November 25, 2017

On Israel-Palestine

On Israel-Palestine

I support the Two-State solution, oppose the use of violence and believe that both sides must compromise.

I oppose violence by Hamas and by the Israeli settler movement. Israeli settlements are illegal and are intended to prevent peace. Their continued existence and expansion fuel hatred and violence and will eventually be Israel’s undoing.

I support the original BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) which targeted the illegal Israeli settlements and the theft of both land and products from those lands by extremist Israeli Jews. I do not support a Boycott of Israel and believe that boycotting Israel is a contradiction to the embrace of the Two-State Solution.

I also believe the Israeli rejection of Palestinian Statehood is a racist expression of Apartheid.

Ray Hanania caricatureI criticize governments in my writing, including criticizing Israel’s government. I criticize the Palestinian Authority, which is a quasi-government with very limited powers controlled by Israel. I criticize the Arab Governments and I also criticize the American Government.

Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism. But the rejection of Palestinian rights in Palestine is a form of anti-Semitism. Palestinians are a Semitic people.

I am attacked by fanatics on all sides, which I proudly recognize as a bad of courage and success. Success in that they verify that my writings are significant, important and relevant to the movement to achieve peace in Palestine and Israel.

As a Palestinian Arab Christian, I also believe that the Christian population of the Middle East, especially and including in Israel, are being threatened by extremist government and religious policies by the Arab countries and by Israel. Christians in America must recognize the rights of Christians in the Middle East and do more to protect them.

I perform standup comedy and created “Comedy for Peace” in 2004 and co-founded the Israeli-Palestinian Comedy Tour in 2006 with Israeli comedian Charley Warady. The purpose is to use comedy and humor to break through the hatred and reach Jewish, Arab, Israeli and Palestinian audiences that might not otherwise listen to the other side.

My daughter is Catholic and my wife and son are Jewish. We had more than 300 people at my son’s Bar Mitzvah and it was fun to watch them fight over who created Hummus!

— RAY HANANIA