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February 18, 2013 12:40 pm

Bill Maher: Based on Republican Statements “The Israelis are Controlling Our Government” (VIDEO)

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Comedian Bill Maher. Photo: wiki commons.

Bill Maher joined the chorus of conspiracy theorists this weekend, perpetuating the trope that Israel has undue influence over American policy. During a debate with Jamie Weinstein, editor of the Daily Caller, and Donna Brazile, a Democratic Strategist, on Chuck Hagel, Maher was blunt in his “assessment.” The full transcript is below courtesy of The Lid blog):

JAMIE WEINSTEIN, EDITOR AT DAILY CALLER: Just yesterday, there was a new speech that they believe in which during the question and answer [session] at Rutgers University, Hagel claimed that the State Department was controlled by the Israeli government. Israeli foreign ministry controls the government.

DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: You see, Bill, what they’re doing is they’re going after every speech.

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BILL MAHER, HOST OF “REAL TIME” ON HBO: And it’s not?

WEINSTEIN: Well, there’s two things wrong with that. One is that — it’s, you know, kind of suggesting Israeli power is controlling things. Number two, of all the branches of the government, the State Department being the most pro-Israel branch is ridiculous.

MAHER: Based on every statement I’ve heard out of any Republican in the last two years, the Israelis are controlling our government.

WEINSTEIN: Not the State Department, that’s for sure. (HBO’s Real Time, February 15, 2013)

The statement received a round of applause from many in Maher’s audience, but as The Lid points out: “The crazy part of it all is that even in pro-Israel administrations the State Department has an anti-Israel history.”

Watch a video of the shocking episode below:

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  • T.L.

    Interesting story. Maher has generally been very pro-Israel. He recently defended Israel’s actions in Gaza as well as the country’s military in Lebanon in 2006. Indeed, Benjamin Netanyahu appeared as a special guest of his back in 2006, and suggested Maher as a spokesperson for Israel’s cause. This was certainly not articulate speaking from the usually super sharp comedian/commentator.

    • T.L.

      It’s come to light that the “statement” that was mentioned by Jamie Weinstein on Bill Maher’s show was most likely never made by Chuck Hagel. It was probably created by a political activist, and writer named Michael Goldfarb. That operative has not produced the tape or notes that in any way show Mr. Hagel’s guilt for these “remarks”. The New York Times published an article about his tactics just this past Sunday, or the other day.

  • richard sherman

    note to nicholas s: there are many self hating jews like maher…chomsky is another…their anti-israel positions reflect their visceral antisemitism..
    as Martin Luther King Jr wisely stated in March 1968:..”if you are antiZionist then you are antisemrtic…”

  • Ryan

    I’m pretty sure a team of hamsters are controlling Mahers brain.

  • Felicity Scott

    “MAHER: Based on every statement I’ve heard out of any Republican in the last two years, the Israelis are controlling our government.” Erm – the Republicans aren’t controlling the State Department? Unless Hilary and Barak both had some massive political epiphany the sane branch of the media missed? Rephrasing the same old Jew-hate by simply removing “Jew” and inserting “Israel” does not make it any less repellent, nor any more TRUE than it has ever been.

  • richard sherman

    Obviously Maher is not only an antisemite but ignorant. The US State Dept was the leader in supporting an arms embargo of Israel from 1948 well into the 1970s…Also the State Dept was responsible from the ship THE ST LOUIS having to return to Nazi Germany..Unless you are demonstrably antisemetic you cannot get a job at the State Dept…Only antisemites like Maher deny the foundational antisemitism of the US State Dept.

    • Nicholas S

      You are aware that Maher is himself half Jewish? All he was doing was criticizing the Republicans in Congress for the way they ostracize everyone who is not 100% Pro-Israel. Mitt Romney was even forced to change his opinion because they were not Pro-Israel enough

      • Bathsheva Gladstone

        Well, he’s got a lot of nerve! His intense hatred for the republican party (which I perfectly understand) stands in the way of decency. If anyone were to switch out Israel or Jews (really because this is what this is about)for blacks or Indians you’d get a pretty clear picture of how the democrats are towards Israel(Jews).

        Anybody who bought into the idea that Romney gave a hoot about Israel or Jews, and wouldn’t have distanced himself from Israel, like one would with the plague,the second his big toe entered the oval office, is so desperate for someone to love them and Israel they can’t see straight.

      • Natan

        Nicholas, you wrote: “You are aware that Maher is himself half Jewish?”

        Ah, yes, the disgusting trope that Israel-bashers love – you love to point to some person of Jewish or part-Jewish background making an anti-Israel statement to shield yourselves from accusations of your own anti-Israel feelings (or outright antisemitism in some cases).

        It matters not at all that Maher is “half-Jewish,” … Noam Chomsky is 100% Jewish, and 100% wrong. On everything. What’s your point??

        Gei oismilk a bok!

  • G. Fränkl

    ROTTEN ANTISEMITE – WE’VE SEEN THIS MOVIE TOO MANY TIMES BEFORE. AND WOULD HE CARE TO NAME THOSE “REPUBLICANS” OR HE JUST SOMEHOW MADE THEM UP OUT OF HIS DELUDED AND FEVERISH HATE-FILLED PRIMITIVE SINGLE-DIGIT IQ MIND???

  • Sean

    This is NOT GOOD JOURNALISM. This story should be taken down immediately. As much as I absolutely despise Bill Maher, it could not be more obvious that he is taking a swipe at Republicans for saying this. I know you guys are better than this and this article is actually quite shameful.

    • Nicholas S

      100% agree that he himself was not saying the Government is controlled by Israel, but instead was saying that Republicans act as if it is

    • thixotropic

      Thank you so much for stating that — I simply can’t believe my eyes at how they are taking this out of context and spewing hateful (and really ironic) crap like “HE JUST SOMEHOW MADE THEM UP OUT OF HIS DELUDED AND FEVERISH HATE-FILLED PRIMITIVE SINGLE-DIGIT IQ MIND”.

      G. FRANKL, *YOU* ARE THE PERSON YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!! MAHER IS PRO-ISRAEL!! YOU ARE ACTING LIKE A RABID ATTACK-DOG ABOUT SOMETHING TOTALLY TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT!!!

      Sheesh. You know, things like this are *exactly* why so many people think that defenders of Israel are totally off their rockers. THEY ARE. One can be pro-Jew and anti-Israel.

      • thixotropic

        I apologise and amend my previous comment — I only meant that *some* defenders of Israel are off their rockers. (Such as G. Frankl.) Obviously, not even most of them are — and I do want, as most people do, for the Jewish people to have a homeland. But when I read articles like this one, I almost cannot believe it. This was so clearly taken out of context — Maher is a long-time defender of Israel, and I’m not clear how a website like algemeiner — which I read from time to time — could have gotten this so wrong. But I fear it’s an example of what is too often wrong with Israel’s conception of the world — it sees attackers even where it has friends. There are some very good historical reasons for this, of course, but for the sake of Israel’s sanity as a nation, a more calm and balanced perspective would be helpful.

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