In 1995 Yasser Arafat, the head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, was in town to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the UN. He was attending a special concert by the New York Philharmonic for world leaders at the Lincoln Center — until the middle of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, when Mayor Giuliani had him tossed out.
"There's a difference between the diplomacy conducted at the United Nations, and then parties that are given to celebrate," Giuliani told NPR at the time. "It would be enormously offensive to the members of my host committee to have either Fidel Castro or Yasser Arafat because of the murder they've engaged in over a period of time."
Pro-Israel hardliners applauded the move, but at a time when the Clinton administration was pushing hard for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, it was a big embarrassment for the White House.
"Mayor Giuliani was so brusque, so in-your-face in his treatment of Arafat and others, that it really I thought crossed the line of where a mayor of New York should be," Burns says...Yeah, that was, like, awful. 😏