Events

Famous comedian Jackie Mason incites genocide of Palestinians
Ali Abunimah and Nigel Parry, The Electronic Intifada, 6 February 2003

World-renowned American stand-up comedian Jackie Mason has published an astonishing demand that Israel threaten the Palestinian people with genocide.

In an article entitled "Time To Threaten Arabs With Mass Eviction," published by The Jewish Press on 29 January 2003, Mason and co-author Raoul Felder wrote,

"We have paralyzed ourselves by our sickening fear of “World Opinion,” which is why we find it impossible to face one simple fact: We will never win this war unless we immediately threaten to drive every Arab out of Israel if the killing doesn’t stop."

Mason and Felder blame the entire Palestinian-Israeli conflict on Palestinian wickedness and hatred of Jews, and ignore completely Israel's decades of dispossession, occupation, repression and killings of Palestinians in far greater numbers than Israelis who have been killed in the conflict, to say nothing of the clear imperative for Israel to stop violating international law.

Since September 2000, Israel has killed more than two thousand Palestinians, the vast majority of them unarmed civilians and more than four hundred of them children, in its attempt to crush all resistance to its military dictatorship in the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. In the same period, more than seven hundred Israelis have been killed in Palestinian attacks, more than half of them unarmed civilians.

Mason and Felder exhort,

"We are brain-dead if we accept the idea that we have to guess which Arab is our next killer. We are not obligated to victimize ourselves by letting the Arabs play Russian roulette with Jewish lives. Israelis are constantly asked the same obnoxious question: “How can you throw the Arabs out — where would they go?” The answer is, if they don’t care whom they kill, why are we obligated to care where they go?"

The 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines as genocide, "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such":

"Killing members of the group; Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; or Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group." (Article 1)

Moreoever, under the Convention, "Direct and public incitement to commit genocide," is a punishable crime. (Article 2)

The accepted international legal definition of genocide includes many acts in addition to mass killings, such as forced expulsions of populations. For more discussion of the issue, see preventgenocide.org.

According to his own website, Mason says he "is widely regarded as one of the greatest stand-up comics of all time. Now more popular than ever, he combines lethal political satire with his own unique observations about everyday life."

In addition to enormous critical acclaim for his comedy, Mason's website states that, "the academic world bowed to Mason as prestigious Oxford University established the "Jackie Mason Lectureship in Contemporary Judaic and Hebraic Studies" for Postgraduate study. More recently, in 1995, Mason was awarded with an honorary degree of "Fellow in the Humanities" of Yarnton College at the University of Oxford."

Based in New York, The Jewish Press describes itself as "the largest independent Anglo-Jewish newspaper."

Since Israel began its violent crackdown in the Occupied Territories in September 2000, leading Israeli politicians, including cabinet members, have openly called for ethnic cleansing. Rehavam Zeevi, a leading advocate of this policy, assassinated by Palestinians in 2001, was celebrated by all Israeli school children by government decree last October 7. In the United States, newspapers such as USA Today have published calls for ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, just as former House Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey called for it on national television. As calls for war crimes against the Palestinians have become increasingly mainstream, leading pro-Israeli groups in the United States have remained silent about them. In this climate, it is no surprise that a well-known entertainer such as Mason can openly call for the crime of genocide and suffer no public repercussions or damage to his career.

Solution

1. Write to The Jewish Press to express outrage at Jackie Mason's incitement to ethnic cleansing and genocide.

The Jewish Press
338 Third Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215-1897

email: letters@jewishpress.com

2. Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper informing people about Mason's statement and asserting that no public figure should ever advocate such deplorable actions.

3. Monitor the media you read and watch for future support for ethnic cleansing and bring them to our attention.

4. Please write original letters and do not simply copy & paste the information above. As always, be brief, polite, quote accurately, and include your name, address, and telephone number (which most publications require to ensure publication).

Related Links:
 

  • The growing clamor for ethnic cleansing (28 August 2002)
     
  • Republican Party leader calls for ethnic cleansing of Palestinians on prime time talk show (2 May 2002)
     
  • USA Today publishes call for ethnic cleansing (22 February 2002)

     
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