US/World News

Met cancels simulcast of anti-Israel opera, not live showings

(JNS.org) New York’s Metropolitan Opera (Met) canceled an HD transmission of the anti-Israel opera “The Death of Klinghoffer” following widespread outreach efforts that began with a letter from a media watchdog organization, but eight live performances of the opera will proceed as scheduled this fall. The opera, about the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship and Palestinian terrorists’ murder of one of its Jewish passengers, has been heavily criticized for its sanitization of Palestinian terrorism and invoking of anti-Semitic canards.

Myron Kaplan, an opera expert and a senior research analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), was the first commentator to publicly criticize the Met’s planned Nov. 15 simulcast of the anti-Israel opera. In an open letter to Met General Manager Peter Gelb that was published by JNS.org, Kaplan wrote that the HD transmission would give “wide international distribution to what is, at its heart, an anti-Jewish slander.”

Kaplan’s letter sparked a broader Jewish community campaign against the Met’s simulcast and live showings of the opera. The Met then announced June 17 that it would pull the simulcast, but not the eight live performances from Oct. 20 to Nov. 15. “I’m convinced that the opera is not anti-Semitic,” Gelb said in a statement. “But I’ve also become convinced that there is genuine concern in the international Jewish community that the live transmission of ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’ would be inappropriate at this time of rising anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe.”

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