NEW YORK (JTA) — Protesters calling for the Metropolitan Opera to cancel its production of “The Death of Klinghoffer” will rally at the opening-night gala.
A coalition of groups in a statement called for the Monday afternoon protest at Lincoln Center, across from the Lincoln Center Plaza in Manhattan. Organizers say thousands are expected for the demonstration against a production that they contend promotes terrorism and anti-Semitism.
The opera depicting the 1985 murder by Palestinian terrorists of Leon Klinghoffer, a 69-year-old Jewish-American man in a wheelchair, is set to premiere in October, but the opera season opens Monday night.
Several high-profile participants are expected to join the protest, including former New York Gov. George Pataki and ex-U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
The sponsoring organizations include the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Zionist Organization of America, Americans for a Safe Israel, AMCHA, the Catholic League, the Christians’ Israel Public Action Campaign, several New York congregations, One Israel Fund, StandWithUs, Strength to Strength and others.
A letter written by Judea Pearl, the father of journalist Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered by militants in Pakistan in 2002, will also be read.
It reads, in part: “Choreographing an operatic drama around criminal pathology is not an artistic prerogative, but a blatant betrayal of public trust. We do not stage operas for rapists and child molesters, and we do not compose symphonies for penetrating the minds of ISIS executioners.”