Palestinians (all Muslims?) as terrorists, and that’s why the opera offends you. That is how the Colonel sees it, so your agreement is only to be expected on his own blog site. Some of us, however, were drawn to this website because of the controversy surrounding the opera and the sense of being appalled that accompanies the calls for censorship and boycott of an artwork on the basis of a very faulty avoidance and misinterpretation of what the work is actually about.

      • Inessa, perhaps it would improve the debate if you would share with us your opinion of the Fritz Lang film M and Nabokov’s Lolita?

      • These two examples have nothing to do with the discussion about this piece of “art”. Personal demons couldn’t and shouldn’t be compared to a political issue that could lead to a destruction of the whole nation, sir. Everyone here who so passionately defends this opera is a demagogue: if the topic of this production was about blacks and whites where murderers were members of white supremacy group proclaiming that all the wrongs in the world happened because of black people and this group was given the platform equal to the platform of the innocent black person because authors would like to show that these supremacists are also humans and therefore have the right to express their feelings – oh, my, how fast you all will jump on the wagon screaming and kicking! Or if we bring to discussion homosexuals… The guilt feeling toward these two groups of people will be more important than the freedom of expression of artists. But if we talk about Jewish people? No guilt feelings toward people who were killed by millions throughout their entire history. Nothing wrong with artists’ freedom of expression, right? Oh, all of you, just go to hell!

      • Stop with this one, just stop. Its getting to look like bullying. english is clearly not her first language.

      • Inessa, it is curious that you bring up the “child molester” since there is a classic film called M and another film (and book) called Lolita. Are these also morally repugnant?

      • Good that this production is opera, not a ballet – you wouldn’t understand a thing.

        ROTFL! I can’t speak for Nullifidian, but I have an extensive background in dance, including ballet. That was about the funniest and ineffectual non sequitur I have ever seen.

        You claim to have worked in the theater and even directed but EVERYTHING you say betrays your ignorance of theatre, opera in general, this opera in particular, and the creative process. What did you direct? A children’s Christmas pageant?

      • You have difficulties even to understand what has been written, but you believe so much in your ability to smirk and be a smart ass, you can’t give yourself a time to think before writing your nonsense. I didn’t claim anything to you – you are so clear to me I can see through you. Like you don’t exist. You have no idea of the history of that area, of who today’s palestinians are, you just full of those common tirades that these palestinians want the whole world to believe. No surprise that you like this production so much. And don’t you ask about what I directed – you wouldn’t even recognize titles.

      • your ability to smirk and be a smart ass

        Guilty as charged. At the same time, you have no awareness how transparently improbable your claims are. I really, truly don’t buy your claims to have had a career in theater, and you’re not doing yourself any favors by perpetuating your pretense. What’s happening in Palestine today is not relevant to when the Achille Lauro was highjacked (1985) or when the opera was first performed (1991). If anything, the wounds created by Klinghoffer’s murder were more fresh and raw in 1991 than the are now.
        OK, my inner smart ass is getting the better of me now. What have you directed?

      • I don’t give a damn (pardon my French, please) about what you buy or don’t buy. As much as I don’t give a damn about all your SILLY, completely crazy and cheap statements. You and I are living not just in different worlds, we are from different planets. I think about issues, you follow what the media and “leaders” tell you. And what your believes are about issues you have no idea about. Getting back to the topic of this discussion, let me tell you something: reasonable people don’t come to the room that smells like gasoline and ignite the match because they want to have a cigarette. They know what the consequences of their action are. As simple as that. And everything is intertwined in this world, no matter when it happened.

      • Mr. Arking, you are basing an opinion on opinions on opinions, but not on having a first hand acquaintance with the work. It sounds like you haven’t even read the libretto, apart from these opinion blogs.

      • Another pompous ignoramus presuming to know what I know what I base my statement on. I HAVE read the libretto—the complete libretto—which I in fact have a copy of myself. And, I am disgusting with many lines in it. But—AGAIN—it’s not a question of a particular line or two. But, then, people lacking a moral compass would never understand that, and trying to explain that to you is like trying to explain string theory to a kindergartener. I obviously have nothing more to prove to you, as you clearly will believe whatever opinions you’ve already made up, based on nothing but your own close-minded biases.

      • Ha ha! “String theory” is a workaround that reconciles several contradictions in quantum physics. It’s not a theory. It’s more of a hypothesis. There’s no proof that strings exist. Anyway, if you have the complete libretto, please read Klinghoffer’s last words before he is shot and see if changes your perspective. Or read Marilyn Klinghoffer’s last words. She gets the last word, after all.

      • I’ve read it. And I’m still incensed by too many of the preceding words. Again, though, it’s not about the words. But, apparently, I can say that until I’m blue in the face, and somehow you can’t seem to grasp it.

        As for string theory (which, I hate to tell you, is still the conventional term, despite whether it’s a theory, a hypothesis, a law, or anything else), that’s a nice summary of your opinion of it. Glad you could express yourself so confidently on that while still obfuscating the actual subject at hand.

      • You know what? *I* am incensed by the words of the PLO terrorists in the opera. But that is what defines them as the bad guys. I’m also incensed by the machinations of the sociopath Iago. See the connection?

      • OK so it isn’t about the words.. what is it about ,then? Your blind hatred of Muslims? Your inability to tell terrorists apart from Muslims? Your outrage that the story is presented on stage at all? Your blind hatred of anybody you can label liberal or progressive? All of the above?

      • I’m not going to repeat myself for the third or fourth time, simply because you’re too lazy to read all my posts on here. Good night.

  27. The opening scene honors terrorists with a backdrop of graffiti on a wall proclaiming “Warsaw 1943, Bethlehem 2005,” implying a moral equivalence between the acts of the Nazis and Jews today.

    Lie.

    I’ve seen this opera and it’s obvious not only that you haven’t, but that you’re counting on your readers not having seen it. It’s also obvious that you’re counting on them not thinking (admittedly probably a safe bet): why would an opera depicting events that occurred in 1985 feature graffiti referencing something that happened in 2005? Are Palestinians Time Lords that they could know in advance about something supposedly significant that happened in Bethlehem in 2005? I’m nine years out from that landmark, and even I can’t remember what supposedly happened in Bethlehem in 2005. The only thing I can come up with is that members of al Aqsa stormed a municipal building demanding financial assistance and jobs, initiating a standoff that fizzled after only an hour. Quite a blow for an independent Palestine, wasn’t it?

    Perhaps you meant 2002?

    Whatever the year, it doesn’t matter, because there is no such graffiti. The production that is coming to the Metropolitan Opera is the same one that was presented at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis and the Long Beach Opera. I saw it at the latter venue this past March. The stage was dominated by two large gunmetal gray slabs with openings that resembled portholes which could be pulled apart to show the deeper playing area with a black background. Aside from that, the dominant scenic element is the suitcases carried by both the exiled Palestinians and the exiled Jews (the title of the first two choruses: each region’s and religion’s histories are represented equally, except for the one-off Hagar Chorus that recounts the moment when Judaism and Islam split) that can be used like blocks to create temporary pieces of scenery. At no point do we see the graffiti you described. We don’t see it in the Penny Woolcock film either, which was wrapped before the Siege of the Church of the Nativity, although not telecast until after (not that she’d put in anachronistic references either). And we don’t see it in the scenic design of the original production, which was not only in 1991 but also was so abstract that there wasn’t even any indication of a ship!

    And if there were such a design in the present production, even though it it would make no sense, so what? Do you think that composers and librettists are the ones who get to approve or reject the scenery? Are you that ignorant of how all theatre, including opera, actually works?

    At least you can quote from the terrorist characters correctly, but—guess what?—they are characters. As surprising as it may be to you, it is possible for authors to write about people, even sympathetically, with whom they don’t agree. Jonathan Littell wrote a whole book from the perspective of high-level Nazi officer. I guess that must mean he supports the extermination of the Jews. It even won prestigious literary awards like the Grand Prix du roman de l’Académie française and the Prix Goncourt. Does the threat posed to Jewish existence by works of art never end? You manage to completely ignore the fact that Marilyn Klinghoffer and Leon Klinghoffer are eloquent speakers as well, that Leon courageously confronts the terrorists with the emptiness of their rhetoric, and that it is Marilyn Klinghoffer who is literally given the last word in this opera, as she, in sorrow and anger, is denouncing the captain (“You embraced them!”).

    So, no, I won’t be joining you to write letters to Peter Gelb to get him to withdraw a work you’ve never seen based on an account that is full of falsehoods and half-truths. If anything, I’ll condemn him for his cowardice for letting the ADL bully him into withdrawing Klinghoffer from the HD broadcast schedule.

    Here’s another thing about opera companies that you will want to understand: your demands will fall on deaf ears because if he withdraws this work from the house as well as from the broadcast schedule, all the people he’s already contracted to sing the roles will need to be paid anyway. So he’d be losing money millions in sunk costs for the sake of appeasing a few far-right wackaloons whose idea of high culture is watching Duck Dynasty. Not gonna happen.

    • You forgot the Anti-semitism he removed, only after complaints… Like “The Rumors”…. the ‘Traditional’ jewish couple.

      Or the Anti-semites who argued that the removed “Rumor family” couldn’t have been racist or anti-semitic because it was totally accurate to the common Jewish family…

      Mr. Rumor sits crankily with a television remote control in hand,
      squabbling with his missus over the tourist items she picks up every
      time they travel. She berates him for spending so much time on the
      toilet overseas, and also manages to suggest to her son that he check
      out Myrt Epstein’s daughters. The music burbles along like a theme song
      from a 1950’s television show, raising its voice along with the
      family’s. In the midst of this bourgeois fricasee, Mrs. Rumor spots an
      item in the newspaper about Yasir Arafat, the Palestinian leader, and is
      outraged.

      Or your comment on the two Exiled people’s songs…

      Where the Palestinians comment on their destroyed homes (By Israelis in 1948) and further acts of destruction by Israelis, finally threatening with violence…

      And the Jewish people… Well it mentions their tourism and sight-seeing… And how much they enjoyed their devotional sentiment about the promised land… Yet somehow… COMPLETELY fails to mention anything about any of the History of the Jewish people in Israel. First or Second Kingdom…

      So… Palestinians claims about destruction and genocide and their country being destroyed…. vs Jewish people complaining about not being able to go sight-seeing?

      Yep. Seems balanced and totally not anti-Semitic at all..

      • You really seem dead set on 1) taking speeches out of context, 2) mixing up the Palestinians, even in historical terms, with the terrorists themselves. There is a long history in opera and musical theater of extensive stage time given to groups with which the composer is not in sympathy. Saint-Saens’s Samson et Dalila is one, but he hardly expects the audience to sympathize primarily with the Philistines (a word that etymologically is related to “Palestine”). What you seem to be saying is that you are offended that the Palestinians are given a voice at all.

      • No. I am not confusing them. I am stating the Opera is, intentionally or not.

        It opens with the “Israeli oppression of the Palestinians. “.

        Then, the ONLY contact your have with Palestinians throughout the Opera is the terrorists. There is no mitigation. No hint of their actions being wrong. (Quite a few of their actions being justified.) No moderate palestinians. No middle ground.

        The Palestinians are shown as freedom fighters against oppression…

        Juxtaposed with the Rumor Jewish family that is complaining, materialistic etc…

        Adding in frequent anti-semitic comments. .. (made in character, sure, but with no mitigation).

        And again, the fact that the composer had to be told the Rumor family was anti semitic is very telling of his bias and motivations.

      • Also, before the Rumor family was removed.. not only was there no mitigation for the antisemitic comments made on character, but the Rumors actually confirmed them.

        View it without any knowledge of history, or any in depth understanding of the conflict. And you see oppressive Jews getting their comeuppance by Palestinian freedom fighters.

        If it is so fair, and balanced and respectful of Mr. Klinghoffer. .. why did his daughters complain about irs disrespect and anti semitism?

      • View it without any knowledge of history, or any in depth understanding of the conflict.

        How is that even possible?

      • Be a Common American. According to most Media, Israel are violent oppressors of the Palestinian people.

        If you don’t look into it any further, and view the Opera. What message is sent?

      • Given that the media are regularly saturated with news from the Middle East, I find it hard to believe that many adult Americans are completely ignorant about the various conflicts in that part of the world in general, and the Achille Lauro highjacking in particular. I guess it is possible for some Americans would not have *any* knowledge or understanding – many Americans don’t even know who are their representatives in Congress. But these people would live far, far from Lincoln Center, and wouldn’t be interested in attending an opera performance, don’t you think?

      • I clarified with “Any in-depth understanding of the conflict”.

        Knowing there IS a conflict is not enough, which is what most news reports. (Or how many Israelis’ “Murdered” Palestinians today). They do not have the time or inclination to identify the root causes of the conflict. Without knowledge of that, the Opera portrays a very one-sided viewpoint.

        That is my point. It’s not the depiction itself (mostly), but the fact that it is VERY one-sided, unless you have a detailed background in the conflict.

        The news cycle doesn’t delve into the history of the region from the late 40’s. Hell, most education doesn’t delve into that.

        Unless you independently look for it, most do not have a detailed understanding of the conflict.

        And Yes, I do firmly believe that some people with a very skewed idea of the conflict attend opera’s. (Look at the Pro-Hamas rallies, Look at the UN condemnation of Israel, while NOT condemning Palestine or Hamas, etc.)

      • OK, I was taking you seriously for a second, but then you typed that.

        1) The UN condemns HAMAS. a lot. No, I will not provide links, Google is your friend.

        2) That having been said, the “N” in UN stands for “nations”. Hamas and the PA are not nations, therefore anything the UN has to say about them is semi-relevant at best.

      • 1. In the current conflict, since the Israeli Invasion?

        No. They have not.

        2. Oh? So… State sponsored Terrorism is not a matter for nations? A State’s controlling political Party is not a matter for the UN?

        So the UN doesn’t condemn…

        Syrian Rebels? :http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/middle-east/41825-140829-un-condemns-the-capturing-of-fijian-peacekeepers

        ISIS: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/10904414/Iraq-crisis-UN-condemns-war-crimes-as-another-town-falls-to-Isis.html

        Houthi Forces: http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/english/2014/08/security-council-condemns-actions-of-houthi-forces-in-yemen/#.VAEqXKNsl0k

        Those are all nations? That’s news to me…

      • No, sorry, you don’t get to be deliberately ignorant. You chose not to google when I told you to, after the UN representative was on MSNBC codemning both sides. The _bare minimum_ you need to do when making a flat claim that “they have not” is link to a google search, if not news stories from neutral sources. Stating something qithout proof makes you no better (if at least no worse) than anyone else here.

        As to the latter point, I did not say UN does not condemn non-state actors. I said that these condemnations carry much less weight in the case of non-state actors.

      • No. I said condemning Hamas. Not condemning everyone.

        Yes, They have condemned Hamas for the conflict, in joint statements against Israel as well.

        They have not condemned Hamas itself in the conflict (Except for hiding weapons in a UN school that the UN immediately gave back to Hamas)

        Whereas they HAVE condemned Israel

      • They have condemned them jointly.

        They have not condemned Hamas individually, (Excepting that one case)… They HAVE condemned Israel individually, frequently.

        There is a very big difference between joint condemnation and individual condemnation.

        I’m sorry that’s a difficult concept to understand.

      • Right, and I already explained to you why that is the case. Israel is a state, Hamas is not. Israel is held to a higher standard. Furthermore, the civilian death toll on the palestinian side is orders of magnitude higher than the death toll on the israeli side. Now, you can talk about human shields all you like but the Hamas did not fire the missiles and artillery shells that killed palestinian civilians.

      • 1. The PA is a state. Hamas is the political entity of that State.
        Specifically PA is a “Non-Member Observer State”. As of November 2012. They have been recognized as an independent state since 1988.

        And Recognized both times by who…? The UN! The UN recognizes Palestine as a state.

        The Political Power in Palestine? Hamas.

        2. Yes, Israel is a lot better militarily…. what exactly are they supposed to do in regards to Human shields? Besides.. you know where the UN gets their civilian Casualty numbers?

      • Ok, once you start accusing the UN of using made-up casualty figures I realize I need to wind this one down too. Hoewever, to indulge you a little longer;

        Nobody believes for a hot second that Hamas is militarily on par with Israel. Therefore – again – they are held to a lower standard (UN pronouncements notwithstanding). There is no such thing as an “organized Hamas military” which follows orders, observes a chain of command, or is accountable to anybody. There is no evidence that if the Hamas leadership were to order anybody to stop firing rockets at civilian israeli targets they would be obeyed. Now I grant you that such orders may be useful or productive – and pigs may also fly. If we built foreign policy on “maybe”, we would keep getting into wars of choice over mythical weapons of mass destruction.

        Which brings me to your second point, the claim that “Israels’s army is better”. This is an amazing claim. Israel has been fighting these people for 30-40 years and still hasn’t managed to defeat them. In fact, Hamas was created by the Mossad when the Mossad decided that the PLO was not a good negotiating partner; http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB123275572295011847 (making the continued US military and financial support for Israel an even bigger mystery, but I digress). In what sense is an army “better” than anything when it has to kill hundreds of civilians to get to one militant? Better equipped? Definitely. Better performing? Not exactly.

      • Oh? What happened to Hamas not being a state? Now it is a question Organization?

        And No, I don’t say the UN is using made-up numbers. I say the UN receives their civilian casualty information from Hamas, who has every reason in the world to inflate it.

        Why has Israel not wiped out Palestine. That is a very simple answer. Because we (US) have stopped them. Every time. The world cries out in outrage every time Israel fights them.

        And Because Israel doesn’t want to. (Look at the Sinai Peninsula. As soon as Egypt promised Peace, Israel returned it)

      • Yeah, sorry, when you claim there is a distinction between “using made up numbers” and “inflated Hamas numbers” I need to move on to doing something more productive. Thank you for a fun conversation.

      • So you trust the numbers provided by a Terrorist organization with an agenda?… Yeah, you should probably move on…

      • But, if you are genuinely interested in further pursuing discussion you can always supply proof that the UN’s numbers are supplied by HAMAS and released without fact-checking, Cheers!

      • Perhaps you should provide some evidence (from anybody, let alone mainstream news sources) that the UN’s casualty numbers are way off base. Y’know, before you go accusing people of misplaced trust.

      • I have found many reasons not to trust the U.N., starting long before Hamas launched their most recent attacks on Israel. You also shouldn’t trust mainstream news sources. They are incredibly biased. The U.N. has shown itself to be anti-Semitic for years. You have information at your fingertips, some of it unreliable, some of it accurate. You will have to use your own discernment skills to determine which is which. I don’t feel like trying to prove anything to you or educate you. You will have to do some digging on your own and inform yourself. That’s the best way, in any case.

      • Oh, he will trust anyone. He has problem with adjusting the information. He probably didn’t read that UN now wants Israel to give Hamas the weapons they use, because otherwise it’s not fair for Hamas not to have the same weaponry. And we’re talking about real numbers UN uses? They have Hamas’ rockets in UN schools and hospitals! Of course they now the real numbers.

      • Unfortunately I can’t name your liberal sources that mentioned this, although if you google UN Human Right Commission and Iron Dome, you might find some information….. Don’t look at MSNBC or CNN or any other such “sources” – you won’t find anything there. Another quote: “Perhaps the wildest accusation made by the self-styled UN “human rights” boss was the attack on U.S. and Israeli authorities for refusing to share the “Iron Dome” defense technology with the “governing authority” of Gaza — also known as Hamas, the terrorist group that rules Gaza with an iron fist. “No such protection has been provided to Gazans against the shelling,” Pillay was quoted as saying in media reports. The Iron Dome system, funded in part by U.S. foreign aid, has been extraordinarily successful in protecting Israeli civilians and infrastructure from Arab rocket attacks by intercepting the projectiles in the air.”

        I don’t think that your sources mentioned that rockets found in UN schools in Gaza were returned to Hamas by the administrators (UN) of those schools! But who cares?

      • Actually, Hamas has killed its own civilians when firing at Israel. Hamas has also threatened to kill anyone who evacuates. They don’t use people as human shields to protect themselves or their rockets, they use them as human sacrifices in a PR campaign. Hamas are the aggressors, and their actions are based on hatred of Jews. It takes only a tiny bit of critical thinking ability to realize this.

      • I’d ask you for sources if I actually cared. In fact, there is actually no way for you to argue away the fact that the missiles and artillery shells responsible for thousands of civilian casualties are fired by the IDF. Thanks for playing though!

      • Short aside on current events: many American Jews and Israelis believe that the Israeli military went way overboard with their recent attacks on Gaza. After all, they killed hundreds of innocent civilians, including children, for the sake of hunting down a few missiles. Also too, the UN *has* condemned Hamas on several occasions. Short aside over.

        Back to the opera, where was it written that the presentation of protagonists and antagonists in a drama must be even-handed? Macbeth (the bad guy) spends way more time on stage than Banquo (one of the good guys), and more of his story is told. Is Macbeth therefore biased?

      • Yes. And Macbeth suffers for it throughout. It is a tragedy, not a political commentary.

        It is Balanced in that his actions are blatantly and demonstrably wrong. There is no justification for his actions provided.

        That is not the case with the Opera.

        And Aside of Current Events:

        There are videos showing Hamas extorting people to be human shields and ignore warnings to leave.. And hunting down the missiles wasn’t the problem, it was the 34 tunnels across the border and plans to attack on a Jewish Holy day for Mass Casualties.. (You can also include the 160 children killed digging those tunnels if you’d like)

        And in this current conflict? UN has hardly condemned Hamas. Which is what I am referring to.

        Casual glance shows Israel being accused of war crimes for not sharing their Missile Defense,
        Condemns Israel for invading Palestine.
        Condemns Israel for killing Civilians.
        Condemns Israel for destroying a UN School (After it was evacuated, and proven to hold Missiles.)
        Condemns Israel for destroying a Hospital (After it was confirmed evacuated, Twice, and shown to be used as a firing point for rockets and small arms)

        Condemns Hamas for… Breaking the Cease fire.

        Condemned Hamas for storing Weapons in a UN School. (After Acknowledging that UN Protocol gave those rockets right back to Hamas)

        I’m only speaking since the beginning of the Invasion. Yes, the UN has condemned Hamas in it’s history.

      • Macbeth suffers for it throughout. It is a tragedy, not a political commentary. It is Balanced in that his actions are blatantly and demonstrably wrong. There is no justification for his actions provided.

        Bingo! I think we have a worthwhile insight here. Your comment shows that the big difference between Macbeth and the PLO terrorists in the opera is that Macbeth suffers and the PLO terrorists don’t. Macbeth could not convince himself that he was pursuing some greater good. The PLO terrorists had convinced themselves all too easily with the lines of dialogue that many folks here object to.

        Here is the key distinction: the only people who think that the highjacking of the Achille Lauro and the murder of Leon Klinghoffer are justified were the PLO terrorists. We know that there is no justification for what they did, and Adams/Goodman do too. Nobody is fooled by the PLO terrorists’ rationalizations except the terrorists themselves. Klinghoffer himself wasn’t fooled. In the moments before he was murdered, he called them out in no uncertain terms. In fact, as the opera progresses, the PLO terrorists receive increasingly *un*sympathetic treatment from Adams and Goodman. Therefore, the opera does *not* justify the PLO terrorists or their deeds.

        Back to current events: I think that Hamas is the worst thing that ever happened to the Palestinians and that most of the people probably regret voting them into power.

      • Leading up the entire way, the Opera provides justifications, complaining about the Abuse Palestinians took at the hands of Israel… Yes. Klinghoffer, the Evil Greedy Jew they’ve been complaining about the entire time (Jew, not Klinghoffer specifically) confronts them.. but why should anyone listen when they’ve had an entire Opera of juxtaposition of the Oppressed Palestinians and the Greedy Jews?

      • Correction: the PLO terrorists provide the justifications. The opera bears witness to the horrors of their subsequent actions.

      • Correction: The PLO Terrorists are the Main “Protagonists” of the Opera. (In quotes because that is a question of viewpoint)

      • Huh? They are very clearly antagonists. Look, feel free to not like the opera, but at least have a credible reason for doing so.

      • I think you give the Palestinians too much credit. They knew what Hamas was when they voted for it. Those who opposed Hamas were in the minority. Those who voted Hamas into power are culpable for the recent death toll, including the civilians they’ve sacrificed for PR purposes and the group of suspected informants, including women, that they recently shoved into a busy intersection with their hands tied behind their backs, waited for a crowd to gather, including children, and then shot the suspects in the head one at a time.

      • Those who voted Hamas into power are culpable for the recent death toll,

        Blaming the victims. What is it about human psychology that makes people blame the victims?

      • I didn’t blame the victims. I blamed the ones responsible for putting the terrorists into power. I blamed the perpetrators.

        I don’t blame the innocent children or the people who voted against Hamas.

        I hold the Muslim terrorists responsible for their own actions, and I hold the people who supported them and voted them into power responsible for their actions as well.

      • Yes, let’s kill people for voting for people we don’t like. That sounds like the kind of “hearts and minds” strategy that will win us oodles of new supporters in the mideast.

      • Are you completely mad? Who’s the victim here? Who started all this? Who was sending rockets trying to reach as many civilians as possible and this was (and still is) 100% supported by palestinians! The only victims in this story is Israel and its people. PERIOD, how your favorite president loved to say!

      • You are right. Many Americans have no knowledge of our own history, let alone the history of other parts of the world, and just soak up the extreme leftist propaganda of our hack news organizations. People actually think there was once a place called Palestine and the Jews/Israel stole it. It’s ludicrous. And the Nazi reference is not a case of “Godwin’s Law,” because Muslim terrorists have their roots in the Muslim Brotherhood, which was spawned by the pact made between Hitler and Muslim leaders during WWII. They both wanted Jews and other undesirables “exterminated.” They both wanted world domination. Hitler hope that the Muslims would rid the African continent of Jews for him. The Nazis were defeated, but their ideology lived on and is being perpetrated on the world as we speak. This opera sounds like it pleasantly accepts and repeats terrorist propaganda as fact. Some people do not know the difference between good and evil.

      • This opera sounds like it pleasantly accepts and repeats terrorist propaganda as fact.

        It does nothing of the kind.

      • I’m a big fan of John Adams, and part of the reason why I’m so active on this comment thread is that I’m incensed that the Met backed down on its plans to do an HD simulcast around the country. I was getting all set to buy tickets when the cancellation was announced. Not everyone can get to Lincoln Center, and this opera is not something that just any theater can do.

      • Michael, large parts of your comment were copied and pasted from a New York Times article, without attribution. That’s plagiarism, dude. You’re also ripping quotes out of context, and making baseless accusations of antisemitism. At the same time, you didn’t address Nullifidian’s highlighting of several misrepresentations in Mr. West’s post – the non-existent graffiti, for one. He also claimed that Leon Klinghoffer was pushed off the Achille Lauro “to his death”. Not so. He was already dead when the terrorists threw him overboard. This doesn’t make their actions any less heinous; it simply highlights Mr. West’s seeming disinterest in the facts of the matter.

      • No. I took exactly one thing without attribution. And given the out of classroom context, accuse me of plagiarism to your hearts content.

        What context makes those quotes okay? Dropping an entire section of the Opera because of the anti semitic caricatures of jews… what “context” makes that okay?

        What context makes accusations of genocide and slaughter equitable to nostalgia for landmarks?

        Please enlighten me to the context that makes it okay.

      • The Rumor family scene is no more antisemitic than an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”. Really, your objections are overwrought and have no basis in actual 1st-hand experience of the opera. Nullifidian answered you in detail and in depth – I see no need to reinvent the wheel here.

      • You forgot the Anti-semitism he removed, only after complaints… Like “The Rumors”…. the ‘Traditional’ jewish couple.

        I can assure you, I haven’t forgotten it. Speaking of “complaints”, it’s interesting to note that there were American and international reviewers at the Brussels premiere at La Monnaie, that NPR broadcast the Brussels performance nationwide, but it’s only after the Brooklyn Academy of Music performance that people started to object to ‘anti-Semitism’ in this portrayal. If the scene were so clearly beyond the pale, why was the outrage on such a low boil for so long?

        Or the Anti-semites who argued that the removed “Rumor family” couldn’t have been racist or anti-semitic because it was totally accurate to the common Jewish family…

        Ah, I see. So anyone who takes a view of this scene different from you is obviously an anti-Semite. Nice to know where we stand.

        As a matter of fact, there is nothing anti-Semitic in the Rumor family scene unless you make the wholly unjustified assumption that people who present themselves in a grandiose world-historic style are to be taken more seriously than ordinary people with ordinary concerns. There wasn’t anything in the Rumor family scene that you can’t find on film or on stage in the work of those raging anti-Semites Neil Simon and Woody Allen. Seriously, compare the squabbling Rumors with the father and mother in Hannah and Her Sisters, for example.

        Mr. Rumor sits crankily with a television remote control in hand, squabbling with his missus over the tourist items she picks up every time they travel. She berates him for spending so much time on the toilet overseas, and also manages to suggest to her son that he check out Myrt Epstein’s daughters. The music burbles along like a theme song from a 1950’s television show, raising its voice along with the family’s. In the midst of this bourgeois fricasee, Mrs. Rumor spots an item in the newspaper about Yasir Arafat, the Palestinian leader, and is outraged.

        You really should use quotation marks and cite your sources, rather than plagiarize in order to try to delude people into believing that you have some inside information. It’s more honest, and it would prevent moments like these when I rebuke you for using a review written 23 years ago by Edward Rothstein as your own words.

        But actually, you make my case for me. This is only “anti-Semitic” if you assume that the Jews deserve to be portrayed in a grandiose fashion, as in Hugo Weisgall’s opera Esther, and any denial of their just desserts equals anti-Semitism. In fact, I’d like to have the Rumor family scene back, as much as it throws off the aesthetic (not moral or political) balance of the piece by adding 30 minutes to the first act, because it does sum up the opera, but not in the way you think it does. What the opera is about is the quiet dignity of little people living little lives whose routines are suddenly and dramatically and violently, in this case, broken in on by history. But this grandiosity isn’t allowed to go unchallenged. Leon Klinghoffer courageously stands up to the terrorists, disparaging their elaborate rationales for what they’re doing, and quietly comforts Marilyn by drawing her attention to a gull circling and joking about bringing home a tan. In this reading, the Rumor family scene is philo-Semitic and nothing more scandalous than the wry, self-mocking humor Jews have been famous for since forever (Alice Goodman, though now an Anglican priest, was raised Jewish and identified as such at the time) and the scene unlocks the other philo-Semitic elements of the opera.

        Or your comment on the two Exiled people’s songs…

        Where the Palestinians comment on their destroyed homes (By Israelis in 1948) and further acts of destruction by Israelis, finally threatening with violence…

        And the Jewish people… Well it mentions their tourism and sight-seeing… And how much they enjoyed their devotional sentiment about the promised land… Yet somehow… COMPLETELY fails to mention anything about any of the History of the Jewish people in Israel. First or Second Kingdom…

        Bingo. Nailed it. You’re not only presenting an extremely reductive and biased view of the choruses, but you’re also highlighting the very thing that I said motivated these accusations of “anti-Semitism”: you can’t stand the fact that the Jewish characters are not given the same groundbreaking, earth-shattering world-historical perspective that you think the Palestinians are being given. The fact that there could be more worth in quiet lives and quiet dignity than bestriding the world like a colossus while armed with an AK-47 doesn’t occur to you. But it did to Adams and Goodman. You can see the same thing in Nixon in China. They do portray the talks, and a large reception, but the majority of the story is told as if from the side. Pat Nixon gets a big role visiting the Chinese countryside, going to factories, behaving as a cross between an emissary and a tourist. And that doesn’t make her ridiculous, it makes her well-balanced and not overawed by the magnitude of events taking place around her. The title could be read as ambiguous: is the “Nixon” Richard or Pat? That’s the aesthetic world Goodman and Adams live in: people living ordinary lives through extraordinary circumstances. The fact that you want the Jews to be portrayed as extraordinary heroes to match their extraordinary circumstances, and think that anything less is evidence of anti-Semitic intent, completely misunderstands their aesthetics and their philosophy.

        So… Palestinians claims about destruction and genocide and their country being destroyed…. vs Jewish people complaining about not being able to go sight-seeing?

        Yep. Seems balanced and totally not anti-Semitic at all..

        If it seems unbalanced, it’s because your ideology has made it that way. What you describe as “not being allowed to go sight-seeing” is actually a poignant representation of ordinary life in Israel, like movie houses being picketed by the Orthodox, which are sights people can see because the state of Israel is there.

      • Looking back at a Review of the Opera from it’s Brussels production.

        http://www.nytimes.com/1991/03/21/arts/review-opera-from-an-episode-of-terrorism-adams-s-death-of-klinghoffer.html

        They hardly touch the actual CONTENT.. and are focused on the actual production…

        And i find it perfectly reasonable that the first widely performance widely attended by Americans led to outcry.

        You’re implying that because the first performance wasn’t protested, there wasn’t a problem?

        And if you look around. You’ll see that some reviews DID mention criticism at the 1991 Brussels performance

        http://www.nytimes.com/1991/03/21/arts/review-opera-from-an-episode-of-terrorism-adams-s-death-of-klinghoffer.html

        Takes a view different from me? No. Using offensive stereotypes, Yes. That is a problem.

        It’s not saying they should be displayed in a Grandoise fashion. It’s saying that when they ARE displayed in a manner consistent with every offensive Stereotype of Jews… There is a problem.

        Yes, My problem is balance. Because it’s not a question of Quiet dignity vs Delusions of Grandeur… A narrative is put forth, by the Terrorists, and never questioned, except by a jew… The very thing they’ve spent the entire opera degrading.

      • They hardly touch the actual CONTENT.. and are focused on the actual production…

        Fine, so what about all the others? What about the NPR nationwide broadcast?

        And i find it perfectly reasonable that the first widely performance widely attended by Americans led to outcry.

        You do? I don’t. Why would you, unless you assume that only Americans are capable of detecting anti-Semitism when they see it?

        And if you look around. You’ll see that some reviews DID mention criticism at the 1991 Brussels performance

        And then you provide me with a link to a review by John Rockwell which doesn’t mention anything of the kind. Sure, the reviews of the production were mixed, and this review itself isn’t a rave, but they weren’t screaming about anti-Semitism until the Brooklyn performance. So, again, it’s proper to ask: what changed? What made an opera that “deliberately cools passions into meditations from afar” to quote Rockwell turn into a raving anti-Semitic attack?

        It’s not saying they should be displayed in a Grandoise fashion.

        Yes, you were. You objected to the fact that the Palestinians were given a historical record of oppression during and since the Nakba, and the Jews weren’t permitted a long theological discourse on the Biblical history of Israel and the expectation of the Messiah in the “Chorus of the Exiled Jews” segment. Despite the fact that the opera does go into the religious history later, particularly with the Hagar chorus, the mythical moment when Islam and Judaism split.

        It’s saying that when they ARE displayed in a manner consistent with every offensive Stereotype of Jews… There is a problem.

        Every offensive stereotype (why did you capitalize it?) of Jews? So the Klinghoffers and the Rumors were portrayed as killing gentile children and mixing their blood to make matzohs? They were portrayed as hooked-nosed masters of the world, secretly pulling the strings of the world’s governments? No. What you, in your typically overwrought vein, describe as “every offensive stereotype of Jews” was actually just a harmless bit of domestic comedy that is indistinguishable in tone from that produced by Neil Simon and Woody Allen, as I already stated (and which you ignored). If we aren’t to call Jews themselves anti-Semites—and this includes Alice Goodman, the librettist—then we have to drop the idea that this bridge-and-tunnel sitcom was a monumental offense to the Jewish people.

        Yes, My problem is balance. Because it’s not a question of Quiet dignity vs Delusions of Grandeur… A narrative is put forth, by the Terrorists, and never questioned, except by a jew..

        Who do you want it questioned by? Some Fox News talking head? The Voice of God Himself? Really, what kind of opera would have you produced, if you could rewrite the libretto and get Adams to score it? Be specific. How is any librettist trying to stay within at least calling distance of the facts supposed to invent characters willy-nilly to tell the audience what to feel about what’s going on? And why would they want to?

        The very thing they’ve spent the entire opera degrading.

        Please prove that the opera spends its entire time between the opening and the Klinghoffer/”Rambo”.confrontation degrading Jews. This means showing that the entirety of the 80 minute first act is anti-Semitic. Good luck.

      • If NPR is involved, you know it is anti-Semitic. They are against Jews and Christians. They keep the chaos in an uproar all the time with their race baiting, and complete backing of everything immoral and perverted. They claim right is wrong and wrong is right. They are the mouth piece for the Democrats. They push the Progressive agenda pushing for the NWO

      • There is no content here for me to deal with. If you want to have a conversation, take off the tinfoil hat.

    • The Libretto justifying the Palestinian actions?

      “Of that house, not a wall
      In which a bird might nest
      Was left to stand.
      Israel Laid all to waste.”

      Let the supplanter look

      Upon his work. Our faith

      Will take the stones he broke
      And break his teeth.

      Specifically “The supplanter”.

      “To take the place of”… IE they don’t belong there.

      and those last two lines…

      “Our faith, will take the stones he broke and break his teeth.”

      But what is going on while this singing takes place? Israeli soldiers beating and shoving and assaulting innocent Palestinians of course. Even slapping old women.

      vs…

      The Exile Jews starting complaining about lack of money.

      When I paid off the taxi
      I had no money left
      And, of course, no luggage
      My empty hands shall signify this passion
      Which itself remembers

      I was like a soldier

      I have forgotten how often
      We betrayed one another.

      Then it lists items in Israel. Important things like…
      The movie houses picketed by Hasidim
      The military barracks

      Yep.. obviously equal and fair representation.

      Nice try though…

      • It is plain that you haven’t seen the opera and are relying on 3rd-party misrepresentations of it. Where did you copy and paste this from?

      • Are you disputing that is what is said? Are you disputing the content? Or simply trying to attack credibility?

        Please, correct my errors in content.

      • I’m actually using the Movie version as reference.

        And Again, I ask, what context makes it acceptable?

      • Specifically “The supplanter”.

        Yes, that is the Palestinian view. Congratulations on having identified it. Now, can you show that the mere existence of this view is so obviously self-justifying that nobody can dispute it or disagree that it justifies everything the Palestinians do? I ask because that’s not been my experience of the Palestine/Israel debate.

        and those last two lines…

        “Our faith, will take the stones he broke and break his teeth.”

        It’s obvious that you can neither have seen nor heard this, because the the final word is broken into a jagged harmony (“te-eth”) that makes it deeply unsettling. The musical effect is alienating, not sympathetic. I can never hear it (and I’ve heard it often) without feeling a great sense of unease.

        The Exile Jews starting complaining about lack of money.

        Yeah, because they had just been released from the death camps! You may want to elide that fact, but I can assure that it’s not forgotten by the audience. Nor is it forgotten by Adams, whose languid, mournful setting perfectly conveys the monumental sense of loss.

        When I paid off the taxi
        I had no money left
        And, of course, no luggage
        My empty hands shall signify this passion
        Which itself remembers

        Again, someone wandering around with no means to feed themselves and nothing to their name is usually a sympathetic figure. Perhaps I’m making a mistake by pointing this out on such a right-wing website, because you’d no doubt tell them to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, right?

        Then it lists items in Israel. Important things like…The movie houses picketed by Hasidim
        The military barracks

        Yes, they are important to the Israelis, otherwise they wouldn’t be there.

        Yep.. obviously equal and fair representation.

        Nice try though…

        Yes, it is an equal and fair representation. Again, what you’re objecting to is the absence of some grandiose religio-historical narrative that justifies the existence of Israel. But Alice Goodman and John Adams aren’t interested in aggrandizement. Just because something may strike you as mundane doesn’t mean it’s unimportant. Not to me, and not, I’m willing to bet, to Adams and Goodman. For more on that, see my other response to you, which also discusses the same thing in their previous collaboration, Nixon in China.

      • The problem isn’t that the Palestinian view is presented. The problem is that is never confronted. Again, there is no Mitigation for it.

        There is no debate presented in it.

        Actually, I’m using the Movie version, and Yes. I have heard it.

        The Jagged Harmony can also imply passion. Think Gritting your teeth as you say it. YOU have a sympathetic viewpoint, so you see it as unsettling. “These guys are acting out of line”. I do not, so I see it as Passion.

        Again, my problem is NOT the fact that there IS the portrayal of the Israelis pushing out the Palestinians. (And Yes, I am going off the Film version). My problem is the balance.

        The Palestinian verses are shown during their oppression. The timing of Lines are key. When they speak about their food, water, and wood being sold to them… is when they are arming themselves. (Implying Taking it back from the greed)

        And Yes, the lines in question are used instead when the Mr. Klinghoffer and all the rich people are happily boarding the boat… Juxtaposing the misery of the Palestinians (the stones the broke) against the obvious joy and carefree attitude of the titular Jew.

        The first half of the Chorus of the Jews is mournful. The 2nd half is much more uptempo. But again, juxtapose to the visuals. (Movie). Rich jews with their suits and suitcases and luggage. Happy, Laughing Joking, Loving. Taking cruise ships etc.. Yes, it starts with The Death camps and tattoos. That takes approximately 3 minutes of the 10 minute scene.

        And again, Compare the two. They drove us from our homes, murdered and killed and oppressed…. compared to, well, I have nothing.

        Things important to the Israelis… You’re claiming that a Military Barracks is more culturally significant to the Israeli’s than the ENTIRETY of history in the region?

        And you don’t find it suspicious that The Palestinians complained about Israel’s violence and military oppression… then the Israelis are reassured to find the Military Barracks?… That doesn’t suggest a confirmation of the Palestinian opinion?

        You keep inferring that I am saying the Palestinians shouldn’t have a voice at all. Not true. I am saying that they need a balance to not be seen as anti-Israel.

        A historical analogy. I’ll even use Godwin’s law so you can hopefully understand it is Hypothetical.

        If I wrote an Opera with the Nazi’s singing about the Jews stealing their culture, bankrupting their people, corrupting their youth, and destroying their country…

        Followed by the Jews singing about the Nazi’s taking their property and money….

        would that be a fair representation? If I completely left out the Pogroms and violence and laws, and oppression?

        That is what I see here. The Palestinians are portrayed VERY sympathetically. And there is no mitigation, there is no acceptance of their share of blame.

        You’re saying I want an aggrandizement of Israel. Yes and No. I want a balanced approach to Palestine. If Palestine is aggrandized, then YES, Israel should be. If they did not aggrandize Palestine, it would be fine.

        But the entire lament of the Palestinians is aggrandizing and blaming Israel as oppressors. I may misinterpret it… but I understood Buying their food, water and wood to be implying the Jews Selling them their own food, water and wood. The Jews kicked them out of their rightful country. The Jews did this, The Jews did that.

        There is NOTHING to justify the Israeli position.

        I don’t seek Aggrandizement, Just balance.

      • The problem isn’t that the Palestinian view is presented. The problem is that is never confronted. Again, there is no Mitigation for it.

        How do you know?

        Actually, I’m using the Movie version, and Yes. I have heard it.

        Then we can finish right here. You’re basing your idea of what the opera is like on a presentation over which the composer and librettist had no artistic control. That is idiotic.

        But you also lied even about the content of the movie. You claimed the final verses of the “Chorus of Exiled Palestinians” came amid scenes of Israelis pushing old women and such. This physical violence not depicted: the Palestinian grandmother was led gently away by the father, and not touched by the Israeli, who just pointed his gun and shouted. The pushing that was done, if any, was done by the Palestinians to each other in the crowd shots as they rushed to get away. There are only two direct scenes of violence: one where a boy is grabbed roughly by the shoulder and yelled at for throwing stones (something that gets kids shot in Palestine today), and one where the main Israeli figure shot a Palestinian who had drawn a bead on him. Really, the whole piece is largely suggestion created by a bunch of shots of people running and shoving and yelling indistinctly. Now, not only that, but you claimed this imagery from 1948 was seen over the last verses of the chorus. This too was a lie. At 4 minutes and 20 seconds in, the scene switches dramatically from black-and-white to color, and from 1948 to 1985. You’d have to be blind to miss it. And this section in 1985 contains all of the complaints of maltreatment since 1948, starting with “Not a wall in which a bird might nest was left to stand”. When the chorus sings “Our faith will take the stones he broke and break his teeth” we’re seeing the passengers, including the four terrorists, walking to the Achille Lauro.

        The Jagged Harmony can also imply passion. Think Gritting your teeth as you say it. YOU have a sympathetic viewpoint, so you see it as unsettling. “These guys are acting out of line”. I do not, so I see it as Passion.

        So I’m a sympathizer, and therefore I see it as out of line, whereas you don’t sympathize with the Palestinians, therefore you see it as heroic passion? I think you might want to check your definition of “sympathize”. It’s ironic that you’re turning yourself into the biggest terrorist sympathizer in order to paint this opera in that light. This opera is about the murder of an unarmed, elderly man in a wheelchair. How much commentary do you think is needed to make that look unsympathetic?

        The Palestinian verses are shown during their oppression. The timing of Lines are key. When they speak about their food, water, and wood being sold to them… is when they are arming themselves. (Implying Taking it back from the greed)

        It implies no such thing. And, again, even assuming such an implication were intended by the director, Penny Woolcock, how can a TV movie broadcast a dozen years after the premiere and eleven before the Met staging possibly have any bearing on anything? The Met is NOT SCREENING THE FILM; they are staging the opera. There is a difference. Penny Woolcock has no role in this production. And having seen the production that will be staged at the Met at the Long Beach Opera, I can tell you myself that the only commonality between the Woolcock TV movie and the staged opera is that they both feature this Klinghoffer guy.

        For brevity, I’m going to skip the umpteen similar complaints for the reasons I’ve just given.

        And again, Compare the two. They drove us from our homes, murdered and killed and oppressed…. compared to, well, I have nothing.

        If you have nothing because you’ve just been released from the horrors of the camps, then I think that this does balance out. I’m seriously wondering what kind of world you inhabit where having survived Auschwitz, Belsen, and Dachau is a cakewalk compared to being turned out of your home (and never mind that the Jews had to be first turned out of their homes to be put on the cattle cars).

        Things important to the Israelis… You’re claiming that a Military Barracks is more culturally significant to the Israeli’s than the ENTIRETY of history in the region?

        Did I say more culturally significant? No.

        I reject the idea that you have to go for the most culturally significant fact of Jewish life in Israel when depicting it. Despite your claims to the contrary, you are stuck in the mindset that if the Jews don’t get a depiction equal in its world-historical grandiosity to the Palestinians, that this is somehow a slight to the Jews.

        You keep inferring that I am saying the Palestinians shouldn’t have a voice at all. Not true. I am saying that they need a balance to not be seen as anti-Israel.

        And yet you keep on ticking Adams and Goodman off for actually daring to include the Palestinian perspective. You don’t like it that they say their homes were taken from them and razed. You don’t like it that they say their land is occupied and the fruits of that land are now being sold back to them. You don’t like the fact that the Palestinians say anti-Semitic things, even though anti-Semitism is, regrettably, quite common in Palestine. You don’t seem to want people who will say the things that they are likely to say.

        And that not only goes for the Palestinians, but also for the Jews. Have you ever talked to a Holocaust survivor? Have you ever talked to the children of survivors? When you’re coming out of a death camp with no money and no food and no direction, is that the time to rant about establishing the Third Temple? Is that the time to boast about David and Solomon? Is that even the time to go into horrific detail about the medical experiments and the diseases and the gas chambers and the crematoria? The answer to all that is NO. The survivors never liked talking about the Holocaust, which is why the first books on it, especially memoirs, were rare and intermittent until about the 60s. Everyone who experienced it—and I had a grandfather who liberated one of the camps—was shocked by it. The Jews were shocked to have lived through it, shocked by the losses they experienced, and the Allied soldiers were just revolted by the ash and the ovens and gas chambers (many demolished, but often enough left to see what they were) and the emaciated bodies. That kind of thing doesn’t lend itself to self-conscious Zionist heroics, however much the historical memory has drawn a straight line through the Holocaust to the founding of Israel.

        A historical analogy. I’ll even use Godwin’s law so you can hopefully understand it is Hypothetical.

        If I wrote an Opera with the Nazi’s singing about the Jews stealing their culture, bankrupting their people, corrupting their youth, and destroying their country…

        Followed by the Jews singing about the Nazi’s taking their property and money….

        Now all you need to do to show that this analogy applies is to demonstrate that the Jews in Klinghoffer were exulting over having taken the Palestinians’ land and brutalizing the population. But you can’t, because there is no such content in the opera.

        That is what I see here.

        To be blunt, your opinion doesn’t count for much. You have repeatedly failed to make the distinction between the opera and a particular television version shown 12 years later. You bring up the television version as if it has something to say about a staged version that is being presented eleven years later than the made-for-TV version. You haven’t shown any evidence of familiarity with the work beyond the clips available on Youtube. You definitely haven’t shown any familiarity with this staging, which I have seen and am willing to bet you have not. And finally you make ridiculous analogies that aren’t analogous. There’s no reason to take you seriously.

        I’m skipping the rest because there’s nothing new in it, just rehashes of the same tired complaints and misrepresentations.

      • The Palestinians are occupying Israel’s land. They need to leave and go to the lands set aside for them. All Jews were to go to Israel and all Muslims to Jordan. When the Ottoman Empire broke up, the land was split in half. Half to the Jews, half to the Muslims. The so called Palestinians (Arafat gave them that name, they were not even a people, they were nomads who roamed the country, much like our gypsies. They are considered low class thieves and liars by the Muslims, That is why both Jordan and Egypt kicked them all out of their lands. They do not want those people so they shoved them off on Israel. Israel traded land for peace, but never got the peace. I think they should ship them all over the borders of Jordan and Egypt and tell them, they are their problem. They belong with other Muslims not with the Jews

  28. If you would make this a play where Muslims are portrait as the bad guy, all Hell would break lose, people would demonstrate in masses!

  29. Shall we just sit and talk about how the United states has been turned on its head in a bucket of nasty water? Or stand up and yell louder than the insane?

  30. This is the same crowd that says Robin Williams was racist for doing that skit of an Iranian woman in a veil saying “help me”.

    • This is to John, Ken and others who think like you. The majority of Jews lean left for historical reasons. However, we can be found across the political spectrum here, in Israel and around the world. Many of us feel informed by our Judaism to fight against segregation, inequality, attacks against women and choice, voting impositions and unregulated markets. We support Israel. We are liberal, for many, because we are Jewish. We don’t need conservatives and fundamentalist Christians to correct our way. Many who speak for positions dreaded by Jews have nothing to do with liberals or others further to the left. A majority of them are ultraconservative and reactionary masquerading as liberal fodder for extreme right wing media.

      • If its true that Judaism teaches you to fight against segregation, inequality, attacks against women and choice, and voting impositions. Then why in the hell do you ever vote Democrat?? That makes zero sense. And as far as I’m concerned unregulated (to a point) markets are a good thing.

      • Because it’s the *Democrats*, not Republicans, who now fight for integration, equality, women’s rights and voting rights. The Republicans are conspicuously against these things.
        And loosening the regs on the financial market led directly to the Great Recession of 2008. Sorry, there’s has to be rules, and someone has to enforce them.

      • The democrats are the party of the uber rich and the uber poor. And as for ‘rights’, women, blacks and your gay friends all have the same rights as I. That is the right to LIFE, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT of Happiness, thats it, nothing more, nothing less. If you and your democrat friends want to buy birth control for Sandra Fluke, take it out of your paycheck, not mine. The democrats think they have a ‘RIGHT’ to everyone else’s labor.

      • You are kidding right? When Republicans pass laws to restrict women’s choice and control over their bodies, when that party, the Republican party, pass laws to restrict voting access that primarily targets African Americans, Latinos, Women, Students, the elderly; when the Republican party attracts racists, anti-semites, misogynists, and other forms of bigots; when the Republican party attacks workers and their right to collective bargain..that is the party most Jews find abhorrent. Oh, those unregulated markets that you praise led us to the worst economic disaster in over half a century, explosions in Texas, oil spills, toxic wastes, and so many other kinds of disasters.

      • YOU are kidding right? Everyone of your points is ALL Communist Propaganda!! No wonder the Jews went like sheep to the slaughter!

      • You are unbelievable, sir. What you’re mentioning in your post is the deeds of Dems, not Republicans. Jews always were cowards – and I’m not afraid to say that. They always were with people who, Jews believed, would “protect” them on social arena because they’re “fighting” for the good of underclass. Jews thought that if they would be for the “oppressed”, then the “oppressed” would like them. That’s why they never fought back: when pogroms in Russia and Europe happened – Jews never fought back and you know what happened during the WWII. And today, American Jews again follow the path by voting with democrats and for our golf-in-charge president, who hates their guts and works on destroying Israel – the only hope for Jews in the world to survive. You are brainwashed to the point of no return – stop being a fool. You make me sick. Really!

      • That’s why they never fought back: when pogroms in Russia and Europe
        happened – Jews never fought back and you know what happened during the
        WWII.

        Jewish students formed self-defense groups during the pogroms in Ukraine in 1881 and later in Russia in 1905. As for WWII, was the Warsaw Uprising a warm handshake and a welcome to the neighborhood for the Germans?

        And today, American Jews again follow the path by voting with democrats and for our golf-in-charge president, who hates their guts and works on destroying Israel….

        If you think that Obama hates Israel, you’ve been sheltered from exactly what hatred of Israel actually is.

        And if he wanted to ‘destroy Israel’, the simplest way is to use his line item veto to nix all military aid to the country. He could have done it and hasn’t. In fact, next fiscal year’s package is predicted to be bigger than last year’s, despite the recent vivid demonstration of the kinds of things that Israel spends our money on.

        – the only hope for Jews in the world to survive.

        Apparently the world’s Jews don’t agree with you, because there are more Jews outside of Israel than inside. I’m sure those outside are all too aware that if they were to go to Israel, they’d be encouraged to go to settlements outside the 1967 borders and be cannon fodder for the political ambitions and lust for land of the right-wing parties. And the survival of Jews didn’t seem to be uppermost in the minds of those who forced birth control on Ethiopian Jewish immigrants.

      • “Self-defense groups” in Ukraine and in Russia in 1905? It was nothing! Most of the time Jews started trying to protect themselves when most of them were wiped out already. In 1905 in Russia there was a “Bloody Sunday” but it had nothing to do with Jews. Obama could “nix all military aid to the country”? This coward would never ever do that, although he’d love to do just that, but the outcry would be too big even for this scum… but instead he’d put a ban on flying to Israel, put a hold on already signed contract to deliver rockets needed during the war, and would be “mad as hell” on Israel for defending itself. If you don’t understand that Israel is the only hope for Jews all over the world to survive – you’re naive and without any clue of what’s going on around the world. Ethiopian Jews were first, saved by Israel from the complete destruction, you moron. You’re not just completely brainwashed by American’s left, but you’re getting all the garbage from Israeli’s left as well. Did you ever immigrated to another country? Do you know what it is? So, stop talking about “world’s Jews” not moving to Israel in millions. But at least, when ugly anti-Semitism starts to arise… Jews have the place to go to. Like what’s happening now with French Jews.

      • Interesting, in a clinical, abnormal psychology sense of “interesting”. You’re so committed to the line that only Israel can protect the Jews that you become positively disparaging about Jews who have historically banded together to protect themselves. Except for Warsaw. Even you weren’t going to touch that issue because disparaging the heroes of the Uprising was too much even for you, but a for a few poor Jews in a backwater like 19th century Ukraine, you have no problem with pouring ignominy all over them.

        Obama could “nix all military aid to the country”? This coward would
        never ever do that, although he’d love to do just that, but the outcry
        would be too big even for this scum…

        He’s a second term president. What kind of “outcry” do you think matters to him anymore? But more importantly, this shows how your paranoid ramblings are a completely closed loop. For everything that doesn’t fit, you invent another ad hoc justification to cover it. You’ll say anything as long as you stick to the approved script: Everything Israel Does Is Right, And Everything Obama Does Is Wrong.

        but instead he’d put a ban on flying to Israel,

        I guess the fact that there’s a similar ban on flights over eastern Ukraine and over Syria means that Obama has it in for Ukrainians and Syrians too. Or maybe the FAA will always make it a policy to ban flights over active war zones. But that doesn’t fit the paranoid narrative you’ve constructed for yourself.

        put a hold on already signed contract to deliver rockets needed during the war,

        Oh yes, “needed”. Hah.

        and would be “mad as hell” on Israel for defending itself.

        Yes, poor put-upon little Israel. The world just doesn’t understand why dropping thousands of tons of payload and obliterating whole villages while deliberately knocking out necessary utilities and places of refuge and care, like hospitals and homes for the aged, is a perfectly rational response to the deaths of three teenagers.

        If you don’t understand that Israel is the only hope for Jews all over
        the world to survive – you’re naive and without any clue of what’s going
        on around the world.

        Right, because of your screaming, flagrant paranoia.

        Ethiopian Jews were first, saved by Israel from the complete destruction, you moron.

        And in both major waves of emigration, international pressure had to brought to bear for Israel to take them in. In the 80s, they didn’t take the Ethiopians until as many as 5,000 of them died in Sudanese refugee camps. In the 1990s, it took more political pressure (much of it from the U.S. where our Jews, to their credit, are often more accepting of black people) to which Israel finally capitulated. And then they had birth control forced upon them because the Israeli establishment still had a problem with the number of schvartzes.

        You’re not just completely brainwashed by American’s left, but you’re getting all the garbage from Israeli’s left as well.

        Heavens above! There are even Israeli opponents of the slo-mo ethnic cleansing of Palestinians? I guess that means we’ll have to find some other land and call it “Israel” that these fifth columnists can be excluded from.

        Did you ever immigrated to another country? Do you know what it is?

        Yes, I do know what the difficulties are for the average immigrant. But then the countries I’ve thought of emigrating to haven’t established a worldwide “right of return” for people in my religious/ethnic class, there aren’t numerous charities whose sole purpose is to grease my way back to the land of my forefathers, and there are no right-wing political parties who will be enormously pleased to have me settle in Israel, especially if I’m willing to live in an illegal settlement over the 1967 borders and serve as cannon-fodder for their political and geographical ambitions. So in short, I’m of the opinion that Jews usually have it easier when they want to emigrate, unless they’re Beta Israel, of course.

      • Nullifidian, you’re a sick, completely brainwashed liberal who has no idea of reality and the concequinces of this reality. You take propaganda issues and present them as historical facts, which is sickening. If I am “positively disparaging about Jews”, you are “negatively disparaging” about hating them. What is even worse, that you honestly believe that you’re “well informed” about anything and everything you’re writing about. It’s not even funny.
        In regard to of getting my head “out of Cloud Cuckoo Land”, my head never was there – every little parcel of that land has been already taken by ignoramuses like you.

      • Innessa, you have it completely wrong. You don’t know Jewish, or for that matter, World History. The Pogroms and the Holocaust you cite were the result of what happens when the military arm of the state predates civilian populations. We are seeing it today in the middle east with ISIS. This is something to remember. Yes, 6,000,000+ Jews were murdered primarily by military organizations. However, when you think about who won WWll you have to consider that 600,000 Jews were in American military forces. Russia, had over a million. The clear majority of Russians who received honors and recognition were Jews. Russian Jews were wiping out Nazis. American-Jews were wiping out Nazis. Finally, the authors of nuclear war, the engineers and physicists who built the bomb and the deliverers were Jewish.

      • No I am not kidding! – its libs like you that promote rampant election fraud because you (white man) do not think other races are capable of getting a voter ID!!. And if that isn’t racist enough the war on women was started by your Ted Kennedy in Chappaquidick and perrpetuated by your Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner, Client #9 and a whole host of other liberal perverts. I have never seen bigotry and misogyny like I have in the democrat party, including Eric Holder and your hero, the incompetent Barrack Hussein Obama. Oh and collective bargaining like the auto companies had in Detroit? That worked out well, why don’t you go there and buy a house for $4.00? Democrats and unions are responsible for every slum in America, whereas unregulated markets have caused the most prosperity BY FAR. I would just love to know what you do for a living and why you are so ignorant, and did you ever put you life on the line for your country?? I doubt it!

      • Obviously you can’t. The majority of Jews voted for Obama. But then I hear the American Jews do not support Israel. Thank God, most Christians do. We will pray for God’s chosen people.

      • You mean the point that American Jews (for the most part) do not support Israel? Voting for the Muslim just proves how much they love their fellow Jews. We love Israel and support her as much as we can. We pray we can get a President that will not turn his back when Israel needs us

      • It was more like 70% than 80%, but a major reason is that we don’t want the theocracy that many Republicans seem to demand.

      • Plus the facts that the supremely unqualifed Sarah Palin was the VP candidate in 2008, and that Mitt Romney ran a tone-deaf and out of touch campaign in 2012.

      • You want to be ready when your “friends-liberals” come with the rope to hang you. That why you vote the way you do. As many Jews in fascist’s Germany, you want to believe in goodness of your enemies. No such thing, my friend.

  31. This is disgusting. The things called art these days makes me sick sometimes. I don’t understand why the Jews continue to support the liberals.

    • me too but it’s really only the liberal Jews here in America, but don’t you think they’d get a clue ? but there just like the majority of liberals brain dead, does not seem to be any rhyme or reason for what they think but somehow it makes sense to them. I don’t think we will ever understand it.

      • you know jews have a big problem… they continue to pussy foot around this issue. they vote for obama… they keep playing ‘cease fire’ and they stand still watching… i ask them why do you perpetuate your own misery and eventual demise? just a question… someone help me with this. i just don’t get it.

      • i ask them why do you perpetuate your own misery and eventual demise?

        “More than half of all Jewish adults (55%) have received a college degree, and a quarter (25%) have earned a graduate degree. The comparable figures for the total U.S. population are 29% and 6%. Jewish men are more likely than Jewish women to have college degrees (61% vs. 50%) and graduate degrees (29% vs. 21%).

        “Proportionally, slightly fewer adult Jews are currently employed (61%) than in the total U.S. population (65%), reflecting the older Jewish population. More than 60% of all employed Jews are in one of the three highest status job categories: professional/technical (41%), management and executive (13%), and business and finance (7%). In contrast, 46% of all Americans work in these three high status areas, including 29% in professional/technical jobs, 12% in management and executive positions, and 5% in business and finance.

        “The distribution of household income among Jews, especially at the high end of the income scale, reflects their relatively high education levels and high status jobs. More than one-third of Jewish households (34%) report income over $75,000, compared to 17% of all U.S. households. Proportionally fewer Jewish households (22%) than total U.S. households (28%) report household income under $25,000. The current median income of Jewish households is $54,000, 29% higher than the median U.S. household income of $42,000. In 1990, the median income of Jewish households was $39,000, 34% higher than the median income of $29,000 for all U.S. households.” (Source)

        Oh yes, how they do suffer here!

      • What are you implying? Maybe G-d just gives them additional income and additional skills to be successful? That what’s wrong with anti-Semites – jealousy! Jewish moms make kids read books, play violin, and become successful – that’s what their mom did. But don’t worry – soon in the States Jewish kids would be no different from others. Brainwashed moms now busy fighting for the rights of “underserved” and have no time to tell kids to read book and play violin.

      • What are you implying?

        I’m implying that Edward Przydzial is full of it when he claims that Jews are “perpetuat[ing their] own misery and demise” by voting for Democrats when in reality Jews in the United States have seldom been doing better.

      • If I’m not able to understand the point of a comment, you’re not able to see a satire in the point of comment. Not even gray substance in brain – it stopes working.

      • Oh, so you were satirizing the rhetoric of the typical Israeli apologist? Very well done. The tone was spot-on.

      • You are mistaken – this is what usually is said by anti-Semites not Israeli “apologists”. Israelis doesn’t need God to help them to come with hundreds of inventions; to become the best nation of start-up companies; the best in the world on the quantity and qualities of published research papers; to have so many Nobel Prize laureates; to be one of the best in so many areas: technology, science, pharmaceuticals; medicine; space technology; etc. They do it on their own… but maybe not… who knows!

      • this is what usually is said by anti-Semites

        No, it isn’t. Do yourself a favor and get your head out of Cloud Cuckoo Land.

      • This can’t be explained. Once I asked a Jewish woman why Jews vote democrats – she almost lost her conscience : she starts screaming that Republicans are liars, racists, anti-Semites, etc. She was shaking with disgust! She didn’t give a damn about Israel and told me that if I’m such a supporter of Israel, I should move over there. They are helpless – I believe that what’s going on in synagogues – they are brainwashed there. Why? I have no idea.

    • The performances are going forward, Edie. The Met is in no position to eat millions of dollars in production costs with nothing to show for it.

      • Oh they’ll eat it anyway. When this smelly dung pile is a failure. Hey do us a favor enfant. Come back here in a month or so and let all us wingnuts know how well it did. I bet it’s the next Don Giovani. Move over, Mozart, for some dude named Gelb.

      • You’re such a defendant of this horror, I believe you’re having a dance part in it: maybe dancing a Hymn of Killings among other cockroaches.

    • Did you know that The Death of Klinghoffer was first staged in 1991? And that it has enjoyed substantial critical acclaim? John Adams is one of our finest living composers and he’s also quite popular. The Met would be derelict in its artistic mission if it didn’t take on one of the greatest operas of the last 50 years.

    • Is this an attempt to exploit a family and Jews in general?

      Neither. It’s an attempt to bring all of John Adams’ operas to the Met. That’s why they also staged Nixon in China after Doctor Atomic. And now, thanks to ignoramuses like you, who haven’t seen or heard the work, but can be swung like a lariat to oppose it anyway, only two of these three operas will have gotten an international HD theater broadcast.

  32. By attaching Judaism and Christianity, I believe Mr. Gelb see’s himself as enlightened. What he is though is a sniveling little coward. There is no way in hell he would even consider allowing the production of a piece attacking the Muslim religion because he is afraid they would decapitate him. Which they probably would.

    • A coward for producing a controversial opera? So a brave man would bow to the demands of a few wingnuts and cancel? What kind of upside-down world do you live in?

      • Like the “wingnuts” that pushed Leon Klinghoffer off the Achille Lauro? “Wingnuts” like that? And I betcha if there was a Muslim uproar about some opera they didn’t like, the Met would cancel it.

      • Just because there are wingnuts on the PLO side doesn’t mean there aren’t wingnuts on *your* side.

  33. I am sure that when this truly awful piece of leftist agitprop and outright pro-Islamist, pro-terrorist Jew-hatred opens, there will be plenty of trendy New York glitterari and culture vultures (many of them unfortunately deluded, guilt-ridden, oikophobic, self-hating Jews themselves) who will be in the audience who will praise it as “courageous,” “edgy,” “daring,” “ground-breaking,” “thought provoking” and all kinds of other ridiculous adjectives of approval. They will also be so busy vigorously patting themselves on the back for being so “broad-minded,” “tolerant” and “brave” for “supporting artistic freedom” and “opposing censorship” that they will sprain their own arms.

    But of course, if the opera had been about any of the taboo topics Michele Hickford outlined in tongue-in-cheek fashion above (i.e., skewering favored liberal “victim groups”), these same paragons of tolerance and free expression would be vociferously denouncing it as “racist,” and “mean-spirited,” demanding that it be shut down and demanding that Mr. Gelb or whoever else green-lighted such a production be tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail.

    What will Mr. Gelb do for an encore next season – promote an operatic version of “Mein Kampf”?

      • I’ll tell you. I haven’t seen it. I’m not in the habit of seeing awful, crappy, ant-semitic operas in sh*thole cities like New York
        I like how you both are touching d*cks now though. “America is one big Jew”, right? Wait, wait, wait. This one is better. It really spoke to me: “wherever poor men are gathered, you can find jews getting fat”. I know, I haven’t seen it so I’m sure they either a. Don’t even say that or b. Allen west just twisted what they did say because he’s a “wingnut”. Either way it spoke to me, I’ve changed my world view, and now I hope dirty jews burn in a big israeli holocaust initiated by righteous, child raping, woman stoning palestinians. You filthy f#cking dumba$$es.

      • In Schindler’s List, some characters in German military uniforms said some antisemitic stuff. And Jews got killed and brutalized. That means that Schindler’s List is antisemitic, right?

      • Dude, I admire your persistence and stuff but surely there is a point past which you’re justified in giving up, no?

  34. This is pure evil at it’s best ! lies like these are what makes the isis animals believe what they are doing is okay. nothing could be farther from the truth.

  35. Mr. West, I wonder what prompted you to change the headline from something like “Think I’ll write an opera called ‘Michael Brown Deserved To Die” to the present headline? Which, by the way, is a bald-faced lie.

    • Haha you kid! Allen west would never bow to PC pressure! Only liberals should be (forced to) do that!

      In fact this whole thing is very funny from the perspective of the anti-pc rants frequently heard from the right. The redskins can call themselves whatever they want, but an opera considered by some morons to be antisemitic should not be staged because….?

      • You guysss… touching d*cks again. He probably changed it because filthy liberals like you would have lynched him to the nearest tree, which they already want to do to every black person and woman who’s left the Democrat plantation. And hey Joe, you idiot leftists CREATED bullsh*t PC Nazism so yes, you should be forced to live with it. Oh and when the Redskins start firing rockets onto the reservations, maybe your stupid a$$ analogy would make some semblance of sense.

  36. In the opera, the terrorists are presented as heroic freedom fighters, who have been forced by Jewish and Zionist oppression to take extreme actions … if this is the case Israel has already won by forcing the “freedom fighters” to take extreme actions and thereby making themselves odious to all nations and free societies

    At one stage, the terrorist leader says to Klinghoffer, “America is one big Jew.”

    Again they admit defeat since they want to be America… they love our cars, our buildings, our land, our movies, our Universities, etc. They are in love with The Great Satan. buahahahah

    • Yes, never in the history of theater have the bad guys ever said things that justified their bad actions. Get back on the planet!

    • In the story of Macbeth, the title character kills the King of Scotland, and arranges the deaths of his best friend, two children who are potential heirs to the throne, and others. What is your point?

      • Dont worry, soon they will ban Lolita, Crime and Punishment, and Fritz Lang’s M. Right after silence of the lambs.

      • This singles out a race of people that Arabs and Muslims in particular have hated for a very long time. No matter where this race goes there are folks that will do what ever it takes to eliminate them. It has been like that for over two thousand years..

      • Arabs/Muslims didn’t bear any hatred until the state of Israel was created, displacing the people who were already living there. And even then, their hatred was directed more to Israel than to Jews. Even so, there is no justification for what the PLO terrorists did on the Achille Lauro, and believe or not, that is one of the main points of the opera.

      • Nonsense, Enfant Terrible. You have picked an appropriate monicker for yourself. You are both infantile and terrible…and no nothing of history!

      • You have picked an appropriate moniker for yourself, Enfant Terrible. You are infantile and terrible and know nothing of history. In brief, if you had half a brain you would be dangerous!

      • To be perfectly accurate, there were laws hostile to Jews in many muslim empires (just like in medieval Christian europe) but they were treated no worse (and often better) than other non-muslims

      • WHAT? Please, tell me who was treated worse than Jews by Arabs for centuries. Where the hell you’re getting this nonsense from?

      • Nope, sorry, not the place for long historical essays. Start with Wikipedia, move to primary sources (druzes, kurds, yezidis ismailis etc ad nauseam).

      • Ya, Wikipedia is a great source for all the anti-Semites in the world: not a single true explanation of historical events in that piece of trash about Jews in the Palestine. Through the history, although Arabs always fought with everyone in their view, Jews were the worst enemies for these barbarians. But talking to you is as useless as talking to them – you’re from the same kind, hopelessly out of touch with reality.

      • So why did you start talking to me, if its so useless? More importantly, why didn’t you check the prumary sources of the wikipedia articles? Are they antisemitic as well?

      • NFORMATION ON WIKIPEDIA NOT VERIFIED

        It is a known fact that anyone, at any time can add and edit information in almost any article on Wikipedia. While the concept of having a community application where anyone can contribute and share information is a great idea, it is Wikipedia’s greatest downfall from an academic standpoint. This is why many educators prohibit students from citing articles on Wikipedia. There is no guarantee that the information that is credible. Wikipedia admits that not everything on their website is “accurate, comprehensive, or unbiased” (source). Wikipedia does not employ a process of peer review, as all academic journals do with their articles prior to publication. I

      • Right, and I told you to _start_ with Wikipedia and proceed to primary and secondary sources, which are often cited there. After that, you can explain to me how “NOT VERIFIED” is exactly the same as antisemitic.

        Nice use of caps though.

      • If you read what they put there in regard to Israel and Palestinians you MIGHT see my point. Using caps again to bring your attention ’cause sometimes I think that you were diagnosed while in school with ADD and drugs affected your sense of understanding facts.

      • Can I see your license to practice medicine or psychiatry?

        Please cite specific quotes from wikipedia or primary sources that Wikipedia cites that you consider to be antisemitic.

      • I’m with you innessa, I nearly fell off my chair when I read the famous enfant Terribles remark? Phew what a clown.

      • innessa, after reading Stavitsky’s comments, I am sure he was educated either in a PC liberal college, or by the Muslims. His idea’s come straight out of their books of hatred, with a screwed up idea of history. He had to have been taught that stuff at a young age for him to be so entrenched in it

      • When I read comments of these haters I really feel so sad and hopeless. What can we do? The world is a mess. In many instances thanks to people like them.

      • Did I already told you that you’re such an uneducated moron who has no idea of the history of that region? I believe I did, but I’ll repeat myself. “Arabs/Muslims didn’t bear any hatred until the state of Israel was created”? Are you serious? This is really a shocking statement! Just a few facts – from the beginning of the last century: 1919: arabs attacked Jew in the Jordan Valley and the Galilee: 1920: three days of rioting in Jerusalem; 1921: arabs attacked Jewish inhabitants of Jaffa, many Jews killed; 1929: anti-Jewish riots throughout Palestine… Need some more? Stop showing how ignorant and silly (I’m kind today) you are. PLEEEEEAAAASSSSEEEE!

      • Holy moly!!! Where have you been living? Muslims have been peaceful and bore no hatred until 1948? What liberal college did you go to and what is your degree in? Womens studies?

    • Why would the heck would they make an opera out of such an outrage of a crime.

      Because they felt they had something to say about it? Because there’s centuries of precedent for operas that contain stories of murder, even real-life murders (e.g. Auber’s Gustave III and Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, both based on the same historical assassination of a Swedish king)?

      It really is something to see people who largely know nothing about opera criticize this specific work for things that would damn much of the art form as a whole.

  37. It will fester if good men/women do nothing about it. The MET. has long ago lost it’s charm for me. If those of that care walk away they will eventually have to close it down.

  38. 6/8/11 From The Lord, Our God and Savior – The Word of The Lord Spoken to Timothy, For All Those Who Have Ears to Hear

    Thus says The Lord: The love of man has grown cold, and the heart of man has become increasingly wicked…

    Their hands work evil everyday, and with their feet they run swiftly to commit violence against their neighbor! Lo, they make plans and devise evil schemes against their neighbors! They murder the innocent without cause and rob the poor! Behold! They murder and dismember the helpless! And the heartless applaud them!… And every night, they love to lie down in their abominations…

    Therefore My face is set to consume them from off the land!… TO DESTROY THEM IN ALL THE EARTH! Wrath shall increase, and recompense shall overflow by measure! It shall come down like flooding rain, and the tears shall flow like streams of water in the waste places!… THE FACE OF WRATH IS SHOWN UP! THE HEAT OF VENGEANCE HAS COME FORTH TO KILL THE INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH!

    The Lord of Hosts has come out of His temple!…

    He has stepped down from His dwelling place

    To look upon the evil works of men,

    And to repay all this wickedness done by their hands!

    The Lord God of Hosts is come down!…

    To make the west as Sodom and the east as Gomorrah!

    The hand of The Lord is raised in battle! The arm of The Lord is stretched out to destroy! The army of The Lord rushes forward to slay His enemies and to deliver every captive!

    Behold! There shall be a great war declared against The Holy One of Israel, yet He shall strike through, laying their armies waste, slaying every last one of them with the sword of His mouth, consuming them in the brightness of His coming! Even all, who raise their fists against Him, shall surely perish in that day! For I am God!… AND I AM TO BE GREATLY FEARED! My reverence shall last throughout all generations, even forever! For I am Yah!… YaHuWaH is My name!

    ~ http://trumpetcallofgodonline.com/index.php5?title=I_AM_LORD

    THE TIME HAS COME!…

    Hear the WORD of the LORD spoken to THIS modern generation!…

    Letters from God and His Christ, given to a modern man for modern man’s sake!

  39. This is a really stupid article. The Met isn’t about to cancel the opera, as decisions on scheduling get made years in advance; the Met has contractual agreements that it would violate by cancelling. And it has been producing operas by Richard Wagner since just weeks after the company opened in 1883 (starting with Lohengrin on November 7 of that year); Wagner was a far worse anti-Semite than any composer alive today.

  40. The entertainment industry is filled with leftist’s who are out of touch with reality. I hope this disgusting perversion of the story attracts so few people it won’t be profitable for them to continue it. Too bad his family can’t prevent his death from in presented this terrible way.

  41. Boycotts seem to be the flavor of the day…

    Here’s a suggestion: The Jewish community should announce a permanent boycott on the Metropolitan opera. The boycott would only be removed after a suitable apology and show of remorse.

    • Haha, the “Jewish Community” thats funny. Did you hear about the Jew marooned on the Desert Island, he built 2 synagogues, 1 in which he prayed and 1 in which he never set foot

      • My advice is not to comment on stuff that is outside your “knowledge base”. It generally prevents people laughing at you.

      • “Libretto” is Italian for “little book” and in opera denotes the complete text—but just the text—that is to be sung (or sometimes in parts, but rarely, spoken). The combination of text and music is called the “score”. An individual section of an opera could be pretty much called anything, because they have different names depending on who and how many are doing the singing. There are arias for soloists, then duets, trios, quartets, quintets, sextets (such as the famous one from Lucia di Lammermoor), etc. depending on how many people are singing together. If all the chorus is singing, then it’s a chorus. And, in older operas, if they’re half-singing, half-speaking lines meant solely to convey information and further the plot, this is “recitative”.

        However, since you’re hypothesizing a musical, not an opera, the generic term for any musical piece there regardless of type is “song”.

        I hope this helps!

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