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Bill Maher Uses Bethlehem as Powerful Example in Opening Monologue About Palestine

Bill Maher Uses Bethlehem as Powerful Example in Opening Monologue About Palestine

I’m not a fan of Bill Maher, but occasionally, even a broken liberal can find a very good point or two.

On Friday, on “Real Time With Bill Maher,” Maher gave a genuinely brilliant monologue focused on the Israel-Palestine conflict, injecting a dose of “realism” into the inflamed rhetoric that surrounds it.


Maher talked about Christmas time and the nativity scenes he sees all around, which depict “the little town of Bethlehem,” one of the most sacred sites to 2.3 billion Christians around the world.

“And I can’t help thinking about where that manger really is. It’s in the West Bank on Palestinian land, controlled by the Palestinian authority,” Maher said. “In 1950, the little town of Bethlehem was 86 percent Christian, now it’s overwhelmingly Muslim.

“And that’s my point tonight, things change. To 2.3 billion Christians, there can be no more sacred site than where their Savior was born but they don’t have it anymore.

“And yet, no Crusader army has geared up to take it back.”

Maher continued his monologue by delving into history, the changes that have occurred in nations, and who controls them.

“Things change,” he said. “Countries, boundaries, empires. Palestine was under the Ottoman Empire for 400 years, but today, an ottoman is something you put under your feet.

“The city of Byzantium became the city of Constantinople, [which] became Istanbul.”

“The Irish had the entire island to themselves, but the British were starting an Empire, and well, the Irish lost their tip,” he joked.

“Was it unjust that even a single Arab family was forced to move upon the founding of the Jewish state? Yes. But it’s also not rare — happening all through history, all over the world, and mostly what people do is make the best of it,” Maher said, pointing out multiple nations and ethnic groups that have changed in demographics due to conflict or war.

“After World War II, 12 million ethnic Germans got shoved out of Russia, and Poland, and Czechoslovakia. A million Greeks were shoved out of Turkey in 1923, a million Ghanaians out of Nigeria in 1983, almost a million French out of Algeria in 1962. Nearly a million Syrian refugees moved to Germany eight years ago. Was that a perfect fit?” he asked.

Maher even brought up Mexico further along in his monologue, whose borders used to extend up to the top of California.

“But no Mexican is out there chanting, ‘From the Rio Grande to Portland, Oregon,'” he said.

“And no one knows more about being pushed off land than the Jews. Including being almost wholly kicked out of every Arab country they once lived in,” Maher pointed out, reminding his viewers of how Tevye the Milkman’s family in “Fiddler on the Roof” had to keep moving because of the Cossacks.

“They coped,” Maher said. “Because sometimes, that’s all you can do. History is brutal and humans are not good people. History is sad and full of wrongs, but you can’t make them un-happen.”

Maher pointed out that while many act as if colonization was only done by white Christians, much of the world was actually colonized by followers of Islam.

“Nobody was a bigger colonizer than the Muslim army that swept out of the Arabian Desert and took over much of the world in a single century. And they didn’t do it by asking. There’s a reason Saudi Arabia’s flag is a sword. Kosovo was the cradle of Christian Serbia, then it became Muslim. They fought a war about it in the ’90s, but stopped. They didn’t keep it going for 75 years,” he said.

Making a more recent point, Maher then talked about the fact that Palestinians had multiple chances to have peace — and a lot more land than they have right now.

“There were deals on the table to share the land called Palestine. In 1947, ’93, ’95, ’98, 2000, 2008,” he said.

“And East Jerusalem could have been the capital of a Palestinian state that today might look more like Dubai than Gaza. [Former Palestinian President Yasser] Arafat was offered 95 percent of the West Bank, and said, ‘No.'”

In his direct manner, Maher spoke to Palestinians, telling them that Palestinian leaders and “useful idiots on college campuses” were not doing them any favors by propagating the “from the river to the sea” myth.

“I mean, where do you think Israel is going?” he asked.

“Spoiler alert: Nowhere,” he said.

“It’s one of the most powerful countries in the world with the 500-billion-dollar economy, the world’s second largest tech sector after Silicon Valley, and nuclear weapons. They’re here, they like their bagel with a shmear, get used to it,” he added.

Maher then said the quiet part out loud, noting that while what is happening to the Palestinians is “horrible,” the reason Palestinians never accepted the deals they were given is because they want “all of it,” not just the West Bank, which was the original UN partition deal they rejected.

“Because you wanted all of it and always have. Even though, it’s indisputably also the Jews’ ancestral homeland.”

“And so, you attacked and lost. And attacked again and lost. And attacked again and lost.”

“As my friend, Dr. Phil, says,” Maher continued, “‘How’s that working for you?'”

Maher put into words history and reality in one solid eight-minute monologue, bringing it around to the simple truth: Palestinians don’t want peace. They want to end all Jews.

They say they want the Jews to “go back where they came from” but while some Jewish people did live in Europe, many of them were thrown out from Muslim nations.

According to the Jewish Virtual Library, in 1945, around 1 million Jews lived without incident in the various Arab states of the Middle East.

After the 1948 partition plan announcement, however, Arab governments turned against their Jewish citizens. Jews in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Yemen, and other nations faced state-sanctioned riots, violence, arrests, and freezing of assets. Over the next few years, more than 800,000 Jewish refugees fled or were expelled from their homes in Arab lands.

Would they be safe in any of those countries now?

It’s been 75 years, but at the end of the day, all the chanting in the streets cannot change this simple reality: Palestinians don’t want a two-state solution — as Maher and years of historical context have noted: They just want to eradicate every last Jew.

Despite what leaders on all sides say, there will not be peace until the Palestinians accept reality and learn, as Maher so eloquently put it, to “cope.”


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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