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07th Apr 2024

Bassem Youssef says the West is ‘complicit in Israel’s crimes’ against Palestinians

Ryan Price

The Egyptian-American comedian spoke to PoliticsJOE’s Oli Dugmore about the situation in Palestine.

Heart surgeon turned comedian Bassem Youssef has claimed that Israel has “corrupted the West morally for 100 years”.

Speaking to Oli Dugmore about Israel’s war on Gaza, Youssef said “the fact that you have an evil player in the world, just violating international laws and getting away with it, what kind of message are you giving to the rest of the world?”

The comedian’s current live stand-up show is called The Middle Beast and ranges from his experiences in Egypt to his observations on the current state of global politics. The tour is currently sold out across four continents.

Before becoming a comedian and performer, the 50-year-old practiced as a cardiothoracic surgeon in Egypt for 13 years and has been a member of the Royal College of Surgeons since 2007.

In his conversation with PoliticsJOE, which is now available to watch in full on YouTube, Yousseff continued: “How can you have a moral standing if anybody else commits war crimes, if you’re letting this happen? You can’t.

“I mean, the thing is, and I’ve said it before, Israel has corrupted the West morally for 100 years,” he added. “You cannot come with a straight face lecturing us about morality or about human rights anymore.

Youssef made reference to the 2015 terrorist attack on the employees of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

“Do you remember Charlie Hebdo? Eleven people were killed. Terrible. World leaders collected into the streets of France, and were like, Charlie Hebdo. And we changed our profile (social media profile photo) to ‘Je suis Charlie’. Eleven people, oh my god!

“30,000 people. They’re collateral damage. Inevitable. It’s sad.”

Smoke emanating from a building while locals look on. Gaza, Palestine. (Getty Images)

So far, at least 33,000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israel military during it’s war on the Gaza strip. Tension between the Palestinians and Israelites has lasted for centuries, but full-blown conflict has been in place in Gaza since the Re’im music festival massacre of October 2023, when the Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas initiated a surprise attack on Israeli civilians.

Youssef continued: “You watch these TV anchors, and they’re like ‘yeah there’s so much and it’s sad, but it has to happen. What can we do?’ Not this. Anything but this. It’s very frustrating. It’s comical but it’s painful.”

In Youusef’s full interview for PoliticsJOE, he also chats about the West’s complicity in war crimes being perpetrated by the IDF and Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, and how the media needs to be more responsible in its coverage of the bombardment of Gaza.

The former host of Egyptian talk show Al Bernameg is currently in the midst of the Uk leg of his tour.

He plays London’s Eventim Apollo later this month and Manchester’s O2 Apollo on Saturday May 4th.

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