Bill Maher

Oh Bill Maher, There You Go Again…

In light of the recent conflict in the Palestinian Territories, Bill Maher recently went on the Jewish Journal to have an interview in which he discusses his view of the Israel/Palestine conflict: you can read it here, which I recommend you do before you read my opinion. But pretty much, he sides with Israel. Something that caught me off-guard, even though he is half-jewish. It did so because he’s a die-hard atheist, not to mention a fact-junkie, routinely lambasting people on his show for ignoring facts. I expected so much more from Bill Maher (not that he cares about the opinion of a nobody like me), especially as routinely as he calls those so-called fact-ignorers ‘idiots‘, but even the ‘lofty‘ have their biases, like the rest of us.

I’m not saying Palestinian’s are tooth fairies (a common misconception when negatively describing Israel), and there have been atrocities on both sides, but in the tit-for-tat that begat the entire conflict, it’s obvious which side struck first. There is a difference between reactionary (Palestine) and proactive (Israel). Palestine was there first, and Israel carved out a slice that never stopped getting bigger, without so much as hey-ho. In the process ignoring thirty-two binding UN resolutions (most offending country in this regard). People so easily forget that, even fact-junkies like Maher… Considering how forceful he is with people who ignore facts on his own show (which I watch every week), it would be interesting to see how he would take it. The comment about Israeli caring of casualties is a shortsighted statement. The Israeli army does take care (sometimes) to what their bombing, even still a majority of casualties in any war they partake in are always civilians (whether it be in Palestine or Lebanon, and that’s not mentioning Israeli’s repeated use of illegal munitions such as cluster bombs). (Though, Hamas and Hezbollah do share a fair part of the blame for hiding amongst civilians.) But then you have the non-wartime conditions, in which even the UN compares them to Apartheid due to the prison-like conditions it engenders! An air, sea, and land blockade is imposed on Palestine and has been for years. Even Israeli Jews knowingly admitted to thinking they are an apartheid state! 39% of survey respondents believe they are living in a ‘slight‘ apartheid state, while 19% believing they lived in an ‘heavy‘ apartheid state. Though the survey was challenged by the Jewish Media due to the Jewish ambiguity to the world ‘apartheid’, the following could not so easily misconstrued: more than half of the Jews surveyed, said they should receive preferential treatment over Arabs should the West Bank be annexed (presumably by force), with the numbers skewing upwards the more religious the survey respondent became. Even ex-President Jimmy Carter likens Israel to an Apartheid state—and calls them worse in some aspects. But that’s lost on most people in the West.

At least Bill points out, and rightly so, that the current Israeli government is the equivalent of the tea party in the US. A bunch of racist crackpots wielding power according to outdated religious texts that serve no purpose in the modern world. But then, consider this comment, “don’t fire rockets into Israel and they won’t annihilate you“. He’s missing the first half of that argument. Here’s it is: don’t take over somebody else’s country, and they won’t fire rockets at you. How simple can it be? As much as Bill Maher hates the Bible, he seemingly gives a free pass to Israeli occupation of Palestine, and the Israeli’s occupied Palestine because the Old Testament tells them it’s their land…Yep, the good ol’ Old Testament, in all its misogyny, slavery, genocide (by God himself and Moses), violence, and racism… Way to go Bill! It’s not the first time you’ve been wrong (although you could say that about anyone…most certainly, me!), but it is certainly the stupidest, in my opinion at least… I’ll still be tuning in every week and watching his show, one stupid opinion doesn’t invalidate every other opinion one has, and most of his opinions are based factually, but I can’t help but be disappointed…Oh Bill, when will thou seest reason on this subject?

14 comments

  1. Good point, and one most of us forget – the Palestinians have reason to be upset. Even though Maher considers himself agnostic, Judaism remains the only religion people are unable to distance themselves from completely, even after apostasy. Perhaps a certain degree of bias remains within.

  2. “A bunch of racist crackpots wielding power according to outdated religious texts that serve no purpose in the modern world”. –
    This is a freakin fantastic article! Well done, Thanks!! :-)

  3. Sorry, you are wrong to say Bill Maher is half-Jewish. One is Jewish either by an orthodox conversion or by being born of a Jewish mother. Bill Maher mother is Jewish, so Mr Maher is 100% Jewish. Palestine was the name the Romans named the land after conquering it and defeating the Jewish revolt, starting with General Titus siege and finalised by Emperor Hadrian, whom even changed the name of Jerusalem to Aelia Captonila. Before that, the Romans called the region Judea after the people there living, the Jews (originally, Judah). Palestine was named after the Philistine, a people said of Phoenician origin that inhabited the region thousands of years prior ever existing any Arab. From that time up to the partition by UN, there lived both Jews and Arabs – both Jews and Arabs were called then Palestinians. After the partition, the Jews named his share: Israel and focused on the continuation of their plan of building a state. Some famous institutions today in Israel, such as the Hebrew University of Jerusalem existed even before the establishment of the State of Israel. The Arabs refused to create a state of their own and focused first in their many and unsuccessful attempts to destroy, eradicate the Jewish People. Having failed on all of them, they proceeded on a new phase, creating the so-called Palestinian People (after 1967 – prior to that the term was not applied to the Arabs there living) and a bad-mouthing campaign against the Jews. While they failed successively in the first move; they have been considerably successful on the second in great part thanks to many people that rather than knowing history and sticking to the facts, prefer to apply to misconcepts based on superficial humanistic perceptions.
    I accept it is your right not to like Jews, or disagree that they will insist to live on the land whence they were expelled thousands of years ago or anywhere after so many attempts by many to destroy them. As far as a matter of opinion, you have all the rights. However, you have no such a right as to have your own facts or version of history. This only tells a lot about anyone trying so. Lands conquered as result of aggression wars such as undertaken by the Arabs against Israel are not subject to return according to international laws. Striking first is fundamental in cases where the opponents constitute a majority that will endanger the reaction by one side. In view of recent happenings in Egypt by the Muslin Brotherhood and its newly established dictatorship, civil war in Syria with its horrendous war crimes, Iranian crimes against its own civilians. Israel should be given the benefit of doubt which your article denies it. Israel using illegal weapons may be a fact or a disputed fact but what Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah have down to own citizens are object of no dispute.
    About the so called Old Testament, hard to argue with you. Not because you are right but because humanists in general are the ones lacking reason, yet they claim others lack though. Trying to understand it literally does cause many troubles indeed.

    1. Well, Bill Maher calls himself half-jewish so take that up with him. I won’t tackle your points on Roman imperialism, that was two-thousand years ago and beyond the scope of modern society to change.
      I will tackle your next point. Yes, Palestine was inhabited by both Jews and Arabs. They got along together, everything, aside from a some problems due to immigration (which happens in every country with lots of immigration), seemed to be going ok. [Edit] Though I forgot to mention before, the arab revolts (probably rooted in jihadist terms) did not start of things going very well, so even the arabs have been blinded by their religious blinders as well [End Edit]. It was a few Jews who broke of part of Palestine in 1948, and called it Israel. From there, atrocities have been committed on both sides, but the instigating factor was that some cadre of individuals who wanted a part of the country to themselves, instead of doing the normal thing, which is to assimilate, which resolves racial, ethnic, and economic tensions. What they did was not right!
      The scope of the article is not too tackle the other dictators in the region, often supported by the USA and Israel with funding and logistics (you’re shooting yourself in the foot with this argument as it stands).
      I will briefly talk about Hezbollah however (and with that I say, I don’t mean to imply I support any of their stated aims, I do not), and their relation to their own people, which you mention is of no dispute as to the immoral and terrorist activity. They provide Southern lebanese people with welfare, food, money, schools, agriculture, and hospitals. Of course, it may be that their educational outreach is biased, and I’m inclined to think it is, but they are a dog backed into a corner.
      The Arabs did not attempt to create a state because they lived in a state already (already an occupied state at this point). The state was called Palestine, and Jews were living in it too. They were fighting for their country, as any other people of any other country would too. By the way, It has been referred to Palestine for thousands of years, as well as other names. Aristotle called it Palestine in the 5th century BC for example.
      I don’t know where you get that I don’t like jews. I never, nor mean to insinuate, such a fact. Jews are people like everyone else, subject to their own biases, blindness, and in corrupt-ability of power in this case. If the roles were reversed, and the Palestinians were subjugating the Jewish population, I would take such a hardline against Palestine.
      Again, I don’t take the Old Testament literally, but many Jews, many in their government, and many more out in the settlements expanding them, do. The fault is with them, not with others interpreting their actions.

    2. Avner,

      As a sidenote to your comment, the idea that Palestine was named as such by the Romans after the Philistine is one among many incorrect theories, which gained widespread acceptance as a political maneuver to claim some ancestral identity for the palestinian refugee population. The similarity between the latin, greek and hebrew terms “palestine”, “palaistine” and “peleshet” is merely phonetical. A much more etimologically sound theory is of the latin palestine being a transliteration of the greek “palaistine”, meaning land of the warriors or wrestlers, which would be a direct translation of “Eretz Israel”, in a reference to Jacob’s fight in Genesis 32.

  4. @Avner: .” Lands conquered as result of aggression wars such as undertaken by the Arabs against Israel are not subject to return according to international laws”

    Wrong, wrong, wrong, from wikipedia:
    The completion of colonial conquest of much of the world (see the Scramble for Africa), the devastation of World War I and World War II, and the alignment of both the United States and the Soviet Union with the principle of self-determination led to the abandonment of the right of conquest in formal international law. The 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact, the post-1945 Nuremberg Trials, the UN Charter, and the UN role in decolonization saw the progressive dismantling of this principle. Simultaneously, the UN Charter’s guarantee of the “territorial integrity” of member states effectively froze out claims against prior conquests from this process.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Did you catch that Avner? You do not acquire land by conquest under internatonal law – and most of what you wrote is zionist propaganda, which I’ll go over point by point if you want some education.

    1. Actually, he’s right. As you quote, “guarantees the territorial integrity of member states”, and the last sovereign state legally entitled to any land in Israel was the Otoman Empire, which obviously wasn’t a member state.

  5. well, there where more jews trown out there homeland then “palistinians” out of there homeland. why is it that the left never talks about that.

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