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Bill Maher Says “Bella Hadids of the World” Would “Run Screaming to Tel Aviv If They Had to Live in Gaza for One Day”

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June 1, 2021

Comedian Bill Maher defended Israel while slamming Palestinian-Dutch model Bella Hadid during a May 28 segment on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

The segment began with Maher criticizing the media’s coverage of the recent escalation between Israel and Hamas, saying “there was no one on liberal media to defend Israel really. We’ve become this country now where we’re kind of one-sided on this issue.” He added that the younger generation doesn’t seem to understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, stating: “You can’t learn history on Instagram.”

Maher then turned to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and praised him for writing in a recent op-ed that Arabs enjoy more freedom in Israel than they do in any other country. Kristof said he “made that point for context” but doesn’t think it justifies “Israel engaging in possible war crimes in Gaza.” Maher asked Kristof how Israel should have responded to the 4,000 rockets fired by Hamas and Islamic Jihad; Kristof acknowledged that Israel has a right to defend itself under international law but argued that Israel didn’t “sufficiently avoid civilian casualties.”

“But [Hamas] purposely put the rockets in civilian places,” Maher replied. “Likewise, Israel’s Defense Ministry is in a civilian area,” Kristof responded. “Both sides do this partly because they’re proud of their countries. I do think that Hamas particularly does this and I think that’s a war crime [on the] part of Hamas.”

Maher also responded to those who refer to Israel as “colonizers” and “occupiers.” “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.” He added that “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.”

Additionally, Maher pointed out that the 1947 United Nations partition plan offered a two-state solution for both Jews and Arabs that would have provided the Palestinians with more land than they currently have today had the Arabs not rejected the partition plan. “Hamas’s charter says they want to wipe out Israel. Their negotiating position is, ‘You all die.’”

“Hamas’s charter says they want to wipe out Israel. Their negotiating position is, ‘You all die.’”

Kristof agreed that some leftist circles tend to whitewash Hamas “but that also does not excuse Israel ruling Palestinians in the West Bank for example without giving them any vote, taking water and giving it to settlers, and maybe most important: damaging any possibility down the road of creating a two-state solution.” He acknowledged that it’s difficult “to avoid a war” with Hamas firing rockets at Israel, but said that Israel’s building of settlements in the West Bank and potential eviction of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem ruins the prospects of a two-state solution down the road.

Maher agreed with Kristof, but argued that “there could be an Arab capital in East Jerusalem now if Yasser Arafat had accepted that in 2003. He did not. They have rejected this and went to war time and time again.”

He then went after “the Bella Hadids of the world,” citing the fact that a Hamas court decreed in February that unmarried women in the Gaza Strip can only travel with a male guardian’s permission. “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.”

Kristof argued that Hadid was simply “speaking up for the 67 kids in Gaza who were killed,” not defending Hamas. Maher replied that Hadid chanted “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” which “is a PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] slogan that means… there will be no more Israel.”

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