Ronn TorossianThe author is CEO of 5WPR, 1 of the 25 largest PR Agencies in the US.
In helping to organize Monday's protest against the Metropolitan Opera’s decision to air the “The Death of Klinghoffer” at Lincoln Center, the fact that the mass of the major establishment organizations are nowhere to be found in speaking out about this issue is tremendously disheartening.
This is not a “right-wing” issue, or about Judea & Samaria – it is about celebrating the murderers of innocent people.
This play mocks a mockery of the killing of Leon Klinghoffer, a handicapped New York World War II veteran. While the show has widely been denounced as anti-Semitic and sympathetic to the hijackers, and was cancelled after 9/11, next week it will begin to be played in New York City.
While there will be many high-profile speakers at the protest outside from a multitude of backgrounds, including George Pataki, former governor of New York, Michael Mukasey, the former Attorney General of the United States, Dr. Bill Donahue, President, Catholic League, Morton Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America, Rabbi Avi Weiss, criminal defense attorney Ben Brafman, Assemblyman Dov Hikind, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis, Actor Tony LoBianco and others, the fact remains that the mass of the major establishment organizations are nowhere to be found on this issue.
Good concerned American Jews, like Helen Friedman of AFSI, Jeff Wiesenfeld, Hillary Markowitz, terror survivor Sarri Singer of Strength to Strength, activists from ZOA and a handful of others have spent weeks organizing on this issue to make sure a voice of moral conscience will be heard.
While the establishment has been silent, even worse is the Anti-Defamation League which has publicly said they approved of the Metropolitan Opera's decision to feature this anti-Semitic opera. The ADL proclaimed they were content with the show going on in New York – simply asinine proclamation for a play, which features a hijacker Molqi singing: “We are / soldiers fighting a war / We are not criminals / and we are not vandals / but men of ideals.”On stage, hijacker Rambo 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.” The ADL defends Anti-Semitism.
Meanwhile, the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) has spoken out forcefully against this travesty and is among the leadership of this event. They truthfully must be in the conscience globally of people fighting terrorism and anti-Semitism. They should be front and center as among the spokespersons for American Jewry.
How dare the ADL kosher a play which glorifies the murderers of a disabled New Yorker? The participation of the SWC, and their principled stance is important to note.
Organizations including the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Zionist Organization of America, AFSI, AMCHA, Catholic League, Christians’ Israel Public Action Campaign (CIPAC), Congregation Ohab Zedek, Edmond J. Safra Synagogue, Lincoln Square Synagogue, RAJE, One Israel Fund, Stand With Us, Strength to Strength, Westchester High School, Rambam Mesivta High School, Shalhevet High School for Girls and others will gather Monday, September 22nd at 4:30 PM, across the street from the Lincoln Center Plaza at Broadway & 65th Street to protest. Monday evening is the first night of the gala opening of the Metropolitan opera season.