Over a thousand protesters demonstrated Monday against the Metropolitan Opera's anti-Semitic “The Death of Klinghoffer” production, where they heard the moving words of the father of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl who was murdered by Al Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan in 2002.
Judea Pearl was unable to attend the event; instead, his message was delivered to the crowd in front of the Opera by Dr. Paul Brody, a leading member of the Coalition to Stop the Terrorist Klinghoffer Opera.
US citizen Leon Klinghoffer, was a 69-year-old wheelchair-bound passenger aboard the Achille Lauro ship which was hijacked by terrorists from the now-defunct Palestine Liberation Front. After identifying Klinghoffer as a Jew, the terrorists shot him and threw him off the ship along with his wheelchair - a callous act of murder which shocked the world.
"The Death of Klinghoffer" has been the subject of much anger among victims of terrorism, as well as human rights groups and the Jewish community, for attempting to justify the disabled man's murder.
As Brody spoke, Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb was seen entering the Met across the street, prompting the protesters to shout "shame on you" at the manager who has refused to cancel the opera that seeks to "understand" terrorist murderers of Jews.
Pearl's message opened with the words "in joining you today to protest...this opera, I echo the silenced voice of my son, Daniel Pearl, and the silenced voices of other victims of terror, including James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and including thousands of men, women and children who were murdered, maimed or left heartbroken by the new menace of our generation."
"(It is) a menace of savagery that the Met has decided to elevate to a normative, two-sided status, worthy of artistic expression," added Pearl, noting the composer reportedly tried to "understand the hijackers, their motivations, and their grievances."
Faulting the short-sightedness of the move, Pearl commented "there is nothing more enticing to a would-be terrorist than the prospect of broadcasting his 'grievances' in Lincoln Center, the icon of American culture."
"Yet civilized society...has learned to protect itself by codifying right from wrong, separating the holy from the profane, distinguishing that which deserves the sound of orchestras from that which deserves our unconditional revulsion," argued Pearl. "The Met has smeared this distinction and thus betrayed their contract with society."
The bereaved father went on "we do not stage operas for rapists and child molesters, and we do not compose symphonies for penetrating the minds of ISIS (Islamic State) executioners. No! Composer John Adams, some stories do not have two sides, and what was done to Leon Klinghoffer has one side only."
"What we are seeing here in New York today is not an artistic expression that challenges the limits of morality, but a moral deformity that challenges the limits of the art," stated Pearl. "This opera is not about the mentality of deranged terrorists, but about the judgment of our arts directors."
Pearl charged the Opera of "squandering" its "moral compass," and "our reverence for music as a noble expression of the human spirit."
"We might be able some day to forgive the Met for de-criminalizing brutal minds, but we will never forgive them for poisoning our music - for turning our best violins and our iconic concert halls into mega-phones for excusing evil," concluded Pearl's message.