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Blogs David Harris

An open letter to Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah in a screenshot from the May 11, 2021 episode of the Daily Show.

We are not in an entirely post-truth society yet, at least I hope not, where facts no longer exist and opinions, even those of a celebrity, rule the day.

I just watched your 10-minute monologue on the Israeli-Hamas conflict for your popular television program “The Daily Show” (May 11). Frankly, it wasn’t easy viewing. In fact, I began talking back to the screen, but, obviously, to no avail, so I chose instead to write you this open letter.

You framed your comments quite cleverly by suggesting there were competing narratives out there, depending on who was doing the talking and the starting point of their version of history. And then, as if nothing more than a curious third party, you waded into the debate, essentially assigning yourself a certain moral credibility because of your “non-combatant“ status.

But we are not entirely in a post-truth society yet, at least I hope not, where facts no longer exist and opinions rule the day, especially when catapulted into the public square by celebrity status and legions of admiring followers.

So, for example, when you assert that the British took the land from the Palestinians, not quite. Actually, the British took the land from the Ottoman Turks, who had ruled there for centuries. Palestinians never had a sovereign state of their own. The Jews did, by the way, though that was vanquished by the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago.

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