Feargal Sharkey praised for ‘powerful’ Israel-Palestine speech on Have I Got News for You

Feargal Sharkey is being praised for his impassioned speech about the Israel-Palestine conflict during an appearance on Have I Got News For You.

The singer, who is the former lead singer of “Teenage Kicks” punk band The Undertones, was a guest on the BBC panel show on Friday (3 November) alongside the episode’s host Jo Brand.

When discussion turned to the current situation in Gaza, Brand asked “A Good Heart” singer and activist Sharkey, 65, if “partition is a good idea”. She asked for his view in particular due to his experiences of growing up in Derry both during the Troubles and following the Good Friday Agreement, the latter which put an end to violence in Northern Ireland after being signed in 1998.

Sharkey replied: “This is the 25th-anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. For 25 years, the people of Northern Ireland have been able to prosper and grow and blossom and have discovered this thing peace is a very delicate, beautiful little flower that needs nurturing and caressing and supporting.

“I do wish the people of Gaza, and Palestine and Israel get to discover what 25 years of peace, prosperity and diplomacy and democracy looks like. and that those people can blossom,” he continued, adding: “It’d be a much more confident and much brighter future for everyone involved.”

Sharkey received applause from his fellow panellists as well as the studio audience, and those watching at home expressed their praise for the singer on X/Twitter.

“Very powerful from @Feargal_Sharkey – worth listening to,” @RichardJMurphy wrote, sharing a clip of Sharkey’s speech.

@PPM_Expert called Sharkey’s speech an “eloquent, impassioned & informed perspective on the benefits of healing over division, peace over hate”, with others calling it “well said” and “on point”.

His words were also branded “moving”, “insightful”, with @HiKennys adding: “The most intelligent and correct thing I've heard throughout this recent utter madness.”

Feargal Sharkey on ‘Have I Got News For You’ (BBC)
Feargal Sharkey on ‘Have I Got News For You’ (BBC)

The episode aired as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushed back against growing pressure from the US for a humanitarian pause in its war on Hamas, a month after the terrorist group launched its largest-ever attack on Israel, which killed more than 1,000 people.

Despite calls to protect civilians and to get more aid into Gaza, Netanyahu said there will be no temporary ceasefire until all hostages are released, adding that Israel will continue “with full force” unless Hamas releases more than 240 hostages.

On Friday, an ambulance was struck outside Gaza’s largest hospital, al-Shifa, in Gaza City. The health ministry in the Hamas-run strip said that it was part of a convoy that was seeking to evacuate the wounded from northern Gaza to the south.,

Humanitarian organisation PRCS said in a stataement shared on Saturday (4 November) that 15 civilians had been killed in the missile strike, and dozens more injured. Israel Defense Forces said it targeted the ambulance because it was being used by Hamas.

Follow along with live updates on the conflict here.