Israel insists that commandos had to intercept aid ships headed for Gaza because they could have been supplying weapons to Hamas. At least nine activists were killed in the raid. Israel said that they were forced to use live rounds because activists attacked them first.
"The activists said they never attacked the soldiers, they thought Israel was welcoming them with commando shaped pinatas," Comedy Central's Jon Stewart joked Wednesday.
Supplies like wheelchairs and hospital beds were found aboard aid vessels. Stewart joked that Hamas may be trying to build a "crutch-a-pult."
"By the way, the crutch-a-pult [is] perhaps the most humane weapon to be hit with. It fires crutches so even if it hurts you have something to help you get away," said Stewart.
Reports of the raid and resulting deaths were met with condemnation of Israel around the world, although the Obama administration, and most US Democrats have backed Israel's right to defend itself. Protests and flag burnings took place in several countries. In one video, a protester can be seen smacking an Israel flag with two shoes while simultaneously spitting on it.
"They hit him with the double shoe and loogie combo. High degree of difficulty but you know the judges eat that shit up," snarked Stewart.
"Wow. Flag burnings, violent protests or as it's known in that part of the world: Tuesday," he remarked.
In the U.S., pundits seem to be staunchly supporting or opposing Israel's actions. "We discuss it purely in black and white terms," noted Stewart.
International law expert Professor Ruth Wedgwood was clearly on the side of Israel when she told MSNBC, "I think as a matter of law the Israelis did have a right to board the ships."
Greta Berlin of the Free Gaza movement saw it another way. "What right does Israel have to do this in international waters?" she asked on CNN Wednesday.
"Hamas is a terrorist organization," MSNBC host Elliot Spitzer Flatly stated Tuesday.
But Salon.com's Glenn Greenwald seemed to disagree. "Hamas is a democratically elected leadership of the people in Gaza," he said.
"Great hate! Less killing!" Stewart said, recalling the famous beer commecial.
One comment in particular by Charles Krauthammer outraged the Comedy Central host. "It may be the stupidest f**king thing anyone ever said," Stewart noted.
"What exactly was the humanitarian crisis the flotilla was addressing? There is none. There's no one starving in Gaza," Krauthammer flatly stated on Fox News' Special Report Monday.
"In fact, I believe there's a Sandals resort there," quipped a sarcastic Stewart.
"You know, whatever you may think of the respective leaderships Israelis or Hamas, whatever gods you pray to or whatever direction you may pray to them in, if you can't even look at Gaza and agree there's suffering there that needs to be alleviated, no matter who's to blame for it, then your heart is so dead tourists flock there to float on their backs in it," Stewart concluded.
This video is from Comedy Central's The Daily Show, broadcast June 1, 2010.