'Israel is ISIS': Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef turns Piers Morgan's Hamas comparison on its head

Merna Hesham , Thursday 19 Oct 2023

“You have just compared Israel with ISIS .... It's gonna be the headlines tomorrow: 'Piers Morgan: Israel is ISIS',” the Egyptian comedian and TV host Bassem Youssef mockingly claimed British journalist Piers Morgan as doing in an interview on the "Piers Morgan Uncensored" show on Tuesday.

Bassem Youssef
Bassem Youssef on the Piers Morgan Uncensored show. Photo courtesy of Bassem Youssef Facebook page


Since the show was aired on Tuesday, it has gone viral and been viewed nearly 12 million times.

Youssef, who has been described as Egypt’s Jon Stewart, flipped the script on Morgan during the interview, which took place shortly after Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital massacre on Tuesday.

During the show, Morgan implied that eradicating Hamas without causing substantial damage would be challenging, as it can potentially lead to civilian casualties in Gaza.

Youssef responded by suggesting that Israel might be using pressure tactics similar to those employed by terrorist organizations by “beating a whole nation in a battle ... so they terrorize and kill the civilians in order to spread fear and terror so they [the civilians] can turn against their government.”

“You have just compared Israel with ISIS,” he said to Morgan.


I am posting this video again with the disclaimer that it was cut in the end . @piersmorgan @PiersUncensored said right after the end : the comparison is between Hamas and ISIS I am not posting this to score points over Piers . I disagree with Piers about a lot of things . But I… pic.twitter.com/F3tZmn1z0p

— Bassem Youssef (@Byoussef) October 18, 2023

Throughout the interview, Youssef maintained his quintessential, whip-sharp dark humor to address everything from Ben Shapiro’s anti-Arab mentality, the struggle of Gazans, the dehumanization of Palestinians and Iraqis, the “proportionate response” to terror, and more.

He also challenged the Western media default of wanting interviewees to just condemn Hamas for their attack on 7 October, saying if Morgan just wanted to hear his own opinion, Youssef could just condemn Hamas and “go home.”

Youssef showed a picture of the destroyed home of his Palestinian wife’s family, who live in Gaza, likening it to Halloween decorations and sarcastically saying that they are “used to it.”

From the beginning of the show, Youssef’s comments on the Palestinians’ resilience reverberated through the masses, leaving Morgan stuttering.

“It's very repetitive. We are used to that ... It's just like those Palestinians are very dramatic, 'Oh Israel is killing us'. But they never die. They always come back. They are very difficult to kill. I know because I'm married to one. I tried many times, but I couldn't kill her.”

He went on to add with a deadpan expression: “I tried to get to her many times but she uses our kids as human shields.”

“I asked my wife’s family if Hamas forced them to stay home so that they could be bombed and can be used as human shields and they denied,” Youssef said to Morgan.

Youssef agreed that Hamas fighters should be eradicated, saying: "Hamas has absolutely no control in the West Bank ... and only through August, 37 Palestinian kids were killed. No music festival, no paragliding, no Hamas."

He asked why people were being killed in the West Bank where there is no presence of Hamas: "What is their excuse to kill people there [in the West Bank]?"

He also addressed the comments by Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida and Republican candidate for the upcoming US presidency, who said that Israel is the only “military force in the world that warns civilians before bombing them.”

Youssef described the warning as “cute” and added: “with this logic, if Russian troops started warning Ukrainians before bombing their houses, we’re cool with Putin, right?”

“Okay, Habibi [dear], you have warned them, go invade. It’s fine. You have done your job,” he mocked.

On the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), posts also went viral.

Satirist Bassem Youssef uses humour to expose Piers Morgan's deep-seated colonial, racist attitudes.

Piers Morgan is far from exceptional. Such attitudes permeate our culture. The only way to make us self-conscious of them is through mockery of this kindhttps://t.co/m4gfAPKahx

— Jonathan Cook (@Jonathan_K_Cook) October 19, 2023


This was an extraordinary interview. Thank you for exposing the one-sided mainstream media. Here is proof that you were correct, and he indeed mentioned the story of the beheaded babies. Do you anticipate an apology from @piersmorgan for deceiving the public? pic.twitter.com/Tu55QcOull

— John P (@Johnpatrick500) October 18, 2023

After his interview has gone viral, Youssef posted a reaction on Facebook, in which he said: “Whoever lives by people’s praise dies by their censure. Tomorrow you will turn against me again.”

He added: “I have seen this movie before.”

من عاش بمدح الناس مات بذمهم.
بكرة تقلبوا عليا تاني .
I have seen this movie before , bardo. 😜

— Bassem Youssef (@Byoussef) October 18, 2023
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