An upcoming on-campus performance plans to take a different approach to the tension in the Middle East — comedy.
The Nov. 12 show, “Stand Up for Peace,” will highlight the similarities between Israelis and Palestinians, and not their differences.
Hillel’s Bearcats for Israel and the Muslim Student Association will be holding the event at 7 p.m. in Studio B of the Fine Arts Building.
Shayna Eichen, a senior history major and co-coordinator of the event, called it a “two-comedian solution to peace in the Middle East.”
“The basic idea is that once both sides can relate on a personal level and be able to connect, it will help to ease some of the tension,” she said.
The two comedians performing will be Scott Blakeman and Dean Obeidallah, who have both appeared on the television network Comedy Central.
Tickets will cost $2 for students and $5 for community members, which is relatively inexpensive considering the cost to bring the comedians to Binghamton University.
“The problem for us was that the actual act cost a lot of money … we needed a couple thousand dollars for them to come. The biggest challenge was to figure out if we would have enough money,” said Maheen Kibria, a junior psychobiology major and co-vice president of the Muslim SA.
According to Eichen, Kibria and Natalie Sela, senior English global studies major and co-coordinator of the event through Hillel, a lot of time was spent meeting with other organizations to get them to co-sponsor the event.
The co-sponsorship and involvement from other student groups turned into an opportunity to mesh relations among clubs, a goal of both Hillel and the Muslim SA.
“It’s awesome because we have a way to start coalitions with different groups on campus and branch out and do things with them. We thought it would be emblematic of the cause itself to get clubs of a lot of different backgrounds in on it,” Eichen said.
Cosponsors for the event include Binghamton University Zionist Organization (BUZO), Rainbow Pride Union, B.L.A.C.K. Unity, Women’s Student Union and Diverse Cultural Xcellence (DCX).
“The best part about the event is that more groups are collaborating. It’s very positive programming. We believe it should have been happening for years,” Sela said.
According to Eichen and Sela, the money charged at the door will go back to Hillel for their expenses; however, any profit made will be an additional donation to a summer camp called Seeds of Peace. This camp in Maine brings Israeli and Palestinian teenagers together in an attempt to promote an understanding between the two cultures.
“It has become kind of like a unity event. We want to diminish the animosity between Jews and Muslims, at least on campus. By running the event and working with Hillel, we are showing how we can accomplish things together,” Kibria said.
Ryan Vaughan, an English professor at BU known for his sense of humor, will open the show.
Tickets can be reserved online at firstname.lastname@example.org or bought on the night of the event at the door.