A Jew and a Muslim walked into a bar…sounds so ridiculous it has to be the start of a joke, right? What if we could all just get along? With all of the tension between Jews and Arabs these days — tension that seems to be regularly heightened, rather than diminished — there must be a better way to deal with it. We’ve tried peace processes and road maps, but nothing has led us out of the mess. Now, an unlikely team of a Jew and an Arab are arriving in Israel to stage their own peace plan…well, of sorts. Except the stage is the theater, and their message is going to make you laugh.
Reform Rabbi Bob Alper and Egyptian-born, California-raised Ahmed Ahmed will take to the Israeli stage with their Laugh in Peace Comedy Tour. The Tour will be performing in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa starting on August 15th.
Alright, I won’t be disingenuous; they probably won’t win the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts. But after speaking with Bob Alper — and I don’t want to give anything away — I can assure you they will win laughs while pointing out stereotypes in hilarious ways.
In the past 14 years, Alper and Ahmed have performed more than 150 times together, throughout the US, Canada and England, and at synagogues, churches, mosques, theaters and, most often, college campuses where the Arab and Jewish students jointly co-sponsor their appearance. This will be their first time performing in Israel.
While I’ve only gotten a bit of a preview myself, it is heartwarming to see two guys from such obviously different backgrounds, who have not only found deep friendship through a shared love of comedy, but are able to use humor to reach across enormous cultural divides and demonstrate how similar we all really are.
As Alper says, when people laugh together they can’t hate each other.
The Israel Tour will take place as follows:
- Saturday Night — Aug 15 — Jerusalem — 21:30 at the Yellow Submarine
- Sunday Night — Aug 16 — Tel Aviv — 20:00 at Tzavta 3
- Monday Night — Aug 17 — Haifa — 20:00 Beit Hagefen Arab Jewish Cultural Center
Tickets are 80 NIS and are available for purchase at each venue, online and via phone.