(TheProudRepublic.com) – At a live performance in Boston’s TD Garden, comedian Dave Chappelle delved heavily into the Israel-Palestine conflict, prompting a mixed response from the audience. Some attendees cheered in agreement, while others vehemently disagreed, leading to heated exchanges and fearful walkouts.
Chappelle touched on the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, which resulted in around 1,400 Israeli deaths. He condemned the attack at first but criticized what he termed as Israel’s “war crimes” in Gaza. This was in reference to the Israeli government’s actions, including cutting off food, water, and electricity to Gaza, as well as the killing of more than 4,300 Palestinians, among them women and children, in recent conflicts.
The comedian’s political comments ignited strong reactions in the crowd. While he spoke about not believing that people should lose their jobs for supporting Palestinians, one attendee yelled at him to “shut up.” Chappelle’s retort criticized the Israeli government’s policies in Gaza, leading to heightened tensions in the room. Some audience members responded with shouts of “Free Palestine!” while others countered with “What about Hamas?!”
A Facebook post by a Jewish attendee, recounting the evening, described the environment as increasingly tense and concerning. The person noted that they felt “unsafe” and “fearful,” especially when a portion of the nearly 20,000-strong audience began yelling pro-Palestinian and pro-Hamas slogans. The post expressed concern about the potential for violence against Jewish members in the audience so they started walking out.
The end of Chappelle’s show featured a more reflective statement, with the comedian noting that “two wrongs don’t make a right,” seemingly referencing both the Hamas attacks and Israel’s subsequent responses.
Confusingly, a spokesperson for Chappelle stated that the comedian “denies being in Boston” that night. However, ticket outlets had listed the show among Chappelle’s tour dates.
The controversial nature of the show, combined with the lack of video evidence due to attendees’ phones being locked up, has intensified discussions surrounding the evening.