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Bill Maher Tells Dying Civilians in Gaza to ‘Make the Best of It’



It might seem that Bill Maher is becoming more right-wing by the day, but that’s just culturally; he has always had conservative tendencies. His series Real Time with Bill Maher devoted its latest “New Rules” segment to eight minutes of telling the Palestinian people to move on, because times change. This, during a time when they are trapped in a densely populated and small area and being indiscriminately bombed (to the extent that Israel is bombing their own people, held hostage by Hamas).


Things change: countries, boundaries, empires […] Eventually, everybody comes to an accommodation — except the Palestinians. Was it unjust that even a single Arab family was forced to move upon the founding of the Jewish state? Yes. But it’s also not rare, happening all through history, all over the world, and mostly what people do is make the best of it.

Maher may not realize that the people in Gaza have had their water, electricity, and fuel controlled by Israel for two decades, that they are being frequently and indiscriminately bombed, and that the Palestinians have not been allowed to move freely outside of Gaza. The Human Rights Watch called it an “open air prison” (more than a year ago) for a reason. People can’t just leave Gaza. So it’s very difficult to move on, build a life, create businesses, and nurture a community when you’re in a prison and every element of your survival is controlled by either a terrorist organization or Israel, which even Maher has called “an apartheid state.”


Bill Maher: Pro-Israel or Anti-Arab?

Maher has always been staunchly pro-Israel, from having Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his show to calling colleges like Harvard and UPenn “Team Hamas” for anti-occupation demonstrations held on their campuses. Back in 2014, Maher told his applause-cued audience:

“It’s a war. It’s a war that Hamas started and somehow when Israel reacts to this they have to do everything that doesn’t kill any civilians. People die in wars. Now, I’ve said this before on this show, if the situation was reversed, Hamas would kill every single person in Israel. The reason why that is not happening is because they can’t. Because they can’t doesn’t make them good, it makes them weak.”

To which guest Reza Aslan responded, “Last time I checked, ‘We’re better than Hamas’ is not Israel’s national motto. This idea that somehow, because Hamas is a terrorist organization and Israel is a democracy, there is no moral equivalence — you’re absolutely right, there is no moral equivalence. It’s the democracy that requires greater criticism. It’s the democracy that has to live up to the values that it ascribes to itself.”

One can practically glean Maher’s reverance for Israel even in his speech inducting Jay Leno into the Television Academy Hall Of Fame. He compared Leno to Israel, explaining the correlation by saying, “He’s not perfect, but he’s held to a standard that no one else in the world is expected to live up to other than him.”

Related: Israelism Review | A Controversial and Important Documentary

Then there’s that time in 2015 when Maher defended Netanyahu’s allegations of voting irregularities, something Maher would criticize about Trump. “A lot of people were angry at the way Netanyahu won this election. They said it was racist that he said, at the last minute, ‘Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls,'” said Maher. He continued:

“I heard a lot of commentators here say, it would been as if Mitt Romney, in 2012, on the eve of the election said, ‘Black voters are coming out in droves to the polls.’ But I don’t know if that’s really a great analogy. I think that would be a good analogy if America was a country that was surrounded by 12 or 13 completely Black nations who had militarily attacked us many times, including as recently as last year. Would we let them vote? I don’t know. When we were attacked by the Japanese, we didn’t just not let them vote, we rounded them up and put them in camps.”

Or perhaps it all goes back to Maher’s inherent distrust of the Arab people and his abhorrence for Islam. There’s that lovely analogy Maher made in 2014 at the height of an Israeli massacre of 1,500 people, a tweet that manages to insult women as well:

Maher has also said:

  • “Talk to women who’ve ever dated an Arab man. The results are not good.”
  • “Islam is the only religion that acts like the mafia that will f*cking kill you if you say the wrong thing.”
  • “They’re violent. Because they threaten us. And they are threatening. They bring that desert stuff to our world […] We don’t threaten each other, we sue each other. That’s the sign of civilized people. And they don’t.”

None of this likely matters though, and the coverage probably helps. Maybe that’s the motivation for any incendiary remarks. For many, HBO is spending too much real time with Bill Maher, but that doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon, just like the atrocities against Gazans. You can watch his recent “New Rule” ramble below:



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