Bill Maher torched fellow progressives for engaging in anti-Semitic sentiments following the start of the Israel-Hamas war.
On the latest episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher,” the liberal talk show host pummeled his fellow liberals for celebrating Hamas and promoting anti-Jewish sentiments ever since the Hamas surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7.
Maher asked the “Real Time” panel, “What do you make of this level of just gut-wrenching anti-Semitism?”
Maher then confessed, “I must admit, I don’t think of myself as a naive person [but] I’ve been surprised. It was like a volcano that blew. I mean, just the people in the United States who [are like] ‘F*** Israel!’ You know, the ‘Any means necessary!’ I just, I don’t know where this comes from. I guess it’s ancient. Obviously, the hatred of the Jews goes way back. But I was taken aback by this.”
Political scientist Ian Bremmer chimed in, “You can’t tell me you don’t think social media has made it much worse.”
Maher responded by saying, “So you think that’s the answer? Because it’s got to be something about the Jews themselves because there were other people around the world who are oppressed. There are other colonized places – not that Israel colonized anything – but why this one place?”
The liberal talk show host continued, “Why does this arouse, especially among young people? I mean, the young people who hated Trump because he wouldn’t condemn the people with the tiki torches talking about Jews – you’re the ones with the tiki torches now!”
Maher was referencing the so-called “Unite the Right” rally in August 2017 – where proponents of Confederate monuments, protesters from the alt-right, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, counter-protesters, and Black Lives Matter supporters clashed in Charlottesville, Virginia. White nationalists had carried tiki torches and chanted racist slogans.
The protest turned deadly when a driver purposely slammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters and killed Heather Heyer.
The driver of the car attack was James Alex Fields Jr. – who had espoused white supremacist and anti-Semitic viewpoints online and at the rally. Fields pleaded guilty to Heyer’s murder and 29 violations of hate crimes. He was sentenced to life in prison.
CNN host Fareed Zakaria theorized, “The upsurge in anti-Semitism that you’re seeing around the world, and sadly in the United States as well, is in a way the most powerful justification for the state of Israel.”
“It must feel to Jews everywhere that they’re not safe,” Zakaria stated. “The one place that they can be safe is the state of Israel. It’s the ultimate justification.”
“Why it happens is, sadly, because it is the oldest bigotry known to man,” Zakaria added. “It comes out of Christian ideas about Jews.”
Maher vehemently disagreed that is the reason why younger people are expressing anti-Semitic vitriol.
The HBO host speculated that some people supporting Palestinians “think of themselves as social justice warriors.”
He criticized young activists for not having sufficient knowledge of the history of Israel and Palestine.
“They don’t want to learn anything… They want to have a cause,” Maher noted. “It’s not about Israel, it’s about this cause, the Palestinians. Like I said, there’s many people around the world who could have similar causes… This is the one that they latch on to. They don’t learn anything about the history of the region or who’s right and who’s wrong and where they’d be more comfortable.”
Maher then rejected the debate over “proportionality” in Israel’s military response to the Hamas surprise attack that ignited the war.
He proclaimed, “For people who wonder why they are doing it, is because if they don’t, their answer… is that if they don’t fight back Hamas, they’re telling you we’re going to do it again!”
“I’ve used the word proportionality, and I think there should be – but it doesn’t mean this thing where like, ‘Hamas is going to attack – that’s a given. And then however many they kill, then you get to kill about the same,” Maher said. “You get to match it and then the war’s over.’ That’s not how wars work. Stop attacking them!”
According to the Anti-Defamation League, anti-Semitic incidents have spiked in the weeks since the Hamas attack on Israel.
The ADL recorded a total of 312 anti-Semitic incidents from Oct. 7 until Oct. 12 – including 190 that were directly linked to the Israel-Hamas war. In the same time period last year, there were 64 reports of anti-Semitic incidents.
Last month, FBI Director Christopher Wray said anti-Semitism is reaching “historic levels” in the United States.
“This is a threat that is reaching, in some way, sort of historic levels,” Wray said during a Senate hearing.
Wray said of the Jewish-American population, “In fact, our statistics would indicate that for a group that represents only about 2.4% of the American public, they account for something like 60% of all religious-based hate crimes.”
You can watch the “Real Time with Bill Maher” clip below.
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