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 An elderly, crippled, wheel chair bound Jew by the name of Klinghoffer was thrown overboard from a cruise ship by Arab terrorists about a decade ago. Klinghoffer’s only crime was that he was Jewish. These facts are uncontested and well-documented. Nevertheless, in the name of artistic freedom, a play was written that justified the murderous deed and intimated that Klinghoffer’s murder was really the fault of the Jewish state of Israel.

Again in the name of artistic freedom, an opera was written reiterating that theme and the opera was produced and presented by the Metropolitan Opera Company of New York last week. It seems that all of the musical critics are in agreement that it was not a great opera, artistically speaking.
However, in today's completely politicized and overwhelmingly anti-Israel and anti-Jewish intellectual world, the Metropolitan Opera Company of New York felt impelled to produce this second-rate work in order to make a statement regarding its own political agenda and skewed worldview.
There was a protest mounted against the showing of this opera by some Jewish organizations in New York. But, the Metropolitan Opera Company, using the shield of artistic freedom uber alles – justas the Jew haters on university campuses use the shield of academic freedom to dispense their poison – naturally defended its production and in fact was proud that it engaged in such a groundbreaking venture.
The New York Times, one of the leaders of the consistently shrill anti-Israel chorus, in its column regarding the production of this opera interviewed a few Jewish opera goers who were at the Klinghoffer presentation. These Jews were not disturbed by the nature or message of the production and seemed to be somewhat bewildered as to what all of the controversy was about.
They unfortunately represent a large section of the American Jewish community, that is completely asleep as its society hurtles towards the brink of societal weakness, loss of influence, if not even self extinction. They just don't understand that they are Klinghoffer….. and that they are applauding their own eventual demise.
Of course, the Metropolitan Opera Company of New York is financed very heavily by Jewish donors. Yet, to the best of my knowledge, none of these influential contributors to the Metropolitan has publicly voiced any criticism of the decision to mount and produce this opera, which makes the murderers heroic and the victim pathetic.
This opera is perfectly acceptable in today’s American society because poor Mr. Klinghoffer was Jewish. These donors also don’t realize that they are also Klinghoffer. Had Klinghoffer been Moslem or black, his murder would have been judged to be a racist and terrorist crime, worthy of punishment and universal criticism.   And certainly no opera would have been produced to “explain” the “justified motives” of the murderers. Hitler arrived on the scene three generations too soon. In today's climate there would have been many who would have “understood” him and his motives.
In spite of the disaster of the “appeasement” policy of the 1930’s, it is being followed today in negotiations with murderers that will only lead to a dead end……and I do mean dead. The only difference is that in today's world, it is called “engagement.” It is a prime example of whistling past the graveyard, which always eventually leads to being in the graveyard.
It is no surprise that the Associated Press, in reporting the terrorist incident last week in Jerusalem, ran a headline that read “Israeli Police Shoot Man in Jerusalem.” No mention was made in the headline of the three-month-old infant  murdered by this Arab terrorist who drove his automobile into a crowd of innocent people waiting for a train or bus, and who was then subsequently shot dead. 
This time, after a sufficient outcry of Jewish outrage, the headline was removed a few hours later and replaced with a more accurate description of the terrible event that had occurred. Jews and Israel are fair game for every sort of distortion, criticism and slight, diplomatic, governmental or media generated.
The Jewish world somehow still believes that it exists in the more tolerant and subdued immediate post-Holocaust world of the 1950s when “Hava Nagilah” was the most popular song on American radio and stage. Those days are long gone and have been replaced by hatred, discrimination and demonization of all things Jewish.
Hillel said that “If I am not for me, then who will be for me?” If individual Jews and communal Jewish organizations are not now prepared to vigorously counteract what is happening in the Western world and the United States vis a vis Jews and the Jewish state then we are truly staring into the abyss. We should remember and assimilate into our inner being that we are all Klinghoffer.
Shabbat shalom
Berel Wein 

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