Real Time host Bill Maher defended Israel on his show and criticized the “liberal media” for its “one-sided” reporting of the Israel-Gaza conflict.
“We’ve become this country now that we’re kind of one-sided on this issue,” Maher said Friday on the first episode of his show since testing positive for the coronavirus.
“One of the frustrations I had, while I was off, is that I was watching this war go on in Israel … and it was frustrating to me because there was no one on liberal media to defend Israel, really,” he added.
The host then opened the discussion up to his guest panelist, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who suggested the predominantly Jewish country had committed “possible war crimes” during its latest rocket attack in Gaza.
“Well, Gaza fired 4,000 rockets into Israel. What would you say Israel should have done instead of what they did?” Maher asked Kristof.
“I mean, international lawyers are pretty clear that they have a right to defend themselves … but there is a sense that their response was probably a war crime because they did not sufficiently avoid civilian casualties,” the guest answered.
“But they purposely put the rockets in civilian places,” Maher said, referencing the tendency of Hamas, a terrorist group that governs Gaza, to use schools and hospitals to house their weapons. “That’s their strategy.”
Maher said Israel’s relations with neighboring Gaza have not been accurately reported as members of the press and social media’s “younger generation” are often quick to back Palestinians.
“We’ve become this country now that we’re kind of one-sided on this issue. And I’d also like to say off the bat: I don’t think kids understand — and when I say kids, I mean the younger generations — you can’t learn history from Instagram,” Maher said. “There’s just not enough space.”
He also briefly touched on the history of the region, an argument that both Israelis and Palestinians use to defend their right to live there.
“The Jews have been in that area of the world since about 1200 B.C., way before the first Muslim or Arab walked the earth. … I mean, Jerusalem was their capital. So, if it’s who got there first, it’s not even close,” Maher said. “The Jews were the ones who were occupied by everybody; the Romans took over at some point and then the Persians and the Byzantines and then the Ottomans. So, yes, there was colonization going on there. Beginning in the 19th century, they started to return to Palestine, which was never an Arab country. There was never a country called Palestine that was a distinct Arab country.”
The 65-year-old host also pointed out how negotiations in the region to quell the violence have mostly ended up empty-handed as Hamas has rejected them “time and time again.”
“Doesn’t it behoove the people who rejected the half a loaf and continue to attack … Hamas’s charter says they just want to wipe out Israel. Their negotiation position is ‘You all die,'” Maher said. “The two-state solution has been on the table a number of times. There could be an Arab capital in East Jerusalem now if Yasser Arafat had accepted that in 2003. He did not.”
“I mean, they have rejected this and went to war time and time again,” he continued. “And, you know, as far as Gaza goes, it’s amazing to me that the progressives think that they’re being progressive by taking that side of it, the Bella Hadids of the world, these influencers. I just want to say in February of this year, a Hamas court ruled that an unmarried woman cannot travel in Gaza without the permission of a male guardian. Really? That’s where the progressives are? Bella Hadid and her friends would run screaming to Tel Aviv if they had to live in Gaza for one day.”
Maher later admitted to Israel making mistakes in the feud but said the country maintains its right to defend itself.
“The Israelis, they have made mistakes, but it’s an ‘apartheid’ state because they keep getting attacked!” the host said. “If they don’t keep a tight lid on this s***, they get killed! That seems like something different!”
On May 20, Israel and Gaza declared a ceasefire that ended a bloody 11-day battle claiming more than 200 lives.
Author : Lawrence Richard
Source : Washington Examiner : Bill Maher slams ‘liberal media’ in Israel-Gaza conflict, backs country’s right to defend itself