Jewish comic sacks comedian for being Palestinian
The HomeTown Channel & Associated Press
August 27, 2002
Having a comedian of Palestinian descent on the opening bill Tuesday
night was no laughing matter for Jewish comedian Jackie Mason.
So, he had him removed.
Ray Hanania was supposed to open for Mason at a club in Chicago.
A few hours before showtime, he got a call saying his act was canceled.
Mason's manager, Jyll Rosenfeld, said Mason hadn't been told earlier
that Hanania was Palestinian.
Mason is an strong supporter of Israel, and his manager cited recent
Israeli-Palestinian violence and delayed peace as she expained the
"Jackie does not feel comfortable having a Palestinian open
for him," Rosenfeld told The Associated Press. "Right
now it's a very sensitive thing, it's just not a good idea."
Rosenfeld added that the decision had nothing to do with Hanania
himself, a Vietnam vet and former journalist.
But members of the Arab-American community are outraged. Ali Alarabi
of the United Arab American League says it's an act of hate and
racism, and he wants an apology.
Mason, 71, has appeared in such films as "The Jerk,"
"Caddyshack 2," and has voiced a role on television's
"The Simpsons." He earned a lifetime achievement Tony
Award in 1987 for his contributions to live theater.