Why bother?

The fun part about being a standup comedian is getting to do shows in exotic places. I’ve been fortunate enough to perform in Israel, England, Canada, Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan for the troops, along with many other places that have all been great experiences. When traveling to these places it also allows you to meet a wide range of people, many who have obviously grown up with different narratives than you when it comes to how we see the world, more specifically, how we see Israel.

I’ve become friends on Facebook with many of the people I’ve met throughout my travels, and while we may disagree on politics and a wide variety of other topics, when it comes to Israel, for the most part it’s usually pretty civil, for the most part. Every now and then though, a Facebook friend will post something that is so absurd about Israel, it sounds like a German from the 1930’s. Just my luck, one of those friends, a fellow comic in England, has an obsession with doing just that.

It crosses my mind to just ignore it and move on, as many of the other people commenting whom I am not friends with are also crazy, but then I think better of it. Don’t get me wrong, I know sometimes you have to just ignore crazy people when they tirade off on something absurd, but when it comes to Israel, I’m thinking we should do that less. On one post, I actually engaged with a woman who truly believes the Jews control the world media, along with British Border control. Now, it’s obvious to any rational person that this woman is just an anti-Semitic bigot, but I continued to go after her.

A lot of my friends say, “Avi, why bother? These people are nuts!?” I agree with you. They are, and I’m obviously not going to convince them to change their minds, but I think it’s important that, thanks to Israel, we can finally speak back, and call them the anti-Semites that they are. Our grandparents and great grandparents had no such luxury. In fact, for 2000 years, we had no such luxury.

Aside from other people, most who are not crazy, seeing these posts and chiming in every now and then that they completely disagree with these lunatics, it lets people know that not only will we talk back, but we will talk back harshly, at least I will, and frankly I think it shocks them. I’ve name called (only when they’ve started though) been the aggressor, made fun of them, spoken down to them, been as condescending as I can, and I feel no remorse whatsoever. It’s about time that anti Semites in Europe learn that the days of Jews sitting in the corner keeping quiet and just trying to stay out of trouble are over. You post something racist and disgusting, I’m going to call you out on it, and say you stupid for posting it, or a racist. Take your pick, you’re either ignorant or a bigot. Either way, you are going to hear about it. So on this day commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, you may not stop posting your anti Semitic bile, but I won’t stop responding either.

About the Author
Avi Liberman is a stand-up comic who was born in Israel, raised in Texas and now lives in Los Angeles. Avi founded Comedy for Koby, a bi-annual tour of Israel featuring some of America's top stand-up comedians.