[Ikhras Note: Maysoon Zayid’s simultaneous refusal to support BDS or any Palestine solidarity activism considered “controversial” by American mainstream standards while continuing to use the Palestinian cause as a punch line in pursuit of a mediocre career on the margins of American pop culture has led to a community backlash. Her ongoing support for the American Task Force on Palestine and her latest role as Liberal Zionists’ token Palestinian at Open Zion has reinforced the belief that for Zayid Palestine is nothing more than a personal vanity vehicle. In response to her increasing isolation from the Palestinian-American community and its supporters Zayid has resorted to fabricating a busy schedule of “comedy” shows, gigs, and tours from Ramallah to Hollywood that almost always never take place or end up being something very different than what she initially claimed. In this special guest submission ikhras friend and Southern California-based activist Tammy Obeidallah reports on Zayid’s recent visit to tinseltown.]
It has been a week since all the hype, paparazzi and excitement surrounding Maysoon Zayid’s much trumpted Anaheim comedy show has faded. According to the acclaimed Hollywood actress, not only was she performing at such venues as Anaheim House of Blues and for Palestinian American Women’s Association (PAWA), but would also be gracing Little Arabia—a stretch of predominantly Arab-owned businesses in Anaheim—with her presence.
After waiting hours in the Southern California sun, disappointed fans had to face the grim reality that Ms. Zayid was not going to appear. It was later learned that Maysoon’s “comedy show” was actually an opening act for Bollywood Dancers at a country club in Yorba Linda-not Anaheim. Inquiries were made at Anaheim House of Blues; staff there had to admit they had never heard of Maysoon Zayid, let alone booked her.
Even more shocking, restaurants in Little Arabia which had been competing for Maysoon Zayid’s business were forced to concede to their ritzier counterparts in Newport Beach as the comedienne ditched on yet another promise. Perhaps she was upset at the number of businesses in Little Arabia refusing to display her flyers or advertise for her in any way.
However, rejection by the majority of the Arab-American community should come as little surprise when one refuses to support Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) of Israel, plays in a pro-IDF film full of racist anti-Arab stereotypes and applauds war criminals at American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) galas.
Should Maysoon return to Orange County and expect any non-House Arab fans to turn out in support of her, she should also curb her belittling of Palestinian hunger strikers such as Khader Adnan and cursing of Palestinian revolutionary icon Leila Khaled.