Monday, September 29, 2014

Oy Vey

Peter Gelb, June 2014, in a Met press release:
“I’m convinced that the opera is not anti-Semitic,” said the Met’s General Manager, Peter Gelb. “But I’ve also become convinced that there is genuine concern in the international Jewish community that the live transmission of The Death of Klinghoffer would be inappropriate at this time of rising anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe.” 
He doesn't say "we think showing Klinghoffer will increase anti-Semitism," but the statement is phrased to imply that he is saying that. Instead, he is agreeing with nameless others that there's concern that it's inapporpriate to show Klinghoffer. I thought this was a dumb stance to take in June, and I still think it is a dumb stance.

Peter Gelb, September 2014, according to Commentary:
“He took the outrageous position that challenging this opera would increase anti-Semitism because it would appear that Jews were controlling the arts,” the rabbi recalled. “We said this opera is an affront not only to Jews but also to all decent people, especially those victimized by terrorists. Many 9/11 families have spoken against it. Given this mentality what’s next, an ISIS love story?”
This is the worst possible argument to make: it is outrageous because it is wrong and stupid. All he needs do is to keep repeating "We believe in this opera, we are going to stage it, you cannot make us cancel the production. Thank you for your comments." And needless to say, anyone who wants to challenge or protest or picket the opera itself should do so; free speech and all that.

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