The Israeli Opera refused to commemorate the victims of a terrorist attack in France on Friday, leading French-Israel conductor Frederic Chaslin to pull out of a planned performance, Haaretz reports.
On Friday, a terrorist murdered four Jews in a kosher butcher shop in Paris, and held several others hostage. Police ultimately shot and killed the terrorist and freed the hostages.
Chaslin asked the Israeli Opera to play the Israeli anthem, Hatikva, before a performance Saturday of La Rondine. He also asked to speak briefly in memory of the victims of Friday’s attack.
According to Chaslin, the opera’s management refused his request, arguing that it would violate opera policy and ruin the mood for viewers.
Chaslin was upset by the answer. “What policy? Where am I? Is Israel not the country that declares itself to be a refuge for persecuted Jews?” he wrote in response.
The Israeli Opera defended its policy in a statement to Haaretz. The opera has always stuck to its normal schedule “even in the painful days when there were dozens of terrorist attacks, even during wartime,” the statement said. “This is the opera’s way of not letting terrorism win and disrupt our routine.”