Ex-N.Y. Mayor Giuliani Outlines Objections to Met's 'Klinghoffer' Opera

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An image from an ad for the Metropolitan Opera's production of 'The Death of Klinghoffer,' October 2014Credit: Metropolitan Opera's minisite for 'The Death of Klinghoffer.'

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has defended the Metropolitan Opera's right to produce "The Death of Klinghoffer," based on the Palestine Liberation Organization's murder of a Jewish cruise-ship passenger, but called the show "factually inaccurate and extraordinarily damaging to an appropriate description of the problems' between Israel and the Palestinians and "of terrorism in general."

In a piece written for the Daily Beast, Giuliani, who led New York from 1994 through 2001, called the music and choruses "quite excellent. John Adams is one of America’s greatest composers, and I admire and enjoy his music."

But the "facts presented in the opera are incomplete and distorted," he wrote.

As a U.S. attorney, a regional prosecutor for the Justice Department, Giuliani investigated Yasser Arafat. "I can say with some certainty that this murder was a pure act of terrorism for which there was no justifiable reason," he wrote.

Rather, it "was part of an overall campaign of numerous terrorist acts intended to make Arafat and his organization bigger players on the world stage," he said.

The PLO killed Klinghoffer not to help the Palestinian people but to further its own aims, Giuliani said.

In 1985, Klinghoffer, a Jew from New York, was a passenger on the Italian liner Achille Lauro. Four PLO terrorists hijacked the ship, shot Klinghoffer and forced two ship employees to throw him and his wheelchair overboard.

Huge protests were held prior to the opening of the show on Monday.

The Met has created a minisite for the show. Its ads include the proposal: "See it. Then decide."

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