LONDON: Comments made by Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef during an interview on Piers Morgan’s TV talk show, in which he accused Morgan of comparing Israel to Daesh, have gone viral on social media in the two days since they were broadcast.
During his show “Piers Morgan Uncensored” on Monday evening, Morgan suggested that it would be difficult to eradicate Hamas, as Israeli authorities have vowed to do, “without massive, colossal damage” that results in mass deaths among the innocent civilian population of Gaza.
Youssef responded: “So if I can understand this correctly, basically Israel is doing this to pressure the Palestinian community in Gaza to turn against Hamas, is that right? This is exactly what terrorist organizations do.”
He added: “Terrorist organizations would have no chance beating a whole nation in battle. So, they terrorize and kill the civilians in order to spread fear and terror so (that) they (the civilians) can turn against their government to change their policy or to resign.
“You have just compared Israel with ISIS,” he told Morgan, using another term for the terror group Daesh.
Morgan rejected the suggestion that his words could be interpreted as making such a comparison. However, Youssef persisted, saying that the big headline in newspapers the following day would be: “Piers Morgan: Israel is ISIS.”
Youssef subsequently shared an edited extract of the interview on X, but Morgan responded with a reply in which he asked: “Why did you cut off the end of this where I say the correct comparison is between Hamas and ISIS?”
Why did you cut off the end of this where I say the correct comparison is between Hamas and ISIS? https://t.co/3VmFwxFu0i
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 18, 2023
In the full-length interview, uploaded to Morgan’s YouTube channel, the British presenter does indeed tell his guest that Hamas can be likened to ISIS, saying: “They are both nihilists, intent on killing as many Jewish people and others as they can possibly kill.”
During the same interview, Youssef mocked Israel for claiming to be “the only military force in the world that warns civilians before bombing them.” He was basing this claim on a statement made by Ron De Santis, the governor of Florida and a Republican candidate for the US presidency.
Sarcastically describing the move as “cute,” Youssef wondered how such an approach might affect Russia’s war on Ukraine.
“With this logic, if Russian troops started warning Ukrainians before bombing their houses, we’re cool with Putin, right?” he said. “Okay, Habibi, you have warned them, go invade. It’s fine. You have done your job.”
In retaliation for a surprise attack by Hamas on Oct. 7, Israel launched airstrikes on Gaza, so far killing at least 3,300 Palestinians. The deadliest single incident so far was a strike on Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday, which is believed to have killed more than 500 people, sparking worldwide condemnation.