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Jon Stewart sketch on Israel and Hamas resurfaces: "Nothing has changed"

A Jon Stewart sketch from 2014 about fighting in Gaza has resurfaced on social media in the wake of the current Israel-Hamas conflict, with users amazed by how nothing has changed.

Originally appearing on The Daily Show nine years ago, Stewart’s monologue about Operation Protective Edge—a military operation launched by Israel in the Gaza Strip in 2014 amid rising tensions with Hamas—is interrupted by his correspondents, who pop up from behind him and begin shouting pro-Israel sentiments into his ear.

“We’ll start tonight in the Middle East,” Stewart tells the audience, but as soon as he mentions “Israel,” his co-stars jump in.

“What, Israel isn’t supposed to defend itself?” yells Jason Jones.

“Oh yeah if Mexico bombs Texas we would exercise restraint?” shouts Jessica Williams.

“What other country is held to the same standard as Israel?” asks Jordan Klepper, before dubbing Stewart—who is Jewish—a “self-hating Jew.”

The group, which also includes Michael Che, try to speak at once—becoming unintelligible—while a stunned Stewart looks back at the camera.

“That was, that was weird,” he tells the audience, once his co-stars have dived out of sight. “Anyway, what I was, what I was saying was last Thursday saw the start of a new ground offensive launched by Israel.”

Again, as soon as the 60-year-old mentions Israel, his co-stars jump up behind him and begin yelling incoherently, ending with Klepper hilariously screaming “Tradition” in Stewart’s face.

This time, the host struggles to contain his laughter, but tries to continue his monologue.

“Holy f***,” he says. “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this issue, but just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the humanity or effectiveness of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”

“So you’re against murdered children?” asks Williams, as the group leaps back out from under Stewart’s desk.

“Free Gaza,” yells Jones.

“Zionist pig,” declares Klepper.

After they’ve disappeared once again, Stewart tells the audience: “You know what? F*** it,” while screwing up his notes and tossing them over his shoulder. “Why don’t we just talk about something lighter like… Ukraine?”

Since news of the Israel-Hamas conflict broke on October 7, The Daily Show clip has begun making the rounds on social media, with users surprised by the nine-year-old sketch’s relevance to the current situation.

“If you’d like to see how absolutely nothing has changed in the conversation around Israel & Palestine despite decades of violence, here’s Jon Stewart doing a bit that could literally air today without a single change,” said X user Cooper.

Erin Overbey agreed, writing: “This old @TheDailyShow sketch by Jon Stewart about the difficulties of critiquing gov’t policies when it comes to atrocities & conflict btw Israel-Palestine is once again, sadly, very timely.”

“Spot F****** on,” commented Abier, while AirlineGuy said: “Jon Stewart captures the divisiveness of the Israel Palestinian conflict perfectly.”

In July 2014, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge after nearly two years of a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. Tensions had increased following the disappearance and murder of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas militants in June 2014, leading to violence in Gaza and at its border. There were almost two months of fighting before a cease-fire was reached in August 2014.

Stewart has yet to publicly comment on the current Israel-Hamas conflict, although a number of other celebrities have spoken out in support of Israel, with stars such as Gigi Hadid also sharing support for Palestinians.

Newsweek has reached out to Jon Stewart for comment via email.

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