De Blasio Slams Giuliani for Leading Protest Against ‘Death of Klinghoffer’, Defends Controversial Opera


de-blasioNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday criticized his predecessor Rudolph Giuliani for objecting to the Metropolitan Opera’s performance of The Death of Klinghoffer and defended the Met’s right to stage the controversial performance that has been labeled anti-Semitic, the New York Daily News reported on Monday, hours before the play was set to open.

“The former mayor had a history of challenging cultural institutions when he disagreed with their content. I don’t think that’s the American way. The American way is to respect freedom of speech. Simple as that,” de Blasio said at an unrelated press conference.

Giuliani plans to lead the latest protest against the opera outside the Met on Monday, as the show opens.

Critics have labeled the performance anti-Semitic for glorifying the murder of Jewish-American cruise ship passenger Leon Klinghoffer, 69. Wheel chair-bound, Klinghoffer was shot in the head by Palestinian hijackers on the Achille Lauro cruise ship 29 years ago. The terrorists threw his body, along with his wheelchair, overboard into the Mediterranean Sea and his corpse washed up on the Syrian shoreline a few days later.

“I really think we have to be very careful in a free society to respect that cultural institutions will portray works of art – put on operas, plays, that there will be art exhibits in museums,” de Blasio said. “And in a free society we respect that. We don’t have to agree with what’s in the exhibit but we agree with the right of the artist and the cultural institution to put that forward to the public.”

De Blasio said he thinks focus should be shifted to the “anti-Semitism problem” taking place around the world. He added, “I think there is a serious problem today in the world that has nothing to do with this opera.”

“There’s an anti-Semitism problem in this world today, particularly in Western Europe, that worries me greatly. That’s where my focus is. I don’t think an opera is what the focal point should be right now,” he said. “The only thing I know about the opera is that the Metropolitan Opera has a right to show it.”

Earlier on Monday, an individual was arrested for seriously assaulting a Jewish leader at an anti-Israel protest in New York on Oct 7.

The Algemeiner Journal

{ Newscenter}


  1. Perhaps tge mayor should have been leading the parade not yelling at it
    But mr mayor this country was founded with the belief of freedom of speach and protest.

  2. I’m sorry for voting for Mr. De Blasio. He is a disappointment overall, and a loser on this issue. Giuliani is a true friend of Israel and the Jewish Nation, and I appreciate his standing up for what’s right.

  3. Dumb as a doorknob.
    This is propaganda not art. When Israel presents a film at international film festivals all types of BDS idiots protest. His friends no doubt.

  4. This stupid dunce, DeBlasio, shows a lack of “sensitivity” to even say such a statement. You have the largest Jewish population in the entire world, living in YOUR City, and you just knock it off as “Freedom of speech”?! This idiot clearly has his brains where he sits! I call on the Mayor to take “sensitivity training” before returning to his office.
    And we were told by the askanim not to vote for Joe Lohta because he “lacked personality”. Aha

  5. de blasio what would you say if it was a video showing a terrorist getting killed under the name of real justice then you would say that it anti muslim and you would lead a whole parade against it so do us all a favor aND GO BACK TO CUBA

  6. Bill de Blasio says “The only thing I know about the opera is that the Metropolitan Opera has a right to show it.”
    well we have a right to protest it

  7. What if the opera would be the death of Trayvon Martin, instead of Leon Klinghoffer?

    Would De Blasion and his buddy Sharpton be okay with it? If you think so, submit your bids for a bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan…

  8. DeBlasio is a barking slog. He has no future in a better world unless he has some sensitivity for the holocaust. This is a disgusting array of fear for the condition of breaking the entry to human activity.


    Never Again.

  9. Did Giuliani protest the US premiere of this opera? It was in Brooklyn when he was mayor.
    It’s your right to have a knee-jerk hatred to everything and everyone Republican, even non-right-wing Northeast Republicans, but please be factual. Unless he was doing a superb David Dinkins impression, Rudy Giuliani was not mayor in 1991 (when the play was first staged in Brooklyn).

  10. Wait a minute! Doesn’t freedom of speech give every American the right to protest against what he deems offensive? Doesn’t former Mayor Guiliani have the right to criticize the performance as much as the Metropolitan Opera has to present it?

    Mayor De Blase is, well, just being as blase as he can be.

  11. De Blackio would definitely have something else to say if it were an Opera about the killing of a Black man. This is just the typical hypocritical liberalism.

  12. What a hypocrite and a biggot. Apparently freedom of speech is a right granted only to those espousing his views but to disagree with those views is “not the American way”. Mr. Mayor, let’s replace those dancing PLO terrorists with white supremacists explaining that their lynchings are misunderstood. Still backing the opera?

  13. The torah does not give us freedom to say anything, anywhere, about whatever. I don’t know the halachos of a ben Noach, but certain types of speech definitely are harmful to human beings. Indeed they should be illegal. And since when does the freedom of speech mentioned in the American constitutional amendments include harmful speech? There are limits. I hope so.

  14. Did Giuliani protest the US premiere of this opera? It was in Brooklyn when he was mayor.

    Charlie, please take note:

    Rudy Giuliani was not mayor in 1991 (when the play was first staged in Brooklyn).

    Will you now admit that you were wrong?! No, of course not! Typical leftist….

  15. The Jewish community has only itself to blame for the occupant of Gracie mansion just hope they can get the stink out in 3 years

  16. Now let me see here. Uh.. what if the person who was shot in the head just because he was Jewsish, had a different name? Let’s say it was Deblasio, and turned out to be his mother who was shot in the head simply because she was German?
    Now, would the esteemed mayor casually accept an opera being performed with the message that this act was just fine, or certainly understandable, or would there be some other type of reaction on his part?