update deskIsrael at War

‘Where do you think Israel is going?’ Bill Maher quips in viral eight-minute clip

“Bill Maher is a better school than Harvard,” said Joel Pollak, senior editor-at-large at Breitbart News.

American comedian Bill Maher. Source: YouTube.
American comedian Bill Maher. Source: YouTube.

The comedian Bill Maher, who has a reputation for non-conformist views, is drawing praise from pro-Israel fans and viewers for a Dec. 15 segment on his HBO “Real Time” show. 

As part of a fact-laden, semi-satirical monologue during a segment at the end of this show called “New Rules,” Maher marshaled maps and other historical evidence to reveal the antisemitic threat implied in the slogan “from the river to the sea.”

In line with the Christmas season, Maher reminded viewers that Bethlehem—the cradle of Christianity—is now a majority-Muslim city under Palestinian control in Judea and Samaria. “That’s my point tonight, things change,” he said.

Empires have risen and fallen, territories have changed hands, and cities have been renamed. “Palestine was under the Ottoman empire for 400 years, but today, an Ottoman is something you put under your feet,” he quipped.

Maher noted that Turkish, Irish and Mexican people eventually came to live with being conquered. “Look at what Mexico used to own—all the way up to the top of California. But no Mexican is out there chanting, ‘From the Rio Grande to Portland, Ore.’”

Not so Palestinians, even 75 years later. 

If they accept that the world changes, Maher said, they could have a state today, and it might “look more like Dubai than Gaza.”

He also noted that Jews, who of late are being called “colonizers,” have been forced out of many of their homelands. “No one knows more about being pushed off land than the Jews,” he said. “Including being kicked out of almost every Arab country they once lived in.” He cited the end of “Fiddler on the Roof,” during which the Jewish characters decide that Anatevka wasn’t so great anyway.

“Come on,” he said. “Like other countries don’t have roofs you could fiddle on?”

“History is brutal, and humans are not good people,” he continued. “Nobody was a bigger colonizer than the Muslim army that swept out of the Arabian desert and took over much of the world in a single century.”

“They didn’t do it by asking,” he said. “There’s a reason Saudi Arabia’s flag is a sword.”

To Palestinian leaders and their “useful idiots” on college campuses who chant “from the river to the sea,” Maher said: “Where do you think Israel is going? Spoiler alert, nowhere.”

He noted that Israel, which has the “world’s second-largest tech sector after Silicon Valley” and reportedly nuclear weapons, isn’t going to negotiate with an opponent whose bargaining position is “you all die and disappear.”

“Bill Maher, 22 years ago, I was unkind to you in the wake of 9/11. I will never be unkind to you again,” wrote John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary magazine.

“Bill Maher is a better school than Harvard,” wrote Joel Pollak, senior editor-at-large at Breitbart News.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war. JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you. The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support? Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates