View Full Version : Standup for Peace

03-14-2008, 09:05 PM

a Duoist
03-15-2008, 12:55 AM
Not to belabor the difference, but as Immanuel Kant pointed out more than two hundred years ago, striving for 'peace' between the Arabs ('salaam') and the Jews ('shalom') will never achieve 'peace.' Paraphrasing Kant, he said that history has proved that until two peoples were both free there would be no enduring peace between them.

Comedy sounds like a wonderful approach. But the pragmatic Kant message is about turning to the moral of freedom, not focusing on the ideal of peace. If 'peace' is the unintended foil of achieving peace, then how can freedom be used humorously to make the moral point between the Jews and Arabs?

03-15-2008, 01:54 AM
We're those comedians or Cub Scout leaders?

03-15-2008, 04:31 AM
Hehe, I'm glad that Scott mentioned Columbia as being one of the universities where there's lots of tension about the Israel/Palestine conflict. I'd say that "tension" is quite the understatement ;-)

I'm a Columbia student and am neither Jewish nor Arab, but whenever there's a speaker about the Middle East on campus, it seems that WWIII erupts! I've been rather pessimistic about any peace in the MidEast -- if Americans can't keep from tearing each other to shreds over the issue, how will Israelis & Palestinians ever make peace?!!! Unfortunately, Columbia has a far larger Jewish majority so any pro-Palestinian sentiment seems to be expressly forbidden on campus. It's such a shame, which is why I've decided to leave it to Jews and Arabs to blast each other to pieces. Lets hope comedy will work...it seems that logic has failed.

03-15-2008, 04:56 AM
Now that I've finished the entire diavlog, I'll say that I'm happy to hear that both Dean & Scott are so optimistic about this subject. It's true that in the US, debate on this issue is rather non-existent since it's such a politically incorrect issue to debate. I agree that many college groups invite such controversial speakers, which only worsens hostilities. Hopefully Columbia will have the privilege to host the two of you once again.

03-15-2008, 05:15 AM
Thanks to Dean and Scott for compassionately standing up for peace.

It takes artistic brilliance and a generous soul to create humor from the blood, sweat and tears of the terminally unfunny Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

03-15-2008, 10:47 AM
in the last segment one of the speakers says people ( americans ) should get behind and support the two state solution. Why? Should Tamil and Sri Lankan Americans be rallying their fellow Americans to be involved in the war in their homeland? Of course not.

Something I dont think is right is Jewish and Arab Americans want the US to be involved in the fight for Palestine, yet, based on anecdotal evidence, their ethnic groups are more than a little underrepresented in the US military. esp the combat arms.

to paraphrase a question Michael Scheurer asks in his latest book, is the prime concern of Arab and Jewish Americans the well being and safety of the citizens of the country they live in?


"...Is the protection of U.S. interests and American citizens, and the maintenance of American sovereignty, independence, and freedom of action, any longer the primary, overriding concern of the U.S. federal government? ..."

btw, David Rieff reviews and trashes the Scheuer book in the Times. He does not say he opposes the Scheuer proposal of ending US aid to Israel and all Arab States. Only that such a policy would destroy the world economy. So the US has to support and be involved in the never ending Jewish/Arab fight because otherwise worldwide chaos would ensue.


Sounds like a plan. Let's give it a try.


03-15-2008, 03:46 PM
Scott and Dean:

I am impressed by what you two are trying to do and I strongly support your message. You're absolutely right that laughter is the best medicine and is a powerful tool for airing political grievances. You're absolutely right about getting together and talking is the only way forward. You're absolutely right about understanding how the other side sees things being key to progress.

However, as a diavlog, this was possibly the most tedious thing I've ever heard on this site (that didn't involve Ann Althouse). I listened for a long while, thinking, and then hoping, and then faintly hoping, that you'd get past the "introduction." I finally had to give it up after about 25 minutes.

I realize that this is an unfamiliar format for you two, and I know that your stand-up routine would have been weird to try to pull off when you were just talking to each other on the phone. However, if you ever have occasion to do something like BH.tv again, please feel free to take five or ten minutes to explain what you do and what you're after, but then move on from the preaching to some kind of conversation. To spend the length of time that you did only talking about your mission and tactics made the whole thing feel like a pitch geared toward college freshman who have expressed an interest in working for PIRG.

Again, as I said at the beginning, I wholly support everything that the two of you are about. I admire your philosophy, your efforts and your commitment. I just wanted to register my complaints in the hope that they would be of some use to you for future times when you're doing something other than your regular show. And speaking of your regular show, I hope to catch it sometime.

03-18-2008, 03:56 PM
Yes, perpetual war is such a more attractive alternative.

03-18-2008, 04:00 PM
Michael/CC, what do you think of the policy adopted toward Hamas after they were elected into power?

03-18-2008, 11:41 PM
For the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War, I thought this one was worth reprising:

Sunday March 16 2003
The Observer

An obscure Jewish sect in New York has been gripped in awe by what it believes to be a mystical visitation by a 20lb carp that was heard shouting in Hebrew, in what many Jews worldwide are hailing as a modern miracle.

Many of the 7,000-member Skver sect of Hasidim in New Square, 30 miles north of Manhattan, believe God has revealed himself in fish form.

According to two fish-cutters at the New Square Fish Market, the carp was about to be slaughtered and made into gefilte fish for Sabbath dinner when it suddenly began shouting apocalyptic warnings in Hebrew.

Many believe the carp was channelling the troubled soul of a revered community elder who recently died; others say it was God. The only witnesses to the mystical show were Zalmen Rosen, a 57-year-old Hasid with 11 children, and his co-worker, Luis Nivelo. They say that on 28 January at 4pm they were about to club the carp on the head when it began yelling.

Nivelo, a Gentile who does not understand Hebrew, was so shocked at the sight of a fish talking in any language that he fell over. He ran into the front of the store screaming: 'It's the Devil! The Devil is here!' Then the shop owner heard it shouting warnings and commands too.

'It said "Tzaruch shemirah" and "Hasof bah",' he told the New York Times, 'which essentially means that everyone needs to account for themselves because the end is near.'

The animated carp commanded Rosen to pray and study the Torah. Rosen tried to kill the fish but injured himself. It was finally butchered by Nivelo and sold.

However, word spread far and wide and Nivelo complains he has been plagued by phone calls from as far away as London and Israel. The story has since been amplified by repetition and some now believe the fish's outburst was a warning about the dangers of the impending war in Iraq.

Some say they fear the born-again President Bush believes he is preparing the world for the Second Coming of Christ, and war in Iraq is just the opening salvo in the battle of Armageddon.....

03-18-2008, 11:50 PM
I maybe sick but I find that hilarious.

03-19-2008, 12:11 AM
Oy, Vonderment, you think this is FUNNY?? *spit spit spit*

Abu Noor Al-Irlandee
03-19-2008, 12:40 PM

You realize that Likud did not accept the two state solution and called for scrapping Oslo as well...did that make Likud illegitimate as a negotiating partner for the Palestinians?