John Oliver Slams CNN Analyst for Advocating for a ‘War Crime’ in Gaza

The HBO late night host briefly covered the ongoing Israel-Hamas war at the top of his show on Sunday


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weekly show, by the time the HBO series can air a new episode, there’s a high chance their information will already be out of date.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.


3 responses to “John Oliver Slams CNN Analyst for Advocating for a ‘War Crime’ in Gaza”

  1. Lissa Avatar

    Do a show from there and then maybe you will have a better understanding. Israel has been kind thus far. Their kindness has allowed to build their enemies arms against them while they play nice for politics. Israel should just invade and get it over with. If this was the the 1940’s it would have happened by now and you social media hyenas wouldn’t be able to boo hoo over everything. Get real. Africa, Middle East, and even China, Russia and Korea live a totally different ideal of what is normal life and/or war. Get that into your heads and only then can you report a “real” and unbiased opinion.

  2. Sam Avatar

    So, Mr. Oliver consider blockade of Gaza, stronghold of terrorist organization Hamas, a war crime, because it’s “collective punishment”. Following this logic, US committed war crime in 1945 dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Britain also committed war crimes bombing to rubble Dresden, Berlin and some other German cities. Nice logic, Mr. Oliver. You want to treat equally victims and killers. No wonder we have so many pro-palestinians action in US. BTW, why do you call arabs of Palestine Palestinians but don’t call the same name jews of Palestine? There’s no country Palestine, there’s Land of Palestine, where Jews and Arabs lived long before 1947.

  3. Ann Avatar

    There isn’t any mention that Hamas spent millions of dollars to build military tunnels rather than help its citizens build schools, businesses and community. And that Hamas uses its citizens as pawns, keeping them in the urban environment so that when Israelis counter attack specific targets, they can blame Israel for killing innocent civilians. It’s been fairly clear that Israel did not bomb a hospital, rather Islamic Jihad had a rocket misfire, killing hundreds of Palestinians. There is no mention of that clarification by Hamas. I hate to be this cynical, but I almost wonder if it was intentional so that the blame could be put on Israel. It’s a crappy situation, but it needs to be looked at from all sides. Read or listen to the Tom Friedman interview on 10/20

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