Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

Stephen Colbert to Michael Oren: ‘Palestinians should go back to where they came from’

The Colbert Report yesterday had on Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, as an interviewed guest. To the disgust of many (see the forums), Oren was given a platform to spew lie after lie about the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. But there is one bright spot that had Oren momentarily stunned — perhaps disconcerted would be a better description — in a redeeming Colbert comment (h/t Ali Gharib).

Colbert remarked:

I want to say that I repudiate what Helen said. She’s a friend, but I repudiate everything she said. “Go back to Poland, go back to Germany.” That’s ridiculous. Israel is for Israelis. If anything, the Palestinians should go back to where they came from. (Audience laughs, as Oren hesitates.) Do you agree? Do you agree, sir? It’s time to get them back to wherever that was?


Alas I don’t agree. I think there’s room for both of us to share this homeland: Palestinians living in their homeland, Israelis living in their homeland, in a position of permanent and legitimate peace.

Its a pity that homeland is still being stolen and eaten up by illegal outposts, Mr Oren. Not to mention the full litany of the crimes of the hafrada regime that makes a mockery of your vaunted ‘permanent and legitimate peace’. A far better statement, as Helena Cobban astutely suggests, would be something like “there is room in Israel/Palestine for all the Israelis and Palestinians who have a legitimate claim on its land and resources.” It is worth remembering that many Palestinian claims for the right to return to their land and their homes have never been annulled, and are enshrined in international law. And the dispossession is not only historical: it’s still happening. Take the thousands of home demolitions or take-overs, like the Al-Kurd family home take-over in Sheikh Jarrah.

Thanks for the zinger, Stephen Colbert: there’s more truth than ‘truthiness’ in that. And next time, how about having an ISM or Flotilla activist on?

See also If Helen Thomas had said ‘Germany should get the hell out of Poland’ and this were 1940…

3 comments on “Stephen Colbert to Michael Oren: ‘Palestinians should go back to where they came from’

  1. Jack Auff
    11 June, 2010

    I’m sure that after the show, ‘Mikey’ took out the butt licking Colbert to a nice eatery for some wine, oysters and a little Israeli made XTC before they retired to Oren’s Manhattan love nest.

  2. Margot Stadler
    12 June, 2010

    Hey Jack – don’t you guys ‘get’ irony? Of course he sucked up to MIkey – that is a part of the irony – duh don’t you get it? Colbert is political satirist – you have to look beneath the surface for the real message.

  3. Noor al Haqiqa
    15 June, 2010

    I did not see this particular Colbert programme but I think he is pushing truthiness a little too far. I get his sarcasm and his extreme irony and have roared with laughter at his derring-do, but in this case I think, How easily those words, taken out of context can be easily applied in discussions by those less familiar with his content.

    I take great issue that scum such as Oren was on this programme period. THAT to me is the issue. The man is scummier than the crud covering the dying birds of the BP disaster are covered with. Why was he given a forum?

    I will tell you why. The only reason Stephen and Jon get to tear apart the system as they do is because they are serving in two ways. One they know that the news as interpreted by them is for many all the news so many get and I have seen many issues twisted ever so slightly or things left out. Propaganda.

    Also they are “feel good” for those who know the world is wrong but do not look too deeply and so think they are watching “cutting edge” humour. Some things are, yes, hilarious.

    So in the interests of fairness, let them bring on a victim of the blockade, a real victim of settler violence, Mr. Erdogan!
    Just lets get balanced here.

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This entry was posted on 10 June, 2010 by in Humor, Humour, Palestine, Right of Return and tagged , .

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