ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — American comedian Dave Chappelle said Thursday a “genocide” is striking the Gaza Strip amid the Israel-Hamas war to cheers during his performance in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, while urging Americans to fight antisemitism so Jews don’t feel like they need to be protected by Israel. Chappelle’s comments come as Abu Dhabi has maintained its diplomatic relations with Israel even as it has increasingly criticized its conduct in the seven-month war. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Meanwhile, while pro-Palestinian marches have swept across the wider Middle East since the war began, protests and speech remains tightly restricted in the Emirates, a federation of seven sheikdoms on the Arabian Peninsula. Even before coming 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.

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