Aaron Klein, an American radio host based in Tel Aviv, used his popular weekend radio show Sunday to accuse actor and comedian Russell Brand of justifying terrorism and spewing falsehoods about Israel.
Klein, whose live show broadcasts from the beach in Tel Aviv to New York’s AM 970 The Answer, was reacting to a public feud between Brand and Fox News host Sean Hannity over the crisis in Gaza.
The disagreement began after Brand released a 12-minute episode of his satirical YouTube series, “The Trews,” criticizing Hannity’s coverage of Israel:
After Hannity responded to Brand on his own show, the comedian released a second YouTube episode about Israel and Hannity’s coverage:
Instead of focusing on the Hannity-Brand feud, which has devolved into personal attacks, Klein reacted to Brand’s statements about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The radio host said he was startled by Brand’s rhetoric on terrorism.
Brand stated in his YouTube clip: “The Gaza Strip, they don’t have an army. They don’t have one. So, like, if they are in any way going to try to defend themselves, it’s going to be through what we would perceive or term as acts of terror.”
Klein retorted: “Perceive as acts of terror, Russell? So what are you saying, Russell Brand? That blowing up suicide bombing of a night club in Tel Aviv is not an act of terror? It’s just something that we perceive as such? Blowing up a café, buses in Tel Aviv, in Jerusalem, not acts of terror? What about, Russell, firing rockets into Israeli cities? Literally firing rockets at civilian zones with the goal of killing civilians? That’s not an act of terror?”
Klein said Brand’s words suggest he believes the Palestinians have no choice but to carry out acts of terror.
The radio host took particular issue with Brand’s statement that “Any kind of colonialism, any kind of land grab, any kind of control of resources, water, electrify power, or to deny people their autonomy is going to be eventually met with some kind of resistance and then judged as terror.”
Klein branded as “one of the most ridiculous things I ever heard” the following remark from Brand regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
“There can be no peace anywhere until the most powerful side is prepared to make concessions and prepared to yield,” said Brand.
Exclaimed the radio host: “OK, so the most powerful side should just give up to a terrorist organization that is bent on Israel’s destruction and that literally has in its charter the murder of Jews and destruction of Israel. And the way to bring peace is to yield to terrorists who want to destroy you?”
Klein accused Brand of falsifying facts when the actor said, “There is no evidence that Hamas are using women and children as human shields. No one there has said that is happening.”
Listen to Aaron Klein take on comedian Russell Brand’s assertions:
Klein pointed out that Israel has routinely accused Hamas of using civilians as human shields and has even released videos of Hamas firing and storing rockets in mosques, schools and a playground.
Klein noted the United Nations documented Hamas rockets was found in U.N.-run schools for Gaza children.
And on Saturday, Aishi Zidan, a reporter for the Finnish paper Helsingin Sanomat, filed a video report from Gaza’s Shifa hospital in which she claims to have seen a rocket fired from the area at Israel. Klein allowed that Zidan’s report was released after Brand’s YouTube video.
A New York Times bestselling author, Klein also serves as WND’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter. He has been covering the Middle East on the ground since 2005.