Chappelle Slams America in Abu Dhabi for 'Genocide' in Gaza

Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File

Comedian Dave Chappelle brought his stand-up act to Abu Dhabi. He voiced an interesting take on why 'genocide' is being committed by Israel in Gaza.

Israel is not committing genocide in Gaza. Hamas committed genocide on the Israelis and others during the massacres Hamas conducted in Israel on October 7, 2023. He went on to condemn antisemitism in America but not for the reason you might think.


Chappelle reasons that if the antisemitic protests in America would stop, Israel would not feel compelled to commit genocide as a measure of national safety. Um. What? He found a way to criticize the Israel-Hamas war and antisemitism, too. 

"What is happening in Gaza is a direct result of antisemitism in the West," he said during his sold-out set at "Abu Dhabi Comedy Week" on Thursday, the Middle Eastern outlet The National reported.

"If you are in America, the best thing you can do is to make American-Jews feel safe, feel loved and supported so they can know they don't have to support a country that is committing genocide just to feel safe," he said.

Chappelle is a Muslim. He is known for controversial performances because he attacks everyone. No one is safe from his razor-sharp commentary. This, however, is blaming the victims of terrorism for fighting back for survival. It is a war that has to be fought. It is not genocide. No other country does more to protect innocent civilians than Israel. 

Chappelle said he was warned not to discuss the war during his show in Abu Dhabi. So, of course, that is exactly what he was going to do, in some manner. He briefly touched on the subject. He spoke just enough to jab a finger in the eye of whoever gave him that warning. That's Chappelle's way. 

He said that people around the world support Israel in the war because of the protests, which threaten Jews everywhere. Israel is the only Jewish nation in the world. Chappelle was speaking in a Muslim country. 


When he mentioned that he was not supposed to talk about the war, a woman in the audience screamed "Free Palestine" and there was applause. 

It should be noted that Abu Dhabi has maintained its diplomatic relations with Israel. It has increasingly criticized Israel's conduct of the war.  Sounds like the Biden administration. 

Meanwhile, while pro-Palestinian marches have swept across the wider Middle East since the war began, protests and speech remain tightly restricted in the Emirates, a federation of seven sheikdoms on the Arabian Peninsula.

Even before Chappelle came on stage, the full crowd at Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena cheered as DJ Trauma, who accompanied Chappelle on the trip, played the song “My Blood Is Palestinian” by the Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf. The thousands there agreed to place their switched-off mobile phones in locked pouches for the performance — a standard feature of Chappelle’s shows.

Chappelle had another moment on the subject. 

Another moment also displayed just how diverse the crowd was in Abu Dhabi. In telling another joke about how Jews cheer while drinking, Chappelle said “l’chaim,” or “to life” in Hebrew, which another man shouted back from the audience.

Fun fact - that is my favorite toast. I've used it for years. 

Chappelle mostly steered clear of politics. Except when he didn't. 

But when touching on the upcoming U.S. election, Chappelle’s mention of President Joe Biden — who has promised “ironclad” support for Israel — drew widespread boos throughout the arena. Donald Trump drew scattered cheers.

Chappelle, as other artists during the performance, told some racy jokes and swore. But they largely avoided discussing local politics — though Chappelle did make a sly joke about the UAE’s widespread surveillance network and another deadpanning about “how difficult is it to be gay” in the country as homosexuality is illegal.


So, Biden was booed while Trump was cheered. Funny. I've been told that Biden is respected and well-liked worldwide and Trump is not. It's like the media and Democrats lie to us, or something.

It's disappointing to hear Chappelle deliver Hamas's talking points, however briefly. Especially overseas in a Muslim country. 

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