Laughter is the best medicine, they say. And according to Seinfeld
's Jason Alexander
, it may also be the best tool for building peace. Alexander created a project with OneVoice
, a non-profit organization which aims to increase the voices of moderates in Israel and Palestine, called "Imagine: 2018." For the project, he asked high school students in the two nations to imagine what the world would like in 10 years if there was an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement signed in 2008.
The final result is a book with 50 stories from each side, as well two short films based on them. Many of the stories used humor to tell their tale, which Alexander condoned. "God knows if you can make people laugh, it's the best way to heal wounds," he said when he addressed a Jerusalem crowd on Wednesday. However, he made sure to warn his audience that humor isn't always universal. For example, the Jewish comedian noted that a lot of Jewish jokes revolved around self-deprecation, a trait he suspected wouldn't be popular with Arab populations.
He also drew a parallel between his former "show about nothing" and this important issue to illustrate that even when something seems nearly impossible, it can result in success: "We were canceled, we were gone, we were a distant memory and somehow
we came back and eventually everybody caught on and started paying
Alexander first traveled to Israel in 1990 and has continued to visit the country regularly, often doing work with OneVoice. He is upset about how close-minded Americans' can be on the conflict. "When you sit down and you talk to people on both sides, everyone's humanity and the similarity we all share comes out," he said.
Jason Alexander on IMDb
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