Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani will lead another large protest Monday against the “The Death of Klinghoffer,” a controversial opera, a source confirmed to the Observer.
Mr. Giuliani will be yet another politician, including ex-Gov. George Pataki, a fellow Republican who joined last week’s protest, and Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel, spearheading a protest against the two decades-old opera, set to debut at the Metropolitan Opera on Monday. Former Gov. David Paterson, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Congressman Peter King will join this rally.
Critics say the opera, which tells the real-life story of a Jewish man in a wheelchair who was murdered by Palestinian terrorists after they hijacked a cruise ship, is anti-Semitic and anti-Israel. Some have defended the opera, composed by John Adams, as a masterpiece, however, while others, including Observer opera critic James Jorden, have defended the Met’s right to perform the opera on freedom of expression grounds.
Mr. Giuliani is a longtime opera devotee, having even started an opera club at Brooklyn’s Bishop Loughlin High School. A charter member was Peter Powers, who later became Mr. Giuliani’s campaign manager and first deputy mayor.
Mr. Giuliani claimed he investigated the murder when he was U.S. attorney in 1985, though ex-Village Voice journalist–and Giuliani antagonist–Wayne Barrett disputed the claim in a 2007 story.
“As United States Attorney, I investigated the Leon Klinghoffer murder by Yasir Arafat,” Mr. Giuliani said, according to the Village Voice. “I knew, in detail, the Americans he murdered. I went over their cases.”
“This show makes a mockery of the murder of a disabled New Yorker,” said Ronn Torossian, a spokesman for organizers. “There is nothing acceptable about Lincoln Center glorifying terrorism. The title gives away the show’s agenda: Klinghoffer didn’t “die” – He was murdered by terrorists.”