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?