by Carol Greenwald
October 22, 2014
I was at both the protest outside the Met last night, sitting in a wheel chair, wearing a sign proclaiming “I am Klinghoffer” as well as one of those who saw the opera last night from the second row orchestra.
The protest was good. The wheelchairs were an effective visual for the media. I would estimate the crowd at no more than a thousand which is disappointing given the publicity and that this was NY, but none of the major Jewish organizations were part of this, (despite a letter to editor by American Jewish Committee to the New York Times).
The speeches from politicians like former Mayor Giuliani, Rep Peter King, Rep. Elliot Engel, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney among others and Jewish leaders like Helen Freedman of Americans for a Safe Israel, and Ron Lauder, chairman of the World Jewish Congress, were moving and on point: this opera by the Met will give support to antisemitism and had disgraced the Met forever. Noticeably missing in action were the leaders of the major Jewish organizations, an absence noted by several speakers.
I entered the Met in a wheel chair. Being in a wheelchair was interesting. The staff at Met was very polite but even though I paid for a wheelchair seat so I could sit in my wheelchair, they had not removed the seat so I could sit in my wheelchair, but carried me from the chair into the seat and made me check my chair. Thus my plan to leave early rolling down the aisle in a wheel chair was frustrated. I think this was purposely done by the Met……