Jewish Voice

October 20th, 2014
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Why We Are Demonstrating at the Met on Oct 20

Why We Are Demonstrating at the Met on Oct 20

This is BIG!! Peter Gelb’s decision to stage THE DEATH OF KLINGHOFFER, after admitting that the opera was anti-Semitic enough to warrant the cancelling of the HD movie theater showings, reveals a mind- set that is anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, and pro-terrorist. Whatever his comments, and those of his supporters, that this is ‘artistic expression’, must be discarded. ‘Artistic expression’ that tells lies, re-writes history, preaches hatred, and encourages sympathy for murderers, is simply a perversion of civilization. And the Coalition Against the Klinghoffer Operas says NO!!

The Coalition has been operating all summer. It managed to persuade many donors to withhold their funding. Thousands of emails and phone calls were sent to Gelb to persuade him with logic and reason against staging the opera. Subscribers were encouraged to return tickets for the Klinghoffer opera, and many did so. Yet, Peter Gelb remained obstinate and refused to cancel the performances. Even after the huge success of the Sept. 22 demonstration, where 2000 people gathered, carrying signs and cheering the speakers from all walks of life, Gelb refused to budge.

Questions were asked about the “anonymous” funding. Why were the funders for most of the operas clearly displayed on the advertising page in the Met brochure, but in the case of Klinghoffer the sponsor is “anonymous.”  It is known that “anonymous” has deep pockets because he/she/ has picked up all the lost funding from disgusted donors. But who is funding this disgrace and allowing the shows to go on?

Has the Coalition failed because it hasn’t succeeded in its goal to have the opera cancelled? Not at all. It has provided a focal point for all people of conscience to come together in saying NO to Jew hatred, NO to Israel hatred, NO to anti-Americanism and NO to Islamic fundamentalism that has been allowed to grow out of control. Leon Klinghoffer, PLO victim on the Achille Lauro in 1985, was just one of the early victims of what we have seen morph into Fatah, Hamas, Al Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, and ISIS in 2014. As long as the Obama White House continues to deny the Islamic connection to ISIS, to Fort Hood, to Benghazi, and to the latest PLO hate crime attack outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Leonard Petlakh, we are in great danger, and caring Americans must come together in protest.

Monday, Oct. 20, 5 PM is the gathering time for the next Coalition demonstration. It is opening night for the Klinghoffer opera and Jeff Wiesenfeld will lead a press conference across from Lincoln Center featuring NY Board of Rabbis Executive VP Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Congressman Peter King; former Governor David Paterson; Queens Borough President Melinda Katz; Americans for a Safe Israel Chairman Mark Langfan; Executive Director ISGAP Dr. Charles Small; Past Chairman, Conference of President of Major American Jewish Organizations Richard Stone, and many other distinguished community members.

Across the street, in front of Lincoln Center, fifty wheelchairs will be standing in formation (the Coalition wanted 100 but the police drew the line at 50) with the occupants wearing signs saying, “I AM LEON KLINGHOFFER.” We are to put ourselves in his shoes, understanding the agony of a wheel-chair bound invalid as he is confronted by his executioners and is unable to help himself. From that understanding must come to the determination to say NEVER AGAIN. Yellow stars with that statement were purchased by Coalition member Joseph Davidsohn, were worn at the Sept. 22 demonstration, and will be worn again on Oct. 20.

The task of Jews, Christians and all concerned Americans regarding this matter – BE THERE!! Monday, Oct. 20, 5-7:30 P.M. Do not stand idly by the blood of your brother or sister.


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