Wednesday, April 24, 2024

‘Watch this video’, John Oliver calls for empathy on Israel-Hamas war, gets a thumbs up from netizens

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In a recent episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver delved into the complex and contentious Israel-Hamas war by highlighting the failures of leadership and underscoring the importance of empathy in any rhetoric. He started the show by reminding the viewers about “thousands of years of generational trauma informing the response to this, including the Holocaust and the Nakba or mass violent displacement of Palestinians during and after Israel’s founding”.

Oliver criticized the common misconception that equates leaders with their citizens, emphasizing that neither Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor Hamas represents the entirety of their respective populations. “To assume that Netanyahu speaks for all Israelis, or that Hamas speaks for all Palestinians, because that is emphatically not the case,” Oliver stated in the show.

Oliver explained how Netanyahu has covertly funded Hamas to play them off their more organized and legitimate rival, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, “Netanyahu took the risk of betting that he could control Hamas, and use them to his own ends, and he was horribly wrong about that.” He also highlighted his unpopularity, quoting polls that confirm a large majority of Israelis disapprove of his leadership.

In sum, “Palestinians and Israelis have both been relentlessly let down by their leaders and the result has been a decades-long cycle of extremism, violence, retaliation and more extremism,” Oliver said. Palestinians have experienced that twice over – “subject to the inadequacies and cruelties of a Hamas government and the punishing isolation and daily miseries of an Israeli one”, caging them in a so called “open air prison” by many humanitarian groups.

And the US has “emphatically picked a side” with $3.8bn in annual aid to Israel, including many, many weapons used to bomb Gaza.” he emphasized.

While Oliver admitted he did not have a solution for peace in the Middle East, he stressed that a ceasefire must be the first step to break the cycle of violence and extremism. “Continuing down this path only creates more extremists, which is the last thing that anybody needs.”

He concluded by reiterating the crucial need for empathy and leadership different from the current status quo to address the ongoing conflict effectively.

“Any conversation around this has to begin with empathy, or we’re just f**ked,” he concluded. “We know that dehumanizing people leads to violence. We know that violence leads to even more brutality and destruction, and we know that crucially, breaking that cycle is unfortunately going to require leadership significantly different than the ones currently in place.”

Netizens has hailed Oliver’s analysis of the Israel crisis as one on the best, “Comedians have more clarity than sold out mainstream media,” writes are follower, “. Whereas another says, “It has to be possible to feel the pain in one community without denying it in another”.‘Watch this video’, John Oliver calls for empathy on Israel-Hamas war, gets a thumbs up from netizens

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