THE WEEK THAT WAS: TERRORIST ATTACKS, & “KLINGHOFFER” CONTROVERSY, REMIND US OF THE DEADLY THREAT OF ISLAMIST TERROR

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 

 

Contents:

 

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Now Belongs, in Part, to the Memory of one we Know: Father Raymond J. de Souza, National Post, Oct. 24, 2014 —I have been to the cenotaph many times to pray for our country and to honour our fallen.

The Allure of Radical Islam in Canada: David Frum, The Atlantic, Oct. 23, 2014 — Last year, the head of Canada’s security agency delivered a warning to the Canadian Senate.

‘The Death Of Klinghoffer’ Is An Injustice To Our Father’s Memory: Lisa & Ilsa Klinghoffer, Jewish Press, Oct. 23, 2014— On Oct. 8, 1985, our 69-year-old wheelchair-bound father, Leon Klinghoffer, was shot in the head by Palestinian hijackers on the Achille Lauro cruise ship.

Metropolitan Opera Stifles Free Exchange of Ideas about a Propaganda Opera: Alan M. Dershowitz, Gatestone Institute, Oct. 21, 2014 —On Monday night I went to the Metropolitan Opera. I went for two reasons: to see and hear John Adams' controversial opera, The Death of Klinghoffer; and to see and hear what those protesting the Met's judgment in presenting the opera had to say.

Quiet Heroes of the Second World War: Susan Schwartz, Montreal Gazette, Oct. 7, 2014— Nelly Trocmé Hewett, the daughter of two quiet heroes of the Second World War, will be in Montreal later this month to talk about her parents, Magda and André Trocmé, who inspired a network of resistance to the Vichy government’s deportation of thousands to concentration camps.

On Topic Links

 

Bruce MacKinnon’s War Memorial Cartoon Touches Hearts Worldwide: Mary Ellen Macintyre, Herald News, Oct. 23, 2014

Canada Mosque Teaches 4-Year-Olds How to Behead (Video): WND, Oct. 3, 2014
An Assault on the Heart of the Canadian State (Video): Mark Steyn, Steyn Online, Oct. 23, 2014

Brigitte Gabriel Keynote Speaker at United Nations (Video): Youtube, Sept. 9, 2014

Hebrew –English Bilingual School in Harlem (Video): Jerusalem Online, Oct. 24, 2014

Klinghoffer and the ‘Two Sides’ of Terrorism: Floyd Abrams, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 15, 2014

 

                                                                                                           

TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER NOW BELONGS,

IN PART, TO THE MEMORY OF ONE WE KNOW                                    

Father Raymond J. de Souza                                                                                         National Post, Oct. 24, 2014

 

I have been to the cenotaph many times to pray for our country and to honour our fallen. Another visit is required now, because it has been consecrated anew. The blood of Corporal Nathan Cirillo has been shed. The tomb of the Unknown Soldier now belongs in part to the memory of one we know. Cpl. Cirillo was there because the National War Memorial had been desecrated in 2006 on Dominion Day. Some young hooligans relieved themselves on it, and in response a ceremonial guard was placed there, both to honour the dead and to keep vandals away. When shrines or sanctuaries are desecrated, they must be reconsecrated — whether it be the temple of Jerusalem in ancient times or the churches burned this summer in Nigeria.

 

The cenotaph, desecrated in 2006, was reconsecrated on Wednesday in the most dramatic way possible — set apart once again, made sacred once again. It was Lincoln who gave us the words at Gettysburg: “In a larger sense, we cannot dedicate ….we cannot consecrate … we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.” The National War Memorial — titled “The Response” — was dedicated in 1939 by King George VI to commemorate the Great War, just months before a war of even greater carnage would begin. In 1982 it was formally re-dedicated to honour the fallen of the Second World War and Korea, and in 2000 the remains of a soldier from Vimy were interred to make it the Canadian tomb of the Unknown Soldier. After Cpl. Cirillo was killed on site, there will be no need for another ceremony to include here the fallen of the wars against Islamist terror. That has been done in his blood.

 

Wednesday was intended by the assassin to be rich in symbols — an attack on the soldiers’ memorial, an attack on Parliament. So it was supremely fitting that he was stopped by a figure both symbolic and real, the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons, the mace-bearer who marches before the Speaker in the opening ceremonial of the Commons. Kevin Vickers is also the head of security on the Hill, which is why in addition to carrying the mace, he can fire a pistol. It is irreverent to imagine that he might have bludgeoned Michael Zehaf-Bibeau into submission with the mace itself, but that was symbolically the case. The mace represents the authority of the chamber conferred by the Crown (which is why it is draped in the presence of the sovereign herself). It is a fitting symbol of Parliament itself. In the person of its mace-bearer then, Parliament offered its own “Response” to the attempted attack on its peaceable assembly.

 

In the coming days I expect that both the cenotaph and Parliament Hill will be closed off to public access. I remember working on the Hill 25 years ago when it was possible to drive up to Parliament buildings freely and enter them with a simple indication of which office you wished to visit. It has not been like that for many years now, but as soon as possible the symbol of our national democracy — and the symbol of the fallen who have sacrificed their lives in its service — should return to being living symbols, signs that are not only signs, but which accomplish what they signify. Keep them open; do not let them become symbols instead of a free people held captive by liberty’s enemies. Perhaps this Remembrance Day, a variation on the usual ceremony could be added. Have the Sergeant-at-Arms carry the mace from the cenotaph back to the Commons in a public procession which honours the fallen at the memorial and makes it clear that the work they died to protect will continue — open and accessible, glorious and free, for on Wednesday in Canada, Nathan Cirillo and Kevin Vickers were standing on guard for thee.

 

                                                                  

Contents        

                                                                                 

THE ALLURE OF RADICAL ISLAM IN CANADA

David Frum                                                                                                                    

The Atlantic, Oct. 23, 2014

           

Last year, the head of Canada’s security agency delivered a warning to the Canadian Senate. “Five years ago we weren’t as worried about domestic terrorism as we are now,” said Richard Fadden. He explained why: In the 1990s and early 2000s, Islamic terrorism was perpetrated by structured organizations with lines of command—groups like al-Qaeda and Somalia’s al-Shabab. But the U.S.-led anti-terrorism coalition had smashed the leadership of these groups, and left behind a motley bunch of autonomous freelancers whose plots were much “harder to get your hands on.” Western intelligence agencies were seeing far fewer large-scale plots like those that did so much damage in New York City, in Washington, in Bali, in Madrid, and in London in the early 2000s, Fadden continued, but they were collecting much more chatter about smaller-scale threats against less predictable targets.

 

Fadden’s prophecy has been all too tragically vindicated this week. On Monday, a French-Canadian convert to Islam drove his car at two Canadian soldiers in the small city of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, southeast of Montreal. One soldier was killed. The assailant was shot and killed by police after a high-speed car chase. Wednesday brought a spectacular attack on the National War Memorial and Parliament in Ottawa. Again, a soldier was killed, before the assailant himself was reportedly felled by the sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons. This attacker too was a Canadian-born Muslim convert, the son of a French-Canadian woman and (according to recent press reports) a Libyan man who had emigrated to Canada. The Saint-Jean hit-and-run driver, Martin Couture-Rouleau, appeared on a list of 90 persons monitored by Canadian police and had been identified as a “high-risk traveler”; He was arrested last summer when he tried to leave the country for the Middle East. Official sources have not said anything about whether Couture-Rouleau and the Ottawa shooter, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, were acquainted or connected in any way. Former Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day, however, told The Daily Beast on Wednesday that the two men may have visited the same Internet chat rooms. ISIS has promoted using cars as weapons against Westerners, though it remains unclear whether Couture-Rouleau drew inspiration from the extremist group.

 

Since 2006, Canadian security has thwarted many localized plots—two in 2013 alone. At a July 1 Canada Day celebration in front of the British Columbia legislature, two Canadian-born converts to Islam intended to detonate homemade pressure-cooker bombs, police charge. Two non-citizens—one Palestinian, one Tunisian—were arrested in April 2013 for allegedly plotting to derail a passenger train. A lot of energy is wasted debating whether do-it-yourself jihadists should be called “terrorists.” The Obama administration notoriously insisted on describing the Ford Hood shooting of 2009 as an incident of “workplace violence,” not terrorism. The killer at Fort Hood, Major Nidal Malik Hassan, was perceived by colleagues as mentally troubled long before he opened fire, killing 13 and wounding 32 more. Judging by media reports, Zehaf-Bibeau likewise could be described, if one wished to eschew the T-word, as a troubled misfit with a long record of petty criminality. On the other hand, what kind of person would one expect jihadists to recruit from inside a Western society? In countries like Canada, Australia, Britain, and the United States, the call to Islamic holy war often appeals to more marginal people: the thwarted, the troubled, the angry. And yet even so, the Saint-Jean killer—Couture-Rouleau—reportedly had a clean police record and a reasonably stable personal life until his conversion to Islam. He owned a pressure-washing business and lived in a single family home with his father.

 

If you are alienated, angry, and attracted to violence, radical Islam provides a powerful ideology of justification. If you are lonely and purposeless, it offers redemptive self-sacrifice (one report claims that Couture-Rouleau persuaded “four or five” friends to convert to Islam with him). Until roughly 1960, French-speaking Quebec ranked as one of the most Catholic societies on earth. In the late 1950s, more than 80 percent of French Quebeckers could be found at Mass on Sundays, according to one famous estimate. Then, abruptly, in the short span of years from 1960 to 1980, religion seemed almost to vanish from the province. It’s been aptly said that from the point of view of religious observance, “centuries, not decades” separated the Quebec of the 1980s from the Quebec of the 1950s. Yet the hunger for meaning is always a part of the human spirit. In a different time, Couture-Rouleau might have vanished into a monastery. In the 21st century, he found a different and deadlier path. The alleged would-be British Columbian bombers might likewise have gravitated to Maoism in the 1960s or Nazism in the 1930s. But those ideologies too have lost their hold on the modern mind, leaving radical Islam as the strongest competitor for the credence of those who seek self-fulfillment through mass destruction…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

                                                                                   

                                                                       

Contents                    

                                                                                                

‘THE DEATH OF KLINGHOFFER’ IS AN INJUSTICE

TO OUR FATHER’S MEMORY                                                            

Lisa & Ilsa Klinghoffer                                                                                      

Jewish Press, Oct. 23, 2014

 

On Oct. 8, 1985, our 69-year-old wheelchair-bound father, Leon Klinghoffer, was shot in the head by Palestinian hijackers on the Achille Lauro cruise ship. The terrorists brutally and unceremoniously threw his body and wheelchair overboard into the Mediterranean. His body washed up on the Syrian shore a few days later. Beginning on Oct. 20 for eight performances, a baritone portraying “Leon Klinghoffer” is appearing on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera and singing the “Aria of the Falling Body” as he artfully falls into the sea. Competing choruses will highlight Jewish and Palestinian narratives of suffering and oppression, selectively presenting the complexities of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

 

The four terrorists responsible for his murder will be humanized by distinguished opera singers and given a back-story, an “explanation” for their brutal act of terror and violence. Opera-goers will see and hear a musical examination of terrorism, the Holocaust and Palestinian claims of dispossession – all in under three hours. Since the Met Opera’s decision to stage “The Death of Klinghoffer” by composer John Adams became public several months ago, much has been said and written about our father. Those opposed to the opera’s appearance in New York have elevated his murder at the hands of terrorists into a form of martyrdom. To cultural arbiters and music critics, meanwhile, his tragic story has been seen merely as a vehicle for what they perceive to be artistic brilliance. For us, the impact and message of the opera is much more deeply felt and tragically personal. Neither Mr. Adams nor librettist Alice Goodman reached out to us when creating the opera, so we didn’t know what to expect when we attended the American debut at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1991. We were devastated by what we saw: the exploitation of the murder of our father as a vehicle for political commentary. Over the years we have been deeply distressed with each new production of “Klinghoffer.” Critical views of Israel permeate the opera, and the staging and props of various productions have only amplified that bias. To have it now produced in New York – in our own backyard – by the country’s most prestigious opera company is incredibly painful.

 

We have always been strong supporters of the arts, and believe they can play an important role in examining and understanding significant world events. “Klinghoffer” does no such thing. It presents false moral equivalencies without context and offers no real insight into the historical reality and the senseless murder of an American Jew. The opera rationalizes, romanticizes, and legitimizes the terrorist murder of our father. Long ago we resolved never to let the last few minutes of Leon Klinghoffer’s life define who he was as a man, husband, and father. Opera patrons will only see Leon Klinghoffer presented as a victim – but he was so much more. Our father was an inventor who loved to work with his hands. After his stroke, he continued to use his one good arm to repair anything that needed fixing. Every Saturday night he and our mother, Marilyn, would get dressed up and go out dancing. Family and friends meant everything to him. He was on a cruise with our mother, celebrating their 36th anniversary with a group of lifelong friends who summered together on the Jersey shore, when terrorists took over the ship, announced a hijacking in progress, and separated the Jewish passengers from those on board. The terrorist thugs who murdered Leon Klinghoffer didn’t care about the good, sweet man our father was. To them he was just a Jew – an American in a wheelchair whose life they considered worthless.

 

As the years have passed, we have tried to ensure that his murder would not be forgotten or, worse, co-opted or exploited by those with an agenda. We believe his ordeal should continue to serve as a wake-up call to civilized society about the dangers of terrorism. We have dedicated our lives since the tragedy to educating people about terrorism, and putting a personal face on victims and their families through the Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation of the Anti-Defamation League. Our father was one of the first American victims of Middle Eastern terrorism. Today with the memory of 9/11, the reality of al Qaeda and ISIS, and countless other attacks and threats, Americans live under the deadly threat of terrorism each and every day. Terrorism is irrational. It should never be explained away or justified. Nor should the death of innocent civilians be misunderstood as an acceptable means for drawing attention to perceived political grievances. Unfortunately, “The Death of Klinghoffer” does all of this and sullies the memory of our father in the process.

                                                                       

Contents     

                                                                                                        

 

METROPOLITAN OPERA STIFLES FREE EXCHANGE

OF IDEAS ABOUT A PROPAGANDA OPERA       

Alan M. Dershowitz                                                                                                        Gatestone Institute, Oct. 21, 2014

 

On Monday night I went to the Metropolitan Opera. I went for two reasons: to see and hear John Adams' controversial opera, The Death of Klinghoffer; and to see and hear what those protesting the Met's judgment in presenting the opera had to say. Peter Gelb, the head of the Met Opera, had advised people to see it for themselves and then decide. That's what I planned to do. Even though I had written critically of the opera—based on reading the libretto and listening to a recording—I was also critical of those who wanted to ban or censor it. I wanted personally to experience all sides of the controversy and then "decide." Lincoln Center made that difficult. After I bought my ticket, I decided to stand in the Plaza of Lincoln Center, across the street and in front of the protestors, so I could hear what they were saying and read what was on their signs. But Lincoln Center security refused to allow me to stand anywhere in the large plaza. They pushed me to the side and to the back, where I could barely make out the content of the protests. "Either go into the opera if you have a ticket or leave. No standing." When I asked why I couldn't remain in the large, open area between the protestors across the street and the opera house behind me, all I got were terse replies: "security," "Lincoln Center orders."

 

The end result was that the protestors were talking to and facing an empty plaza. It would be as if the Metropolitan Opera had agreed to produce The Death of Klinghoffer, but refused to allow anyone to sit in the orchestra, the boxes or the grand tier. "Family circle, upstairs, side views only." That's not freedom of expression, which requires not only that the speakers be allowed to express themselves, but that those who want to see and hear them be allowed to stand in an area in front of, and close to, the speakers, so that they can fully participate in the marketplace of ideas. That marketplace was needlessly restricted on the opening night of The Death of Klinghoffer. Unable to see or hear the content of the protest, I made my way to the opera house where I first registered a protest with the Met's media person and then sat down in my fourth row seat to listen and watch the opera. I'm an opera fanatic, having been to hundreds of Met performances since my high school years. This was my third opera since the beginning of the season, just a few weeks ago. I consider myself something of an opera aficionado and "maven." I always applaud, even flawed performances and mediocre operas. By any standard, The Death of Klinghoffer, is anything but the "masterpiece" its proponents are claiming it is. The music is uneven, with some lovely choruses—more on that coming—one decent aria, and lots of turgid recitatives. The libretto is awful. The drama is confused and rigid, especially the weak device of the captain looking back at the events several years later with the help of several silent passengers. There are silly and distracting arias from a British show girl who seems to have had a crush on one of the terrorists, as well as from a woman who hid in her cabin eating grapes and chocolate. They added neither to the drama nor the music of the opera.

 

Then there were the choruses. The two that open the opera are supposed to demonstrate the comparative suffering of the displaced Palestinians and the displaced Jews. The Palestinian chorus is beautifully composed musically, with some compelling words, sung rhythmically and sympathetically. The Jewish chorus is a mishmash of whining about money, sex, betrayal and assorted "Hasidism" protesting in front of movie theaters. It never mentions the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, though the chorus is supposed to be sung by its survivors. The goal of that narrative chorus is to compare the displacement of 700,000 Palestinians—some of which was caused by Arab leaders urging them to leave and return victoriously after the Arabs murdered the Jews of Israel—with the systematic genocide of six million Jews. It was a moral abomination. And it got worse. The Palestinian murderer is played by a talented ballet dancer, who is portrayed sympathetically. A chorus of Palestinian women asks the audience to understand why he would be driven to terrorism. "We are not criminals," the terrorists assures us. One of the terrorists—played by the only Black lead singer—is portrayed as an overt anti-Semite, expressing hateful tropes against "the Jews". But he is not the killer. Nor, in this opera, is Klinghoffer selected for execution because he is a Jew. Instead, he is picked because he is a loudmouth who can't control his disdain for the Palestinian cause.

 

At bottom The Death of Klinghoffer—a title deliberately selected to sanitize his brutal murder—is more propaganda than art. It has some artistic moments but the dominant theme is to create a false moral equivalence between terrorism and its victims, between Israel and Palestinian terrorist groups, and between the Holocaust and the self-inflicted Nakba. It is a mediocre opera, by a good composer and very bad librettist. But you wouldn't know that from the raucous standing ovations received not only by the performers and chorus master, who deserved them, but also by the composer, who did not. The applause was not for the art. Indeed, during the intermission and on the way out, the word I heard most often was "boring." The over-the-top standing ovations were for the "courage" displayed by all those involved in the production. But it takes little courage to be anti-Israel these days, or to outrage Jews. There were, to be sure, a few brief expressions of negative opinion during the opera, one of which was briefly disruptive, as an audience member repeatedly shouted "Klinghoffer's murder will never be forgiven." He was arrested and removed. What would require courage would be for the Met to produce an opera that portrayed Mohammad, or even Yassir Arafat, in a negative way. The protests against such portrayals would not be limited to a few shouts, some wheelchairs and a few hundred distant demonstrators. Remember the murderous reaction to a few cartoons several years ago.

                                                                       

Contents     

                                                                                                                

QUIET HEROES OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR                                               

Susan Schwartz                                                                                                   

Montreal Gazette, Oct. 7, 2014

 

Nelly Trocmé Hewett, the daughter of two quiet heroes of the Second World War, will be in Montreal later this month to talk about her parents, Magda and André Trocmé, who inspired a network of resistance to the Vichy government’s deportation of thousands to concentration camps. A book of selected writings by the Trocmés, translated into English for the first time, was published this year by McGill-Queen’s Press: Magda and André Trocmé: Resistance Figures.

 

André Trocmé was a Protestant minister in the small Protestant farming village of Chambon-sur-Lignon in Vichy France, which was collaborating with the Nazis. He used his pulpit to encourage his congregation to shelter Jew fleeing Nazism; Magda Trocmé organized the operation. Other area ministers did the same; together, they helped to motivate several thousand citizens in Le Chambon and surrounding areas to give sanctuary to an estimated 3,500 Jews and 1,500 other refugees, mainly political dissidents, from across Europe. In 1942, when Trocmé was asked to turn over Jews to a Vichy official, he is reported to have said: “We don’t know what a Jew is. We only know men.” In what may well have been the war’s largest communal rescue effort, the people of Chambon, located in the mountains of south-central France, sheltered people in their homes and farms and in public institutions. Defying the Nazis and the French government collaborating with them was dangerous work, with the risk of death for anyone caught. A cousin of Rev. Trocmé, Daniel Trocmé, was sent to the Majdanek concentration camp in Poland, where he perished. Both André and Magda were recognized by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial centre in Israel, as Righteous among the Nations. Le Chambon and its neighbouring communities are also honoured at Yad Vashem. Their daughter Trocmé Hewett, now 87, was a teenager during the war and later emigrated to the United States…There are two new books on Le Chambon: Caroline Moorehead’s Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France, to be published Oct. 28, and Moorehead, and A Good Place to Hide: How One French Village Saved Thousands of Lives, by Peter Grose, due out next spring.

           

Contents                                               

On Topic

 

Bruce MacKinnon’s War Memorial Cartoon Touches Hearts Worldwide: Mary Ellen Macintyre, Herald News, Oct. 23, 2014 —After his powerful artistic response to tragic events in Ottawa, it seemed everyone wanted a piece of Herald cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon on Thursday.

Canada Mosque Teaches 4-Year-Olds How to Behead (Video): WND, Oct. 3, 2014
An Assault on the Heart of the Canadian State (Video): Mark Steyn, Steyn Online, Oct. 23, 2014

Brigitte Gabriel Keynote Speaker at United Nations (Video): Youtube, Sept. 9, 2014

Hebrew –English Bilingual School in Harlem (Video): Jerusalem Online, Oct. 24, 2014

Klinghoffer and the ‘Two Sides’ of Terrorism: Floyd Abrams, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 15, 2014—The Metropolitan Opera in New York on Monday will present John Adams ’s opera “The Death of Klinghoffer. ” The organization’s decision to mount the production has already spurred protests, with more to come.

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org