BDS can bark all it wants, but top-of-the-line comedians are still coming to Israel.
American comedy legend Chris Rock last week took his act to Israel, performing in the country for the first time before a crowd of 10,000 at Tel Aviv’s Menorah Mivtachim Arena.
The comedian performed Tuesday in defiance of calls issued by the anti-Israel BDS movement to cancel the show.
“I’m loving this country. Israel, yeah!” Rock said in between raucous applause and laughter.
Leading up to Rock’s Israel performance, the BDS movement penned a letter to the comedian alleging that the “Jewish-Israeli majority” considers non-Jewish African asylum seekers to be a “cancer.”
Rock’s show in Israel was part of his second global comedy tour since 2009. While his performance in Tel Aviv was his first act in the Jewish state, he previously visited the country in 2008 with celebrities Ben Stiller and Jada Pinkett Smith for the premiere of the animated film “Madagascar 2,” in which Rock voiced the character Marty the zebra.
In the meantime, famed Jewish-American comedian and actor Jerry Seinfeld came under fire last week for a recent visit to a counter-terrorism and security training academy in the Judean community of Efrat.
Seinfeld spent 10 days in Israel with his family upon visiting to deliver two stand-up comedy performances in Tel Aviv.
On Tuesday, the counter-terror training academy Caliber 3 removed photos of Seinfeld at its facilities after posting the images online a few days earlier.
“Finally we are allowed to tell you! Jerry Seinfeld and his family were in Caliber 3,” the caption on the now-removed photos had stated. “During their visit to Israel last week, they came to us for a special and exciting activity with displays of combat, Krav Maga, assault dogs and lots of Zionism. It was great.”
Culture writer Eric Thurm tweeted, “I can never unsee Jerry Seinfeld gleefully posing with a machine gun at an IDF fantasy camp,” while Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, tweeted that there is “nothing funny about occupation, colonization and profiteering off the theft of another people’s land.”
Munayyer’s organization is on the Israeli government’s newly published list of 20 BDS groups whose “central figures” are barred from entering Israel.
Seinfeld was also criticized for his visit to the Ramon Air Force Base in the Negev, where he was photographed boarding an Israeli Air Force fighter plane.
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