Seinfeld's Jason Alexander Visits Israel with Leftist OneVoice
Jason Alexander, better known as George Costanza for his role on the hit television series, “Seinfeld” visited the Israeli Knesset on Monday and joined a discussion in an event hosted by MK Yoel Hasson of Kadima.
Hasson helped found the Knesset’s Two State Solution Caucus, whose members met with Alexander’s delegation. The event was designed to help the delegation understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and explain how to implement a two-state solution while improving Israel’s image internationally.
Alexander is visiting Israel with a 30-person delegation, as part of the OneVoice campaign, an organization dedicated to a two-state solution. MK Hasson was formerly a youth leader of One Voice. Today he leads a Caucus that aims to maintain pressure on the Israeli government to adopt a two-state solution by forming a moderate bloc in the Knesset.
The visiting delegation included international business leaders and philanthropists, who in their week-long trip will meet with top Israeli and Palestinian leaders, attend a town hall meeting in Kalkylia and engage with Israeli and Palestinian activists, who are part of the OneVoice movement “in building peace from the ground up.”
Alexander also plans to visit the rocket-torn city of Sderot and hold workshops with Haifa youth. He is expected to meet with Minister of Strategic Affairs and former COS MK Moshe Ya’alon, Deputy PM MK Dan Meridor, Opposition Chairwoman MK Tzipi Livni and Deputy Foreign Minister MK Danny Ayalon. Alexander is also expected to meet with PA head Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
Alexander first visited Israel over twenty years ago and has since then visited the country several times, often doing work with One Voice.
OneVoice is a non-profit and international grassroots organization with headquarters in New York, Tel Aviv and Ramallah. In the coming months, One Voice plans to expand its campaign into cities such as Bethlehem and Hebron to inspire Palestinians to “take an active role in building a Palestinian state to pave the way for ending the occupation and resolving the conflict.”
During a visit in 2009, the Seinfeld star stated that the stereotypes of the conflict often mislead his fellow Americans. "People here get painted throughout the world with a very wide brush," he said.
"To most of the world, to most people I know, Israelis are two things: victims or occupiers. Palestinians are two things: victims or terrorists. ... But when you sit down and you talk to people on both sides, everyone's humanity and the similarity we all share comes out.”
While Alexander may be well-intentioned in his support, OneVoice has been harshly criticized in the past for having such extremist figures as Hamas cleric, Sheikh Taysir Al-Tamimi speak on behalf of the organization in the name of peace. Tamimi, who also happens to be a OneVoice member, frequently incites hatred against Israel in his sermons as well as in international forums.