The Daily Show host Trevor Noah on Tuesday addressed the recent tensions in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine—as much as could reasonably be done in the time it takes to boil an egg.
In recent days, Israeli police clashed with Palestinians at a Jerusalem mosque, nine children were among at least two dozen people killed by Israeli airstrikes, and Gaza militants fired rockets of their own at Israel, killing three.
Noah, who acknowledged that there isn’t “any TV show [that] in ten minutes is going to solve [the] Israel-Palestine [problem],” did make some keen observations.
For one, as a topic that has perplexed even the world’s best diplomats, it is even harder to unravel if no one can agree on where to begin analyzing it.
“If you start from ‘Israel fired rockets into Gaza,’ then Israel is the bad guy, because they’re bombing Gaza,” Noah explained. “But then you take a step back in time, and you go, ‘Well, but Hamas fired rockets at Israel.’ Then Hamas is the bad guy. But then you take a step back, and you go, ‘But the Israeli police went in and started beating people up in a mosque during Ramadan, the most holy time in the Muslim calendar.’ Well then, Israel is the bad guy.”
“And back and back and back, and who knows how far. The first cavemen who hit each other with clubs were probably Israeli and Palestinian. I don’t know.”
Noah then pointed out the relative superiority of the Israeli military because of its ability to produce high-end, high-tech weapons (in part thanks to U.S. funding).
“I just want to ask an honest question here,” Noah said. “If you are in a fight where the other person cannot beat you, how much should you retaliate when they try to hurt you?”
“Everyone has a different answer to the question, and I’m not trying to answer the question, nor do I think I’m smart enough to solve it. All I ask is, when you have this much power, what is your responsibility?”