What did Jon Stewart say about Gaza, Israel back on The Daily Show?

What did Jon Stewart say about Gaza, Israel back on The Daily Show?
Jon Stewart mocks Biden's Gaza remarks and gaffes in Daily Show return after a 9-year absence from Comedy Central's top satire programme.
2 min read
14 February, 2024
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 06: Jon Stewart hosts "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" #JonVoyage on August 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Comedy Central)

Jon Stewart, the former host of "The Daily Show," has returned to the satirical news programme for a limited run leading up to the 2024 US presidential election.

On the first episode since his return aired on Monday night, Stewart tackled one of the biggest stories in the world, Israel's genocidal war on Gaza.

He mocked President Joe Biden's remarks that Israel's response to the 7 October attacks by Hamas, is "over the top".

Israel has killed nearly 30,000 Palestinians in its retaliation, mostly women and children, triggering plausible accusations of genocide at the International Court of Justice.

"The response in Gaza has been over the top? I like how Biden described Israel's incessant bombing of civilians the same way my mother talks about the Superbowl halftime show," Stewart said.

He also mocked Biden's confusion of President Sisi of Egypt with the President of Mexico.

"Geography buffs might have noticed Gaza and Mexico do not share a border. Biden was referring to Sisi the president of Egypt not Mexico. Unless it was even worse than that and he thinks that the president of Mexico is named Si! Si!", quipped Stewart.

US Election 2024

Stewart, now 61, stepped down from the show in 2015 after 16 years at the helm. He cited the upcoming election and a desire to engage with current events as reasons for his return.

The episode featured Stewart's signature monologue satirizing current events. Alongside comedic commentary on current events like Gaza, Ukraine, and Joe Biden's faltering memory ahead of the election, he also interviewed Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief of Britain's The Economist magazine to talk about what a second Biden term would look like.

Critics and fans alike have welcomed Stewart's return, viewing it as a potential revitalisation of a show that defined political satire for a generation.

However, some question whether Stewart can recapture the magic of his previous years in a media landscape filled with new voices and formats.

Stewart has been among the few in mainstream media seen as sympathetic to Palestine, a sensitive topic in the United States where support for Israel in the dominant media and political establishment is nearly a state religion.

Stewart is credited for launching the career of Egyptian American comedian Bassem Youssef.