Jewish popular comic, Jackie Mason, has refused to share a stage with a Palestinian stand-up artist. Arab comedian, Ray Hanania was told he could not perform just hours before he was scheduled to open for Mason in Chicago, US.
Jyll Rosenfeld, Mason's manager, recently told CNN, “It's not exactly like he's just an Arab-American. This guy's a Palestinian. “Jackie does not feel comfortable having a Palestinian open for him. Right now it's a very sensitive thing, it's just not a good idea.”
For his part, Ali Alarabi, president of the United Arab American League said, “I'm outraged. It is an act of hate and racism against Palestinians.” However, Rosenfeld, in return, conveyed, “Don't turn this into a racist issue, because it's not.”
"Our business is to make people laugh and not be uncomfortable," Mason has said in a written statement. "This individual apparently sought to exploit the tragic situation in the Middle East with the hope of enhancing his own reputation."
Later at a news conference, Mason said he had nothing to do with Hanania's dismissal. "It makes no difference to me if he was a Jew or a Palestinian," Mason said. "They don't involve me in these types of decisions. I sit in my room and write jokes, that's all I do." (Albawaba.com)
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