The Metropolitan Opera has sunk to a new low in its glorification of the Palestinian terrorist murder of wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer, on the Achille Lauro in 1995, say outraged Jewish groups. In its promotional materials, including a video on its official website, the Metropolitan Opera features a Palestinian terrorist pointing a gun at the back of a wheel-chair bound Klinghoffer, when he is about to murder him.
“The Met Opera is clearly trying to sell tickets off of an evil Palestinian terrorist who is in the process of murdering a crippled Jew in the back in cold-blood” said Mark Langfan, President of Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI). The group, headed by Langfan and Helen Freedman, is spearheading an unprecedented coalition of over 60 Jewish and non-Jewish organizations for the demonstration planned for this coming Monday, September 22, at 4:30 pm in front Metropolitan Opera at the Lincoln Center Plaza at Broadway and 65th Street.
For those of you who have forgotten what happened to Leon Klinghoffer HY"D (May God Avenge his blood)....Langfan said that the Met Opera’s clear organizational message is that “killing a Jew is not just a good thing, but it’s ‘Art.’ The Met Opera, and all its board of directors are actively promoting Jew-murder in its ugliest form. It’s rank, pure Jew-hate, anti-Semitism in its most vile form.”
In 1985, Klinghoffer, then 69, retired and in a wheelchair, was on a cruise on the Achille Lauro along with his wife Marilyn (née Windwehr), to celebrate their 36th wedding anniversary. On October 7, 1985, four hijackers from the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) took control of the liner off Egypt as it was sailing from Alexandria to Port Said, Egypt. Holding the passengers and crew hostage, they ordered the captain to sail to Tartus, Syria, and demanded the release of 50 Palestinians then in Israeli prisons, including the Lebanese prisoner Samir Kuntar.By the way, the Met isn't the first group to try to make an opera out of Klinghoffer's murder.
The next day, after being refused permission by the Syrian government to dock at Tartus, the hijackers singled out Klinghoffer, a Jew, for murder, shooting him in the forehead and chest as he sat in his wheelchair. They then forced the ship's barber and a waiter to throw his body and wheelchair overboard. Marilyn Klinghoffer, who did not witness the shooting, was told by the hijackers that he had been moved to the infirmary. She only learned the truth after the hijackers left the ship at Port Said. PLO Foreign Secretary Farouq Qaddumi said that perhaps the terminally ill Marilyn Klinghoffer had killed her husband for insurance money. However, the PLO later accepted full responsibility for murdering Mr. Klinghoffer.
Initially, the hijackers were granted safe passage to Tunisia, but U.S. President Ronald Reagan ordered a U.S. fighter plane to force the get-away plane to land at Naval Air Station Sigonella in Italy. After an extradition dispute, Italian authorities arrested and later tried the Palestinian terrorists, but let Abu Abbas fly to Yugoslavia.
Klinghoffer's body was found by the Syrians on October 14–15, and it was returned to the United States around October 20. His funeral, with 800 in attendance, was held at Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York City. Leon Klinghoffer was buried at Beth David Memorial Park in Kenilworth, New Jersey. Four months after her husband's murder, Marilyn Klinghoffer (October 5, 1926 – February 9, 1986) died of colon cancer, aged 59. The Klinghoffers are survived by two daughters, Ilsa and Lisa Klinghoffer.
American composer John Adams' second opera, The Death of Klinghoffer, based on the events of 1985, opened to great controversy in 1991. The concept for the opera was suggested by director Peter Sellars and it featured a libretto by Alice Goodman. The Los Angeles Opera shared in the work's commission but never presented it, after the work was criticized by some as overly sympathetic to the terrorists. A Prix Italia-winning television version of the opera, starring Sanford Sylvan and Christopher Maltman, and directed by Penny Woolcock, was screened by United Kingdom's Channel 4 in 2003.I hope that the Met goes out of business over this. And I hope that those of you in the New York area show up to demonstrate against it on Monday. Despicable....