October 20, 2014
Action Alerts News Press Release

Major Donors Deafening Silence is an Operatic Kristallnacht – “Klinghoffer”

If Bloomberg, Annenberg, Neubauer, Toll Bros. Spoke Out, Anti-Semitic "Klinghoffer" May Have Been Cancelled

“Klinghoffer” Protest At Lincoln Center Today, Monday, October 20, 6 p.m., Press Conference at 5 p.m., with Former Mayor Guiliani, Cong Peter King, Eliott Engel, ZOA Pres. Klein

Painfully, today is the opening performance at the Metropolitan Opera of the pro-terrorist, anti-Semitic, anti-Israel opera “Death of Klinghoffer.”

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) notes with sorrow that four Jewish foundations or entities that are major contributors to the Met Opera – Michael Bloomberg, L.P., The Annenberg Foundation, The Neubauer Family Foundation, and Toll Brothers Foundation, have thus far failed to withdraw multi-million dollar support from the Met or speak up publicly against the Met’s live performances of the pro-terrorist, anti-Semitic, anti-Israel opera “Death of Klinghoffer.”  

This can be called an operatic Kristallnacht since an anti-Semitic, Israel-demonizing opera that promotes the hatred of Jews while “humanizing” killers of Jews is met with silence and inaction by most major donors, Jewish leaders, and other public figures.

This can be called an operatic Kristallnacht where an anti-Semitic, Israel-demonizing opera is met with silence by most major donors, Jewish leaders, and other public figures.

The silence of the Neubauer Family Foundation is especially inexplicable:  Jeanette Lerman Neubauer’s father, Miles Lerman, was a Holocaust survivor, Jewish resistance fighter, and Chairman of the governing board of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.  The Holocaust Museum contains the Miles Lerman Center for the Study of Jewish Resistance.  Mr. Lerman coincidentally was a childhood neighbor and close friend of ZOA President Morton Klein’s mother, Sarah Griner Klein, in Tomaszow Lubelski, Poland.  

If these major multi-million dollar contributors to the Met had taken a stand and stopped their funding, it is very possible that this offensive opera would not be opening at the Met today.   It is heartbreaking and appalling that Jewish foundations are continuing to support the Met when the Met is performing an opera that presents a rationale for the murder of innocent Jews.

The Met has scheduled seven more live performances of “Klinghoffer” after tonight.  We hope that these contributors will finally speak up and act before there are any further performances of this reprehensible spectacle.

Fortunately, there are many people who have spoken up against the opera – including many other Met contributors.  Our protest website, StopDeathofKlinghoffer.org contains letters that concerned people from all over the country and the world, wrote to the Met, demanding that the Met cancel its outrageous anti-Semitic pro-terrorist performances.

Previous ZOA press releases and letters have discussed why “Klinghoffer” is so objectionable. Terrorists sing that they are “men of ideals,” and a passenger even sings that the terrorists were “nice.”  (The real passengers were terrorized, terrified and physically assaulted by the terrorists.)  Jews are referred to as cheaters, people who get fat from the poor and defilers of virgins.  

Significantly, the opera totally omits the real reason why the terrorists hijacked the Achille Lauro and murdered Leon Klinghoffer – which was to blackmail Israel into freeing 50 convicted terrorists, including Samir Kuntar – who murdered an innocent 4-year old girl by smashing her head with his rifle butt against rocks, after murdering her father in front of her, and killing two other people.  Instead the opera justifies the terrorists’ cold-blooded murder of an innocent disabled Jewish American by falsely rewriting Israel’s history, and falsely portraying Jews as brutally usurping Arab land.  In fact, Arabs repeatedly massacred Israel’s Jews, and the Arab “refugees” fled of their own accord, at the urging of the seven invading Arab armies who wanted a clear path for murdering all of Israel’s Jews.  Israeli Jews urged their Arab neighbors to stay, and many did, and are doctors, lawyers, members of Knesset and even a Supreme Court judge today.

The opera also includes condemnation of Israel and America for tolerating gay people.  (Gay people are condemned to death in Palestinian Arab-controlled areas.)   

Noon Prayer Vigil:  Rabbi Avi Weiss and a group of rabbinical leaders will hold a prayer vigil, beginning at 12:00 noon, at Lincoln Center Plaza at Broadway and 65th Street in memory of Leon Klinghoffer’s soul.  The vigil is an effort to assuage the pain to Klinghoffer’s soul and memory caused by the glorification of his terrorist murderers in the Klinghoffer opera.

5 p.m. Press Conference:  There will be a press conference at 5:00 PM, across the street from the Lincoln Center Plaza at Broadway & 65th Street.   Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani will be the keynote speaker at the press conference, which will be followed by the protest.   Mayor Giuliani courageously expelled terrorist Yasir Arafat from Lincoln Center in 1995 and turned down “blood money” from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.   Other major speakers at the press conference include Congressman Peter King (R) (who currently serves as Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence and formerly served as Homeland Security Chairman), Former NY Governor David Paterson, Criminal Defense Attorney Ben Brafman, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz (D), Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, ZOA President Morton Klein, Jewish war veterans and terror victims. 

6 p.m. Protest:  At the same location, we will have a huge protest, with signs, chants and an incredible100-wheelchair caravan, and more, to protest “Death of Klinghoffer.”  

ZOA President Morton Klein stated: 

“I urge everyone to attend this important protest, and look forward to seeing you there.”

Some 3,000 protesters attended the previous protest to “Death of Klinghoffer” at Lincoln Center, on September 22 (the night of the Met’s opening gala).  Speakers at the previous protest included former Governor George Pataki, Judge Michael Mukasey, Congressman Eliot Engel (D), 9-11 hero’s sister Debra Burlingame, Catholic League Pres. Bill Donahoe, and ZOA Pres. Mort Klein.

Let’s make the protest tonight, to the opening night of “Klinghoffer” even bigger! We dare not be the Jews of silence in the face of this operatic Kristallnacht.