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Comedy for Peace David Lewis

Have you ever thought about what might happen if Jewish and Palestinian, Arab and Israeli comics shared the same stage in the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Would there be riots? Would people laugh at the same jokes? Would the performances open people's minds? Ray Hanania, a Palestinian American comedian (married to a Jew) dreamed up this idea. Now – with the help of media professionals and dozens of supporters around the world – his vision is becoming a reality as Comedy for Peace. The project has the financial support of Jewish and Arab, Israeli and Palestinian foundations and individuals, NGO’s, corporations.

The Comedy for Peace performances and the documentary, Laughing Through the Tears, began in 2003 when David Lewis met Ray Hanania on a journalism panel about covering the Middle East. Lewis is a veteran filmmaker and broadcast journalist who happens to be Jewish. Hanania is a veteran journalist and PR man who happens to be of Palestinian descent. Both heard things from each other they did not expect: statements that showed both were willing to think outside their own tribal backgrounds and look at the conflict in the Middle East from a broader perspective and with the view that peace, compromise, co-existence and an end to violence were the only road forward.

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