HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher left no doubt on his show Friday about who he thinks is responsible for the violence in Gaza.
“I feel terrible for a Palestinian child who dies,” Mr. Maher said. “But if it’s your father, your brother, your uncle who’s firing those rockets into Israel, whose fault is it really? Do you really expect the Israelis not to retaliate?”
The comment drew applause from his audience and, surprisingly, gave Mr. Maher something he rarely has on his show: agreement with one of his conservative guests.
Jamie Weinstein, an editor of The Daily Caller, said that extremists will always be trying to harm Israel regardless of the country’s actions.
“I don’t think you can understand the conflict without reading Hamas’ charter, upon which they were founded, which clearly calls — and it’s chilling — calls for not only the destruction of Israel but the murder of Jews generally,” Mr. Weinsten said.
“They say the day will come when the trees will call out and say ‘here’s a Jew come kill him.’ This is the mentality of the people that Israel is fighting,” he continued.
Mr. Maher said he believes that Israel has been effective at defending itself in part because of its scientific expertise.
“Jews have, I think, 155 Nobel Prizes. Muslims have two,” he said. “That seems like kind of a big advantage for team Hebrew.”
The host found himself in hot water earlier this week for a tweet he sent out about the conflict.
“Dealing w/ Hamas is like dealing w/ a crazy woman who’s trying to kill u - u can only hold her wrists so long before you have to slap her,” his message wrote.
The comment drew swift condemnation from activists who criticized Mr. Maher’s sexist statement.