FEAR THIS OPERA. It's not at all clear why Jonah Goldberg is so obsessed with hyping the threat to Idomeneo, but responding to Jews convincing the Polish Embassy to cancel a talk by Tony Judt, he writes: "But, tell me, did Foxman threaten to cut off Judt's head?"
Of course, the only head that was getting cut off in Idomeneo was Muhammad's. According to Bloomberg, "The police have since said that they received no concrete threat." Oh. So free speech now quakes before phantom threats? Indeed, interior secretary Ehrhart Koerting, the official who asked the opera director to cancel the show in the first place, now admits that he made a "mistake," and was "worrying too much about security."
So let's get the facts straight: Working off no specific threat of any type, the interior minister feared Muslim backlash and asked an opera director to cancel a production. The political and media establishments mocked and opposed the decision, the interior secretary admitted he was overreacting, and the opera is likely back on for December. This is the grave threat to free speech that merited a New Republic editorial and Jonah's continuing terror. Weird.