Op-Ed: Klinghoffer Opera ‘Ode to Hijackers’ Still On at the Met

Only as farce does this work.
Published: Monday, June 23, 2014 2:52 AM


New Yorkers would buy no tickets to a Broadway musical that celebrates those Hamas kidnappers. So why stand for this?
 
If you’ve been reading that the Metropolitan Opera has cancelled “The Death of Klinghoffer” you’ve been reading it wrong.
 
Sneaky how they made a big announcement that is only half true in order to silence complaints that the opera is partly pregnant with anti-Semitism.
 

Europeans eat this up.
The worldwide telecast has been scrubbed, yes, you read that correctly, but live performances of this opera that justifies hell on earth will still be performed at Lincoln Center starting in October. I checked. The irony is too much from the Met website...
 
Which is happy to announce that tickets are available for performances Oct. 24 and glad to note that WHEELCHAIR LOCATIONS are available for needful patrons.
 
That much is in compliance with State and Federal guidelines, but were they laughing when they wrote that OUCH line?
 
Given the circumstances it comes across as mockery.
 
Many of us remember what happened as if it were yesterday. But it was 1985 when Palestinian Arab terrorists hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship and since this is what sub-humans do, they tossed Leon Klinghoffer overboard, a Jewish New Yorker, 69, and World War II hero -- while he was on deck sunbathing from his wheelchair.
 
At the time we thought that mankind had reached its lowest level of inhumanity, blissfully unaware that there was more to come.
 
But this was to be prelude to a world subsumed by Islamic terror…and it inspired composer John Adams to serenade murderous hijackers by means of an opera.
 
How have the mighty fallen?
 
We have gone from Beethoven’s Ode to Joy to Adams’ Ode to Terrorists.
 
The Metropolitan Opera – once home to Jewish legends Jan Peerce and Richard Tucker -- approves.
 
Adams says he needed to give the other side a chance to express itself. Jerk – let me know when Mr. Klinghoffer has a chance to express himself.
 
Is it anti-Semitic? People have been complaining since this “artistic work” was first presented somewhere in Europe in 1991. Europeans eat this up.
 
Since 9/11 you’d think it would be different in New York. Think Lincoln Center and think again.
 
Here are some of Adams’ operatic lyrics as provided by Ronn Torossian in the New York Post:
 
“We [the Palestinian Arabs] are soldiers fighting a war…we are not criminals and we are not vandals…but men of ideals.”
 
Like Mel Brooks’ Springtime for Hitler, only as farce does this work.
 
More “ideals” from this opera coming soon to the Met? “Whenever poor men are gathered they can find Jews getting fat…” It gets worse, but enough.
 
Anything wrong here? A touch of bigotry perhaps? Nope. Nothing wrong with that if you ask the Metropolitan Opera’s general manager Peter Gelb who is reported by the Post as saying that in composing the opera Adams “tried to understand the hijackers and their motivations.”
 
Where I come from to understand is to justify.
 
We live in a world that can’t tell right from wrong. Hold on to your seatbelts, children. The 21st Century is going to be a bumpy ride.
 
Jack Engelhard writes a regular column for Arutz Sheva. Engelhard wrote the int’l bestseller Indecent Proposal that was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. New from the novelist, the anti-BDS thriller Compulsive. Website: www.jackengelhard.com