The New York Metropolitan Opera is planning to do something very despicable in the name of art. Beginning in October, it will be featuring an opera that reaches a new low in moral equivalency. The death of a wheelchair-bound Jewish man at the hands of Palestinian terrorists is reportedly justified by pointing to Israel’s supposed transgressions against Palestinians. The claim is seemingly backed up by the Composer’s commentary on that very subject in one of the videos below.
In 1985 the Italian Cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked by Palestinian Muslim terrorists. One of the passengers was a wheel-chair bound, 69 year-old, Jewish man from New York named Leon Klinghoffer. He was on that ship to celebrate his wedding anniversary. When Syria wouldn’t let the terrorists dock the ship in Tartus, the terrorists executed Klinghoffer and threw his body overboard while still in the wheelchair.
Yet, the Composer of this Opera – John Adams – seems to think it best to present both sides of the story (h/t Allen West):
Here is a short clip that explains what happened during that hijacking:
In the YouTube video below, posted by the Metropolitan Opera, Adams actually compares Opera to terrorism, saying that Opera as an art form and terrorism as an act represent taking human emotions “to the max”. He then says that terrorism is “an act of desperation”. In reality, Islamic terrorism is an act of aggression.
Later in the video, Adams seems to endorse moral equivalency in justifying his opera, saying:
“Our Opera tries to look at the terrorists and the passengers and see humanity in both of them and for some people, that’s an egregious mistake. I don’t feel it is. I feel that for all the brutality and all the moral wrong that they perpetrated in killing this man, they’re still human beings and there still has to be reasons why they did this act.”
Nothing quite like seeing both sides when one side has a man in a wheelchair shot in cold blood and thrown overboard while the other side consists of his killers.
In 1990, a television movie was made about the Achille Lauro hijacking and it starred Karl Malden as Klinghoffer. Here is a link to that movie.