As of now, everybody has something to say on the situation in Gaza. In fact, the word ‘situation’ underplays everything that is actually happening. However, that is how we’re treating it, because apparently, everyone has an opinion from the outside – without even knowing half of the truth. It’s worse that people think that condemning Israel is equivalent to supporting Hamas, and that there’s no argument in between. There is understandably more to the debate, and a recent interview of Bassem Youssef pointed exactly that.
Bassem Youssef, an Egyptian comedian, appeared on Piers Morgan’s talk show in an interview about the Israel-Hamas ‘conflict’. Bassem raised some important points throughout the interview, and pointed out at how misinformation can literally lead to worse outcomes in an already terrible situation. He started, “We get all our news secondhand because my wife’s family lives in Gaza. They have cousins and uncles there and their house also was bombed.”
The satirist then mentioned Ben Shapiro’s interview with Piers Morgan. Shapiro had talked about how he does not believe in proportional responses in wars – he had said that only an unproportionate response makes sense – without talking about the civilians who end up suffering as a result of these responses. Without missing a beat, Bassem asked, “How many more sons of b*tches do we need to kill do Ben Shapiro is happy?”
Piers Morgan showed a clip from Shapiro’s interview for context, and the language that he had used. He also added that the scale of what Hamas did on October, 7 supersedes anything else he’s ever seen in the ‘conflict’, and it was designed to ‘provoke’. He also asked Bassem Youssef what his response would be if he were Israel. While minding the intensity of the situation, he sarcastically said, “I’d do exactly what Israel did – kill as many people as possible, since the world is letting me do it”.
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When it was mentioned that Israel is bombing Gaza with ‘fair warnings’, Bassem added that if Russia was bombing Ukrainians with warnings, we still wouldn’t side with Putin. The satirist was questioned about Hamas’ actions on several occasions, to which he constantly responded that he condemns them. However, the entire point is that terror cannot be ended with more terror. He also talked about issues that have existed but have not been looked at:
“Right now in Palestine, 20% of Palestinians go through Israeli prison system whether imprisonment, interrogation or torture. The rest of them live a life of daily loss of land, of homes, of lives and they’re suffocated by it.”
There was also the mention of misinformation and false news. Like how the Israeli Prime Minister’s spokesman said that babies and toddlers “with their heads decapitated” had been found. However, when the news was later mentioned, a spokesman for the Israeli military replied, “We cannot confirm but you can assume it happened.” Bassem mentioned how such a news can trigger people, and force them into thinking of Palestinians as “less of humans” – which in-turn normalizes the repurcussions.
Watch the interview here:
Bassem Youssef talked about things that have been missing from common discourse. There’s so much to what is happening, and choosing a side cannot suffice it.