Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

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

February 18, 2013 12:40 pm 14 comments

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.

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:

14 Comments

  • 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.

    • 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…”

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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!

  • 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???

  • 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.

    • 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

    • 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.

      • 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.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Playboy Columnist Calls Israel’s ‘Burning Man’ Festival ‘Ultimate Revenge on Hitler’

    Playboy Columnist Calls Israel’s ‘Burning Man’ Festival ‘Ultimate Revenge on Hitler’

    The Israeli version of the famed American Burning Man music festival is the “ultimate revenge on Hitler,” according to a column in Playboy magazine on Thursday. In his column, Jeff Weiss also took note of the fact that Midburn — a five-day bacchanal in the Negev Desert, self-described as an event celebrating “a communal life style, creativity, art and radical self-expression” — began on June 8, the day of the Sarona Market terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, which left four people dead. Weiss asked rhetorically, “What could needle the mustached […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Author of New Book on Connection Between Jews, Punk Rock Describes Bands Flinging Gefilte Fish, Bagels at Audience (INTERVIEW)

    Author of New Book on Connection Between Jews, Punk Rock Describes Bands Flinging Gefilte Fish, Bagels at Audience (INTERVIEW)

    Some punk rockers integrate their Jewish identity into their music through food, the author of a new book on the topic told The Algemeiner on Wednesday. Michael Croland, author of Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk, described the way different musicians express this connection. “One band is known for throwing gefilte fish in the mosh pit, and people at its concert slide around on it while dancing,” he recounted. “Another used to drink Manischewitz [sweet kosher] wine out of a shofar [the ram […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Scottish Soccer Club Manager Hails ‘Fantastic’ Jewish-State Visit After Victory Over Israeli Team (VIDEO)

    Scottish Soccer Club Manager Hails ‘Fantastic’ Jewish-State Visit After Victory Over Israeli Team (VIDEO)

    The manager of Scotland’s Celtic soccer club lauded Israel, after his team won a match against the Jewish state’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva on Tuesday night. Brendan Rodgers said at a post-match press conference: On behalf of the players, the people of Celtic and Scotland, Israel’s been fantastic for us. We came out here on Sunday, [and from] the hotel, the staff, we’ve been very, very warmly received. The atmosphere at the game was amazing and, obviously, one team has to lose, but you have a wonderful team here, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Second Jaffa Jazz Festival to Reunite International, Israeli Musicians

    Second Jaffa Jazz Festival to Reunite International, Israeli Musicians

    For the second time, Israel will host the Jaffa Jazz Festival, according to Broadwayworld.com. The festival will unite 43 Israeli musicians and eight international artists for a three-day event. The program will include a special performance by an ensemble of top jazz students studying at Belgium’s Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, the Belgrade Music Academy in Serbia, Israel’s Rimon School of Music and the jazz program of the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv. There will also be a jazz show for children led by Israeli saxophonist […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Israel’s First NASCAR Driver Revved Up to Win

    Israel’s First NASCAR Driver Revved Up to Win

    JNS.org – As a young boy growing up in Ashdod, Israel, Alon Day got his first go-kart at age 9. By 15, he was racing them. Less than a decade later, Day has become the first Israeli professional race car driver on the NASCAR circuit. He made history by competing in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 13. “Driving a race car is not like any other sport,” Day told JNS.org. “You are actually almost flying […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Writer of Popular Kids Series to Premiere Autobiographical Solo Show ‘Not That Jewish’

    Writer of Popular Kids Series to Premiere Autobiographical Solo Show ‘Not That Jewish’

    The writer of a popular children’s television series will premiere an off-Broadway solo show called “Not That Jewish,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Written and performed by Monica Piper — the Emmy Award-winning showrunner of Nickelodeon’s “Rugrats” — the show is described as “the autobiographical telling of a Jew…’ish’ girl’s life.” “Not That Jewish” explores Piper’s Bronx upbringing in a show-business family, her comedy-club debut and her “almost” night with former Yankees legend Mickey Mantle. “Audiences can expect to leave laughed-out, a little teary-eyed and […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Scottish Soccer Team Will Fly to Israel on Private Jet Used by Madonna

    Scottish Soccer Team Will Fly to Israel on Private Jet Used by Madonna

    Scotland’s Celtic soccer club will fly to Israel with the same private jet Madonna used while on tour, The Scotsman reported on Monday. According to the report, the team is heading for the Jewish state to compete against Israel’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva on Tuesday night, and will be transported in the customized, luxurious Boeing 757-200 that the pop icon used in New Zealand for her six-month Rebel Heart tour, which wrapped up in March. The plane is on loan from Greece-based GainJet Aviation and can accommodate 62 passengers. The […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Revealed: Actor Jonah Hill Officiated at Wedding of Fellow Jewish Star, Singer Adam Levine

    Revealed: Actor Jonah Hill Officiated at Wedding of Fellow Jewish Star, Singer Adam Levine

    Jewish actor Jonah Hill revealed on Wednesday morning that he had officiated the wedding of good friend and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. The “War Dogs” actor, 32, was a guest on Sirius XM’s The Howard Stern Show when the conversation turned to Levine’s July 2014 wedding to Victoria’s Secret model Behati Prinsloo. Hill said that after he was asked to officiate the nuptials, he started getting worried about the type of speech he was going to deliver. “I’m writing all these things, and then I […]

    Read more →