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July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
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Letters To The Editor

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Moral Outrage

It is both surprising and troubling that there should be any question of the gross inappropriateness of staging any performance of “The Death of Klinghoffer,”an opera that suggests Palestinians had reason to murder an innocent man aboard the hijacked cruise ship Achille Lauro in October 1985 (“Questions Linger About the Met and ‘The Death of Klinghoffer,’ ” editorial, June 27).

As a passenger on the Achille Lauro, Leon Klinghoffer was not threatening any Palestinian when he was murdered in cold blood. He was not even an Israeli. His “crime” was being Jewish. There is no possible reason that would justify this atrocity.

The opera’s very name reflects its human offense. It sanitizes the event by calling it the “death” of Klinghoffer. The opera should have been entitled “The Murder of Klinghoffer.”

For the Metropolitan Opera to fail to understand the hideous, immoral equivalency they are supporting puts the Met to shame.

In the end, public opinion is the supreme judge.

Americans would not tolerate an opera humanizing wanton murder in any other context, and American Jews would be among the loudest critics of an opera that did so.

The American public needs to express its outrage at the Met’s decision to produce “The Death of Klinghoffer.” Jewish organizations especially need to express their outrage since the murder being justified in the opera is that of an innocent American Jew by Palestinians who verbalize vile anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hatred.

Mark S. Golub
President and Executive Producer
Shalom TV

 

Our Uncle Tom

Re “My Tom Friedman Problem” (front page essay, June 20):

Thomas Friedman has made a career of bashing Israel and playing to the worst prejudices of anti-Semites, as when he wrote in November 2013 about “a growing tendency by many American lawmakers to do whatever the Israel lobby asks them to do in order to garner Jewish votes and campaign donations.”

Two years earlier he’d written that the “standing ovation [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.”

Back in 2004 Friedman wrote that then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon “has the Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat under house arrest in his office in Ramallah, and he’s had George Bush under house arrest in the Oval Office. Mr. Sharon has Mr. Arafat surrounded by tanks, and Mr. Bush surrounded by Jewish and Christian pro-Israel lobbyists [and] by a vice president, Dick Cheney, who’s ready to do whatever Mr. Sharon dictates….”

David Duke couldn’t have said it better.

Yoram Hurvitz
Jerusalem

Author’s Query

I have the privilege and responsibility of adding a chapter for the projected English translation of the biography of Haifa Chief Rabbi Emeritus Shear Yashuv Cohen, which is in its second printing in Hebrew. We are focusing in this chapter on the impact of his travels abroad as a fundraiser, lecturer, and advocate of unifying the Jewish people, but welcome reminiscences and anecdotes of any kind relating to the man many people feel should have been the chief rabbi of all of Israel, a position he came tantalizingly close to achieving not once but twice.

Besides his positions as chief rabbi and chief judge, in Haifa, he is most noted for having been the son of the Nazir of Yerushalayim; personally close to the first chief rabbi of Palestine, Rabbi Abraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook; a soldier in Israel’s War of Independence; a prisoner of the Jordanians, who appointed him to serve as chaplain of the Jewish prisoners; president of Machon Harry Fischel (known in its heyday for having produced more judges for the Israeli religious court system and more publications based on original texts than any other yeshiva in Israel, and still highly respected); president of Ariel Institutes; deputy mayor of Jerusalem; and representative of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel at many ecumenical conferences, including one-on-one meetings with popes.

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