Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Death of the Metropolitan Opera

Michael L.

KlinghofferSomewhere in the bowels of Lincoln Center, in New York City, is a heinously scarred Jewish hunchback, eating a hot pastrami sandwich while pawing a greasy, dog-eared copy of The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and plotting revenge upon Peter Gelb.

Or, so one hopes, anyways.

Gelb is the general manager of the Met and, thus, the man ultimately responsible for spreading genocidal anti-Jewish hatred to the general public in the guise of high art.  I imagine that they did not actually put that in his job description, but there it is.

The Death of Klinghoffer is high art.

I wonder if the editors at Time Magazine would consider an opera sympathetic to the Ku Klux Klan, depicting the lynching of a black man in the nineteenth-century American south to be appropriate?  Can you imagine a black man dangling by his neck from a tree in an opera about 1870s Alabama in which white blondey-folk in their Sunday best sing beneath the tree in a manner designed to be sympathetic to the audience?

And staged in New York City, no less?

No?  Because that is basically what we have here.

Klinghoffer, by the way, did not simply die.  He was murdered by Arab racists for no other reason than that he happened to be Jewish.

This opera, from what I have read elsewhere, is a consideration of the virtues of murderous racism and an invitation to wonder just why the assassination of random, crippled old Jews on the high seas is not necessarily an unreasonable act.

I have not, it should be noted, seen the opera and therefore am relying on others who I respect such as former New Republic editor, Marty Peretz and CUNY professor of humanities, Phyllis Chesler. Harvard University Professor of Law, Alan Dershowitz, who I also hold considerable respect for, was at the opening on Monday night.

Dershowitz apparently had a run-in with the Lincoln Center cops.  In a piece for the Gatestone Institute entitled, Metropolitan Opera Stifles Free Exchange of Ideas about a Propaganda Opera, he writes:
On Monday night I went to the Metropolitan Opera. I went for two reasons: to see and hear John Adams' controversial opera, The Death of Klinghoffer; and to see and hear what those protesting the Met's judgment in presenting the opera had to say. Peter Gelb, the head of the Met Opera, had advised people to see it for themselves and then decide...

Lincoln Center made that difficult. After I bought my ticket, I decided to stand in the Plaza of Lincoln Center, across the street and in front of the protestors, so I could hear what they were saying and read what was on their signs. But Lincoln Center security refused to allow me to stand anywhere in the large plaza. They pushed me to the side and to the back, where I could barely make out the content of the protests. "Either go into the opera if you have a ticket or leave. No standing." When I asked why I couldn't remain in the large, open area between the protestors across the street and the opera house behind me, all I got were terse replies: "security," "Lincoln Center orders."

The end result was that the protestors were talking to and facing an empty plaza. It would be as if the Metropolitan Opera had agreed to produce The Death of Klinghoffer, but refused to allow anyone to sit in the orchestra, the boxes or the grand tier. "Family circle, upstairs, side views only."
Leaving aside the question of whether The Death of Klinghoffer is a love song to the Jewish people... or perhaps something else entirely, what Dershowitz is claiming is that while fans of The Death of Klinghoffer constantly rant about freedom of speech, the protesters against this dehumanization of the Jews were made almost entirely non-present.

The irony could hardly be more rich, given the fact that those of us who are deeply suspicious of this "opera" are simply expressing our own freedom of speech to oppose the spread of anti-Jewish racism in the form of alleged "high culture."

Dershowitz, who is a fan of opera - (I prefer baseball, Go Giants!) - did not like the show, but since he is a Jewish supporter of the Jewish people this is hardly surprising.

He writes:
Then there were the choruses. The two that open the opera are supposed to demonstrate the comparative suffering of the displaced Palestinians and the displaced Jews. The Palestinian chorus is beautifully composed musically, with some compelling words, sung rhythmically and sympathetically. The Jewish chorus is a mishmash of whining about money, sex, betrayal and assorted "Hasidism" protesting in front of movie theaters. It never mentions the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, though the chorus is supposed to be sung by its survivors. The goal of that narrative chorus is to compare the displacement of 700,000 Palestinians—some of which was caused by Arab leaders urging them to leave and return victoriously after the Arabs murdered the Jews of Israel—with the systematic genocide of six million Jews. It was a moral abomination.
A moral abomination.

If my favorite pro-Israel attorney is correct, what this means is that Mr. Gelb has produced a "moral abomination" that is hostile toward Jewish people because it places al-Nakba on moral par with the Holocaust.

Not everyone agrees with Alan, as I am sure that he will not be shocked to discover.  Writing in the New York Post, Gelb, himself, the son of the former managing editor of the New York Times, tells us:
On Monday night, while protesters demonstrated outside and a few voices inside attempted to disrupt the performance by shouting over the music (before being escorted out), conductor David Robertson coolly led the orchestra, chorus, dancers and singers through the two-act opera.

For those who came to listen and watch, it was a deeply moving experience that left no doubt which side the opera was on: the side of humanity.
The side of humanity.

I wonder what part of shooting a wheelchair-bound old man is the humanity part?

I should probably keep this piece brief because, again, I have not actually seen this thing.

This is what Peretz says:
Well, I am not buying tickets to the The Death of Klinghoffer for the next season. In 2003 I saw the Brooklyn Academy of Music production of the terrorist saga, which was so appallingly amoral that I forced myself through to the end as a sort of ethical discipline. Worse than amoral, it was tedious. Perhaps musical beauty cannot be made out of a tale of the cold-blooded killing of a crippled Jew. 
In The Death of Klinghoffer, this crippled Jew, this virtually helpless victim, somehow becomes a symbol of Jewish power. This opera by the composer John Adams and the librettist Alice Goodman does not recoil in horror from the crime it depicts. In this account of the terrorist incident on the Achille Lauro in 1985 the killers have apocalyptic poetry on their side and the victims have bourgeois worries on theirs. 
Perhaps I just do not have that kind of ethical discipline, because I will not watch this production in any form or under any circumstances short of a pistol to my head.  If Phyllis Chesler, Alan Dershowitz, and Marty Peretz tell me that the work is heinous and bigoted nonsense, I will tip my kippa to their judgment in this case.

And to those wealthy Jews who are helping to finance the Met... go to hell.

I know that more open-minded people than myself, such as, say, David Harris-Gershon, would probably love the damn thing.

But, speaking strictly for myself, there is no way that I am going to applaud a piece of media that begs us to wonder if killing Jews, merely because they are Jews, is perhaps not spiritually uplifting or, at least, given the politics, perfectly understandable.

This is what Chesler says:
Indeed, the obsession with Jews and money is reminiscent of Nazi propaganda. The terrorist Rambo sings: “But wherever poor men / Are gathered they can / Find Jews getting fat . . . America / Is one big Jew.” 
The terrorists tell us they are “men of ideals,” and that “this is an action for liberation.” Hah. In reality, they didn’t allow Marilyn Klinghoffer, who was exhausted and in pain from colon cancer, lie down. 
They forced the passengers to stand under the broiling Mediterranean sun for days and to hold live grenades. 
Leon Klinghoffer had suffered several strokes. He lacked full use of his hands, his legs were paralyzed, his speech slurred — and this is whom Molqui murders and throws overboard with his wheelchair.
I have to say, I suspect that at the end of the day Peter Gelb may not be going to a very cool place.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Deeply Dishonest White House Denies that Kerry Said What Kerry Said

Michael L.

Various sources are reporting that the White House is claiming that US Secretary of State John Kerry did not say what US Secretary of State John Kerry said.

In the Times of Israel we read:
The US State Department denied claims Friday that US Secretary of State John Kerry made statements on Thursday suggesting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was fueling the spread of Islamic terror in the Middle East.
State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters:
“What [Kerry] said was that during his travels to build a coalition against the Islamic State, he was told that should the Israeli-Palestinian conflict be resolved, the Middle East would be a better place,” Harf said.
In other words what Ms. Harf is telling us is that we should have full faith that what we read and see is false, but what the administration tells us - all evidence directly to the contrary - is the truth.

This reminds me just a tad of how when the Obama administration was supporting the rise of radical Islam through supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt some Obama sycophants told me with a straight face that Obama does not support radical Islam.

They said this as if, somehow, giving financial assistance and F-16 fighter jets with which to fight Israel to the parent organization of both Hamas and al-Qaeda does not represent support.

The imbecility of such a position boggles the mind.

In any case, what Kerry said was this:
“There wasn’t a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation that they felt –- and I see a lot of heads nodding –- they had to respond to,” he told gathered diplomats. 
“People need to understand the connection of that. 
If people need to understand the connection, or linkage, between the long Arab war against the Jews in the Middle East and the rise of political Islam, it means that John Kerry believes in the long discredited linkage theory that the administration sought to promote at Jewish expense.

This is not merely that others in the Middle East might blame the Jews for the rise of the Islamic State, but that Kerry, himself, is promoting the idea.  Ultimately what this means, obviously, is that the US is prepared to blame Israel for pretty much everything unless it capitulates to Arab demands, whatever those demands might be.  This despite the fact that it is the Arab majority that has always rejected yet another Arab state in Judea and Samaria.

Thus the Obama administration blames the Jews for pretty much everything going wrong throughout Arab political culture.  Jews are blamed not only for Arab intransigence on a "Palestinian" state in the Jewish heartland, but are also blamed ultimately for Arab head-chopping by the Islamic State.

For Obama's Department of State to turn around and deny that Kerry claimed what we have him directly on record claiming is a deeply dishonest act from what is a truly insidious and dangerous administration for the well-being of Jewish people throughout the world.

The next time Kerry shows his face in Jerusalem his auto procession should be pelted with shoes by Jews and Arabs alike.

Friday, October 17, 2014


Kerry Blames Rise of Radical Islam on Middle East Jews

Michael L.

In a piece for Y-Net by Moran Azulay and Attila Somfalvi we read:
bennetEconomy Minister Naftali Bennett slammed US Secretary of State John Kerry for connecting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the proliferation of the Islamic State terror group in Iraq and Syria.

"It turns out that even when a British Muslim beheads a British Christian there will always be someone willing to blame the Jew," Bennett wrote in a Facebook status, referencing the videotaped executions published by the terror group. 
Kerry reportedly said that that the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians was "imperative" because the conflict is "a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation." 
Bennett said Kerry's comment aids the group: "Terror should not be justified, terror should be fought."
So Kerry is essentially blaming the Jews of the Middle East for the rise of Islamic terrorism.

The shear stupidity of this administration when it comes to foreign policy never fails to amaze.

There are something like 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and a certain significant percentage of them want not only to live under al-Sharia, but they want YOU to live under it, as well.  Even if the percentage of Muslims who favor the rise of political Islam was only ten percent - ever since the misnamed "Arab Spring" that Barack Obama so enthusiastically supported - that would still be one hundred and fifty million people.

One hundred and fifty million people, yet John Kerry and the Obama administration would have you believe that their theology and behavior is the fault of 6 million Jews.

John Kerry needs to get out of the Middle East and to stay out.

The Obama administration clearly has no idea what it is doing viz-a-viz foreign policy and is causing far more damage than it is relieving.  This should have been obvious to everyone once the administration started making soft cooing noises toward the Muslim Brotherhood.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Israel and Apartheid

Michael L.

Anyone who calls Israel an "apartheid state" is spreading hatred.

It is a lie and it needs to be confronted wherever that lie stands.

A Big Tip 'O the Kippa to Ian over at the Elder's joint.