As the Israel-Hamas war continues, John Oliver has noticed that some members of the media “seem way too comfortable with” the war. One of the people who caught the “Last Week Tonight” host’s attention was a retired U.S. brigadier-general who advocated for a “war crime” while being interviewed by CNN.
During a segment on the news network, retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Steven Anderson, an analyst who has appeared on CNN multiple times, said that Israel needs to circle Gaza and apply pressure to the region using the blockade they’ve established. “The people are going to suffer,” Anderson said, before noting that the Palestinian people would eventually give up Hamas.
“Does that mean starve the Palestinian people?” an incredulous Victor Blackwell asked on the air. “Because they will be so hungry and so desperate for water and medicine that then they will give up Hamas?”
“It sounds callous, but, I mean, this is a war,” Anderson said in the clip.
“It is a war, but what you’re describing is a war crime and one thing does not justify the other,” Oliver said at the top of Sunday’s episode of “Last Week Tonight.”
The late night host also asked his audience to “spare a thought” for Blackwell, noting that he “probably didn’t get up that morning thinking he’d have to gently explain you can’t starve people to a former U.S. military official.”
Oliver then spent the rest of the episode mocking the Republican party in their ongoing search for Speaker of the House, breaking down the federal corruption charges around New Jersey senator Bob Menendez and diving into management consultant firms like McKinsey.
Last week, Oliver explained why he didn’t use his show to go in-depth about the ongoing Israel-Hamas war during the main body of the show. Oliver’s reasons varied from not wanting to poke fun at such a horrific news story that is currently causing so much suffering to the rapid pace of this international conflict. Since “Last Week Tonight” is a weekly show, by the time the HBO series can air a new episode, there’s a high chance their information will already be out of date.
“I don’t know where things stand in Gaza as you watch this right now. But all signs seem to be pointed toward a humanitarian catastrophe,” Oliver said last Sunday. “Israeli officials announced plans to cut off food, water, fuel and power. Hospitals are running on generators. This has all the appearances of collective punishment, which is a war crime.”
Watch the main segment of Sunday’s show, on management consulting firm McKinsey, below.