Bassem Youssef: There’s Too Much Killing | Channel 4

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The Voice of a Dispossessed

Comedian on the - war, the Arab Spring, and why we can't change the world – 11 Apr 2024 | News

shares his disillusionment with the West's approach to human rights and international law in a conversation with on the - war and the Arab Spring.

Youssef, who gained fame with his satirical show ‘Al-Bernameg', was forced into exile after his program became a thorn in the side of the Egyptian authorities. He expresses his disappointment in the West's lecturing on human rights, stating,

“We've been lectured by the West for so long about the values of humanity and the Declaration of Human Rights, and then we just see that doesn't apply to us. So kind of like you feel that maybe our people are very cheap and they don't matter.”

thinks that he's come on the wrong podcast. “People in power don't really care about any of our suggestions to change the world”, he tells , “because if our ways to change the world affect their interests, they will stop you.” And he knows what he's talking about, having fled his home country of Egypt after his TV comedy became no longer acceptable to the authorities there.

Bassem started his career as a heart surgeon, then moved to political comedy in response to the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, taking on the ruling elite in his country. His political satire show, ‘Al-Bernameg' was the most watched show in Egyptian TV history, but soon became a thorn in the side of the authorities there, forcing him into exile.

should be held accountable and be taken to a criminal court.”

In this episode of Ways to Change the World, talks about his view that should be held accountable for the war in , how the Egyptian revolution was a turning point in his life, and why he feels disillusioned with the West's “lecturing” on human rights and international law.

The Ongoing in

A Timeline of Apartheid and Atrocities

The ongoing situation in involving has been a subject of intense debate and scrutiny for decades. Nothing ever changes. Here is a timeline of key events related to and by in :

  • 1948: The occurred during the creation of the state of . Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from or fled their homes, leading to the displacement of around 700,000 Palestinians. Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed, and their lands were captured by Zionist forces.
  • 1967: occupies during the Six-Day War.
  • 1982: the Sabra and Shatila Massacre took place in Lebanon, where Israeli-allied Christian militias killed hundreds of Palestinian refugees in two refugee camps. This event further fueled tensions and animosity between and the Palestinian population.
  • 2002: the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a ruling on the legality of the barrier had constructed in the West Bank, concluding that the barrier was illegal and should be dismantled. The ICJ also stated that should make reparations for any damage caused by the construction of the barrier.
  • 2005: disengages from , withdrawing its settlements and military presence.
  • 2018: The Nation-State Law was enacted in , widely condemned as discriminatory and called an “ law” both domestically and internationally.
  • 2018: Human Rights Watch and other rights groups criticised at its five-yearly Universal Periodic Review, highlighting human rights violations against Palestinians and illegal settlement activity.
  • 2018: Eight Palestinian human rights organisations submitted a joint 60-page report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), detailing 's creation of an regime in violation of Article 3 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
  • 2018: filed an inter-state complaint against for breaches of its obligations under the ICERD.
  • 2021: The (ICC) rules it has jurisdiction over serious international crimes committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), including .
  • April 2021: Human Rights Watch releases a report titled “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of and Persecution,” examining 's treatment of Palestinians in and the West Bank.
  • February 2022: Amnesty International publishes a report condemning for committing the crime of against Palestinians, detailing oppressive practices in and the West Bank.
  • 2023: Reports continue to highlight the allegations of and human rights violations by in .
  • 2023: 's genocidal military campaign against entered its hundredth day, with over 336 Palestinians killed, including 84 children, and at least 5875 Palestinians detained in the occupied West Bank.
  • 2023: The Israeli military and settlers killed at least 190 Palestinians, more than 2,700 injured, and over 1,100 individuals displaced in the occupied West Bank.
  • 2023: The UN human rights experts called on the international community to prevent against the Palestinian people and ultimately end Israeli and occupation of the Palestinian territory.
  • 2024: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a ruling on January 26, 2024, ordering to take specific provisional measures to prevent the crime of against the Palestinian people. The ICJ was convinced that 's actions posed a real and immediate threat to the Palestinian people, citing the possibility of irreversible effects and harm to Palestinian rights protected under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of . has not complied with the ICJ ruling.

The Israeli- conflict has been a long-standing issue, marked by violence, displacement, and human rights abuses. The accusations of and against have been raised by various parties, including scholars, human rights organizations, and governments. This blog post will provide an in-depth timeline of the ongoing and in , including the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling.

The Nakba (1948)

The , or “catastrophe” in Arabic, refers to the violent displacement and dispossession of the Palestinian people, along with the destruction of their society, culture, identity, political rights, and national aspirations. This event marked the beginning of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the ongoing suffering of the Palestinian people.

The Sabra and Shatila Massacre (1982)

The Sabra and Shatila massacre was a three-day massacre that took place in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut, Lebanon, from September 16 to 18, 1982. The massacre was carried out by a Lebanese Christian militia, the Phalange, with the knowledge and support of the Israeli military.

The Blockade of the Gaza Strip

The blockade of the Strip, imposed by and Egypt in 2007, has led to a humanitarian crisis in the region. The blockade has resulted in severe restrictions on the movement of people and goods, leading to high levels of poverty, unemployment, and food insecurity.

The 2014 Gaza War and the 2023 Israel-Hamas War

Both the 2014 War and the 2023 -Palestinian war resulted in significant loss of life and destruction of infrastructure in . The United Nations has accused of committing war crimes, including the targeting of civilians and the use of disproportionate force.

The ICJ Ruling

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a ruling on January 26, 2024, ordering to take specific provisional measures to prevent the crime of against the Palestinian people in the Strip. The ICJ was convinced that 's actions in the Strip posed a real and immediate threat to the Palestinian people, citing the possibility of irreversible effects and harm to Palestinian rights protected under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of .

The ICJ ordered to take six provisional measures, including ensuring that its military does not commit acts of in the Strip, preventing and punishing public incitement to , protecting evidence related to alleged crimes, and providing humanitarian aid. was also required to submit a report to the Court within one month of all measures taken in line with the order.

However, has not complied with the ICJ ruling, as documented by Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor in their report titled “Two Months after the International Court of Justice's Ruling Escalation in and Absence of Accountability”. has committed more violations, particularly in relation to the entry of humanitarian relief aid and the threats and persecution of Palestinians in the Rafah area, which is thought to be the last safe haven for survivors and internally displaced people in the Strip.

has also used starvation as a tactic of war and a means of carrying out the crime of against the Palestinian people in the Strip, especially in the northern Strip, continuously and severely for six months. The ICJ's ruling on February 16 stated that any Israeli military action in Rafah under the current circumstances would worsen the situation, and has failed to adhere to other provisional measures included in the ICJ ruling.

No Justice. No Protection.

The ongoing and in is marked by violence, human rights abuses, and a lack of international intervention. The ICJ ruling in December 2023 marked a significant step towards holding accountable for its actions, but much more needs to be done to ensure justice and protection for the Palestinian people.


Amnesty International – Israel defying ICJ ruling to prevent genocide by failing to allow aid into Gaza

OHCHR – Gaza: ICJ ruling offers hope for protection of civilians enduring apocalyptic conditions

Oxfam – Israel government continues to block aid response despite ICJ genocide court ruling

University of Pennsylvania – Explaining the International Court of Justice's Ruling on Israel and Gaza

Amnesty International – Israel must comply with key ICJ

Palestinian Accusation – Wikipedia,

Palestinian accusation – Wikipedia,

Israeli factsheet – War on Want,

- « World Without – Making It Our Legacy,

–South Africa relations – Wikipedia,

100 Days of Ongoing in Amid the International Community's Failure to Protect Palestinians – ENAR,

Source: Comedian Bassem Youssef on the Israel-Gaza war, the Arab Spring, and why we can't change the world – YouTube


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