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Bill Maher gets real

“Real Time with Bill Maher” featured a realistic assessment of the Fourth Arab-Israeli War. Arabs need to take any deal, and stop refusing.

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Home Box Office’ Bill Maher has been a thorn in conservatives’ sides since his program began. But he has no real agenda, other than to be funny. And because he has no real agenda, he can see his way clear to calling out absurdity on the left. He has done so several times since the Fourth Arab-Israeli War began. He did it again yesterday (December 15). Margaret Flavin of The Gateway Pundit released a partial transcript this afternoon. But even she failed to notice that he shamed certain antisemitic voices on the right as well as the left. And those voices needed shaming, for not having thought the matter through before they spoke.

Bill Maher makes a new rule

In his last segment of the day, Bill Maher spoke of a new rule.

He didn’t say exactly what the new rule was. But he seemed to say he would follow a new rule – to be brutally honest about what some people demand.

Bill Maher began with a summary of the history of the region (ancient and recent), and compared it with histories of other regions. Those were histories of the displacement of other peoples. He gave several examples:

In the early fourth century, Constantine moved the Roman capital to Byzantium, and changed its name to Constantinople. More than a millennium later, the Turks conquered that city and named it Istanbul – a Turkish mangling of the original Greco-Latinate name. No Greek or Italian has tried to reclaim the city since.


The English started fighting the Irish as far back as Elizabeth I. Eventually Ireland was a British viceroyalty – until the Irish fought for their independence. The new Republic of Ireland took back all its territory – except for one ancient petty kingdom, called Ulster. That became Northern Ireland, and has that name today. For thirty years British and Irish fought over that land – and eventually stopped, and made peace.

Besides that, war has displaced many other people. Twelve million Germans from Russia and Poland and Czechoslovakia after World War II, a million Ghanians from Nigeria in 1983, nearly a million French from Algeria in 1962 – and those are the most memorable examples.

About the Middle East

Recall that Eric Levitz of The Intelligencer recently said,

Virtually all land is “stolen land” if one rolls the tape back far enough.

Bill Maher actually rolled back the tape, when talking about the forced migration of the Jews. Even he didn’t roll it all the way back, but perhaps he would understand the principle. Emperor Hadrian, after Simon bar Khokhva foolishly declared himself Messiah and tried to be a military Messiah, scattered the Jews throughout his empire. That happened in 135 A.D. Bar Khokhva would have done better to consult the wisdom of Jesus Christ, as Saints Matthew and Luke set it down. Satan offered Jesus rulership of the world. Aside from whether Satan had that to offer, Jesus turned him down. Bar Khokhva didn’t, and it didn’t end well for him.

So Hadrian renamed the land Palaestina, which is Latin for “Philistia.” That is the real source of the name Palestine today.


Still, the land has had a Jewish presence in it even since that event – and a Christian presence since the Resurrection and Ascension.

The Muslim conquest

Nothing really changed until Umar ibn Al-Kkattab, the second Rashidun Caliph, conquered Jerusalem in 638 A.D. About a century later, Caliph Abd al-Malik built a monument on a site he knew was sacred to Jews, in direct imitation of an apostate Hebrew king (Jeroboam I). By then, Western Europe was mostly Christian – except for Moorish southern Spain and certain areas of France where leaders like Charles Martel (“The Hammer”) fought regularly against Muslim invasion. Then came the desecration of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – and the declaration of war by Pope Urban IX. The ensuing wars – known as the Crusades – lasted for two centuries, until the Mamelukes displaced the last Crusader Kingdoms.

But the Mamelukes didn’t last; the Ottomans displaced them. This happened shortly after Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile forged an alliance – which they sealed with their own marriage – and, with the help of the famous general known as El Cid, expelled the Moors. But Ferdinand and Isabella made their own mistake: the Spanish Inquisition. After that, the Ottoman Sultan invited Jews fleeing Spain to resettle in the land still called “Palestine.”

Before the Israel War for Independence, the United Nations offered a considerable portion of land to the Arabs. The Arabs wanted it all – and if anything, have less today than the UN offered them. And here is another thing that Bill Maher overlooks. No one forced any Arabs to relocate. They did that themselves, especially from Yafo (Jaffa).

Bill Maher gets one thing right: the Jews aren’t going anywhere

Returning to the present moment, Bill Maher takes apart the common “Palestinian” chant:


From the river to the sea / Palestine shall be free!

Maher scorns that as a myth, and says the Palestinian “leaders, and the useful idiots on college campuses,” cannot succeed. But CNAV must say the same of those on the right who insist that Christians don’t owe the Jews any support. What, we ask, would you have the people of Israel do? Surrender unconditionally and evacuate the land?

Lay aside for a moment that unconditional surrender, to the Arabs, would mean that the Jews surrender for summary execution. (Those same leaders have called for the killing of Jews everywhere.) Lay aside even that the Jews didn’t start this war. And as for a cease-fire, one was actually in effect when the Arab enemy attacked. Instead, answer one question: how shall they evacuate? Bill Maher was only half joking when he mangled the U-Haul trademark to illustrate the absurdity of the proposition. (Rush Limbaugh actually first coined the phrase “to illustrate absurdity by being absurd.”)

Maher calls for negotiation, which is how most wars end. But at least he means good-faith negotiation. To quote him directly, “it’s hard to negotiate when the other side’s bargaining position is you all die and disappear.”

The more reason to dismiss all descriptions of “massacre” in Gaza as projection, anyway. What they accuse Israel of planning, they are planning. As long as Arabs feel that way about it, negotiation is impossible.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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Donald R. Laster, Jr

And people need to understand why Islam promotes antisemitism and hates Jews. The creator of the Islam theocracy was dedicated to the god Hubal/Baal who is associated with the moon. And many of the people of Arabia were becoming Jewish, and Christian. Mohammad hated that. When on learns the real history and reads the Qur’an it becomes obvious.


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