An Israeli satellite television company on Thursday blamed a technical glitch for the reason it did not not air the most recent episode of John Oliver’s HBO show — in which the comedian voiced support for Palestinians.
A spokesperson for Yes told The Post that “Last Week Tonight,” which features a monologue by Oliver in which he accuses Israel of “collective punishment” of Palestinians in Gaza, will be made available to customers on its “video on-demand” platform beginning Thursday evening.
“Oliver’s episode didn’t air due to a technical mishap,” the spokesperson for Yes said.
The company declined to comment on a report from the Hebrew-language news site Walla! which cited a Facebook post from Yes’ official social media page which accused Oliver of parroting “Hamas propaganda.”
The statement is a far cry from a comment attributed to a company representative who took to social media and blasted Oliver.
“The most recent episode included various lies about Israel and the Israel Defense Forces as well as Hamas propaganda, which was presented as facts,” the company rep said, according to Walla!
“We’ve decided not to cooperate with propaganda of a terrorist organization and have declined to air the episode.”
Yes’ competitors, the Israeli cable providers HOT and Cellcom TV, have made the episode available to viewers, according to the Hebrew-language news site Walla!
The Post has reached out to Oliver and HBO’s parent company Warner Bros. Discovery seeking comment.
Oliver addressed the ongoing turmoil in the region, which was ignited by Hamas’ surprise assault on Oct. 7 which killed at least 1,400 Israelis.
In recent weeks, Israel has staged a massive retaliation campaign that has included a significant ground incursion as well as heavy aerial bombardment.
At least 10,000 Palestinians have been killed as a result of Israeli military operations, according to local health officials.
Oliver told his viewers that “one of the biggest misconceptions” about the conflict was “the tendency to collapse leaders and citizens when discussing this (and) to assume that (Israel PM Benjamin) Netanyahu speaks for all Israelis, or that Hamas speaks for all Palestinians, because that is emphatically not the case.”
Oliver described the historical context of Hamas’ rise to power in the Gaza Strip, noting that “it is true that at one point, Gazans did elect Hamas” — a fact that supporters of Israel use to justify extensive military operations in the area.
“But if you think that makes them all complicit in war crimes their government commits, then boy do I have some bad news for you about decades of US foreign policy,” Oliver said.
Oliver argued that “even if all Palestinians in Gaza did support Hamas — which they do not — the relentless bombings of civilians there would still be abhorrent.”
He said Israel’s “collective punishment” of Palestinians in Gaza was tantamount to a “war crime.”
“Palestinians in Gaza are not a monolith and nor, importantly, are Israelis.”
Oliver also took aim at Netanyahu, saying he has “always been hard right” and that he is currently leading a governing coalition that is “stocked with extremists.”
Netanyahu has come under fire in Israel for allowing Hamas to remain in power in Gaza — a fact alluded to by Oliver.
“Netanyahu took the risk of betting that he could control Hamas, and use them to his own ends, and he was horribly wrong about that,” Oliver said.
“Palestinians and Israelis have both been relentlessly let down by their leaders and the result has been a decades-long cycle of extremism, violence, retaliation and more extremism,” he added.
Oliver called for a ceasefire. He concluded his monologue by stating: “Any conversation around this has to begin with empathy, or we’re just f—ed.”