Assaf Harel told viewers of Israel's Channel 10: 'Apartheid has been here for ages'
Israeli TV host, comedian and comedy writer Assaf Harel used the final episode of his show “Good Night with Assaf Harel” on Wednesday night to draw attention to the stark differences in living standards in Israel, and to denounce the treatment of Palestinians.
In a scathing indictment of Israeli society, broadcast on the national station Channel 10, Harel told viewers: “Apartheid has been here for ages. Ages."
However, he said, Israelis have not taken action against it because they are on the "good" side of the divide.
The show, which was aired on Israel's Channel 10, has been one of the most controversial broadcasts on mainstream Israeli television.
Harel’s show has even been fined for accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of using his brother’s death for political gain.
As well as labelling Israel an apartheid state, Harel called out the right-wing government for not taking care of the “couple of million” Palestinians that it is responsible for, who he said lived in a “horrible state”.
“Infrastructure, food, healthcare, education. Millions who are living in abject poverty. Gaza is on the verge of plague, hours on end without electricity or water," he said.
The video of Harel’s monologue went viral after Haaretz shared a version with English subtitles on Wednesday night.
The clip generated support on social media, with many Twitter users praising his "courage".
— Gareth Berliner (@GarethBerliner) March 2, 2017
— himawari (@drsunflower) March 2, 2017
Others expressed a hope that his words would raise the profile of the issue internationally.
@haaretzcom Wow. Very powerful. I hope his message will be heard by a large global audience
— Steven Zekowski (@steve_zeke) March 2, 2017
@haaretzcom Wise and sad words, hopefully they'll reach many people.
— Benia Krik (@BeniaKrik) March 1, 2017
@haaretzcom This is beautiful & compelling. Also echoes far beyond Israel, to what is starting to happen in the US: delegitimizing tolerance
— artist mother (@welycha) March 1, 2017