quotes I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore! 

07 February 2024
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Updated 07 February 2024

I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore! 

The multiple-Oscar-winning 1976 movie “Network” depicts TV news anchor Howard Beale, played by Peter Finch, letting his anger and frustration explode on air. He taps into a pervasive but as-yet-unspoken sentiment, urging viewers to get up, open their windows, and yell after him: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” I think this accurately describes how many of us feel as we watch the terrible images of cruelty and devastation taking place in Gaza, dumbfounded at how Israel’s powerful supporters could even consider opposing the universal calls on Israel to end this shameful war. Israeli justifications for the war, as well as their ludicrous objective of destroying a popular movement that won an election and which they themselves supported, are no cover for the crimes they commit daily against the people of Gaza.

Almost the entire population of Gaza, around 2 million people, has been forced to flee their homes and live in abject conditions as they continue to be bombarded, even in supposed “safe zones.” The civilian death toll today approaches 30,000, mostly women and children, needless to say. Never before have I seen a war in which the warring party so ruthlessly cuts off all supplies of food, water, and electricity to a population already living in abject conditions and tremendous suffering. Far from falling under the classification of self-defense, what Israel is executing here is clearly a terrible form of collective punishment, with a scope of civilian death and destruction of civilian infrastructure beyond anything seen in even the most brutal conflicts in recent memory. I need to open my window and exclaim: “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

The UN Security Council has unfortunately only offered more insecurity, with the US’ veto precluding any concerted action to put an end to the shameful war, the killing of tens of thousands of innocent civilians, and the captivity of hostages. Instead, the conscience of the world had to be expressed in a non-binding resolution at the UN General Assembly, passing overwhelmingly with 153 votes in favor. Twenty-three countries abstained, and 10 countries persisted in voting against the resolution calling for a ceasefire, namely Israel, the US, and a number of close American allies. It made me wonder where our shared humanity and empathy lie when we are all presented with the same devastating images of death and destruction in Gaza, a post-apocalyptic vision of a people who have suffered so much throughout the decades that even this all-out destruction of their lives and livelihoods does not seem to surprise them. We should have no choice but to stand in their name against the arrogance and malice of what Israel is doing in front of the eyes of the society of civilized nations.

The countries still opposing a clear and immediate ceasefire to this murderous war should be ashamed of their continued support for this absolute madness. The entire world is expressing shock and dismay at what is happening in Gaza, yet the governments of certain countries remain tied to Israel, no matter how terrible their actions. The European and American publics have demonstrated in the streets that they stand with the people of Gaza and cannot condone their governments’ opposition or inaction in the face of such crimes. They felt the pain of Israelis on Oct. 7, and they have felt the pain of Gazans every day in the almost four months since Israel launched its onslaught. Ordinary people around the world are expressing their shared humanity and empathy, feeling the hurt and tears of the Gazan people, while some governments continue to disregard the human reality of this catastrophe.

As human beings, we simply cannot take it anymore. The character of Howard Beale in the movie “Network” also exclaims in his speech: “I’m a human being, goddammit, my life has value!” We are being forced to consider whether the life of a Palestinian does not actually have the same value in the eyes of certain Western governments as the lives of their own people. Where we once only read about faraway conflicts days or weeks after the fact in a newspaper, today we witness the death and destruction as it happens, through brave reporters and citizens showing the world the devastating reality of this conflict. As human beings, we cannot unsee those images, yet some governments try to act as if they simply do not exist. Instead, they fly high officials to the region on a weekly basis, essentially for the TV cameras, since they never have anything new to say. Empathy is like flying, but it does not require an airplane, just a heart for peace.

I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore! I am calling on every human being, whether Western, Asian, Muslim, or Jewish, to honor their humanity and empathy, to open their doors, and go out into the streets to make it clear that we do not stand for this evil, and neither should any of the world’s governments.

  • Hassan bin Youssef Yassin worked closely with Saudi Arabia’s petroleum ministers Abdullah Tariki and Ahmed Zaki Yamani from 1959 to 1967. He led the Saudi Information Office in Washington from 1972 to 1981 and served with the Arab League’s observer delegation to the UN from 1981 to 1983.