Kol Hakavod to the Jewish community for preventing the PBS broadcast of the opera, Klinghoffer. However, there are issues to be considered when calling for thousands upon thousands of Jews to show up and gridlock traffic at the intersection of Columbus, Amsterdam and Broadway at the height of rush hour because the Met is putting on a single performance of an admittedly disgustingly biased play for tops, 1800 people.
What would you think of Jewish people angry about an opera that 98% of New Yorkers, or the rest of the world, couldn’t care less about? With this protest you empower the people who wrote it, scored it and presented it, calling attention to a piece of garbage that should be completely ignored and allowed to sink like a stone. No one would have noticed or paid attention. Now the world is paying attention to the fact that we Jews are demanding censorship of views we find repellent. What about violating the first amendment rights of the presenters? After all, if we shut everyone up when they say things we don’t like, they will make us shut up, too. Then what?
There is also a side issue. The ads for the event compared the Al Qaeda terror attacks to the murder of Leon Klinghoffer by Arafat’s terrorists. Arafat was a secular communist trained in terrorism by the Bulgarians with a happy assist from the then-KGB. His movement, a client of the Soviet Union, was totally political. It had nothing to do with the ideologues of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Wahabis, and other extremist Islamic groups bought and paid for by Saudis, the Emir of Qatar, and Iran–which makes for some strange U.S. and Israeli alliances right now. Sunni Salafis, Sunnis and Shia are fighting battles for a Caliphate, while Turkey tries to recreate the Ottoman Empire. They, the extreme Islamists of all “denominations” are the people who took down the Towers, hit the Pentagon and are at the root of all evil. They hate every infidel… especially the Jewish ones. And people with blood lust from every walk of life who are looking for thrills, end up somewhere in that mess, just so they can murder with impunity. They are NOT the people who murdered Klinghoffer, so the narrative offered to justify the rally is a bit shaky, and our critics can use that against us.
Personal experience as a writer and as a parent taught me that knee-jerk reactions can be counterproductive. Maybe, before we expend tons of energy, time, money and effort to protest something, let’s make sure it is worthy of our empowerment.
By Jeanette Friedman