Bill Maher Defends Netanyahu's Racist Campaign Tactics

Bill Maher Defends Netanyahu’s Racist Campaign Tactics (VIDEO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu angered many with his racist campaign tactics, not to mention that outrageous stunt with Congress. So why is Bill Maher defending him?

Last week, a Palestinian citizen of Israel named Ayman Odeh managed to unite the various Arab political factions into a coalition that came this close to unseating Netanyahu. Alas, Netanyahu pulled off a last minute upset by using the scourge of anti-arab racist fearmongering to drive his land-grabbing base to the polls.

On Friday’s Real Time with Bill Maher, that night’s panelists Mercedes Schlapp, Christine Quinn, and former Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Georgia) weighed in. Since Maher has often slammed the GOP for using similar racist campaign tactics here in the U.S., Maher’s guests may not have been prepared for his response:

“I heard a lot of commentators here say, it would be as if Mitt Romney in 2012 on the eve of the election said black voters are coming out in droves to the polls. But I don’t know if that’s really a great analogy.”

Wait? What? But Addicting Info reports on a video that took Netanyahu’s own words, swapped in “black” for “Arab,” “Republican” for “Likud [Netanyahu’s political party],” “Democrats” for “Labor [the opposition party],” and “United States” for “Israel,” and here’s what came out:

The Republican leadership is in danger. Black voters are coming out in droves to the polls. Left wing organizations are busing them out. Get out to vote, bring your friends and family, vote Republican in order to close the gap between us and the Democrats. With your help and the help of God, We will build a nationalist government that will protect the United States of America.

Yup. Netanyahu’s race-baiting campaign sounds an awful lot like the GOP’s race-baiting campaigns. Maybe GOP House members even shared tips during Netanyahu’s recent visit.

But, for Maher, the GOP/Likud analogy would only work if America’s blacks lived in separate nations that launched military attacks against us.

“I think that would be a good analogy if America was a country that was surrounded by 12 or 13 completely black nations who had militarily attacked us many times, including as recently as last year. Would we let them vote? I don’t know.

Never mind that places like Ferguson might as well be a separate “completely black nation.”

For Maher, it was fine for Netanyahu to play the race card. After all, he was fighting for his political future and Israel’s future. And racist dog whistles in political campaigns are a time-honored tradition:

“Like Reagan didn’t win races with racism? Or Nixon? Or Bush? Like they didn’t play the race card? Remember Willie Horton?”

Maher even takes a dig at Obama for telling Netanyahu he’s taking a long, hard look at our relationship with Israel.

“Yeah right, we’re going to stop dating Israel and date Syria now. Can we have some perspective?”

Maher worked in a dig at House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), “[Boehner] will be traveling under his secret service nickname – Agent Orange.”  He then wound down his monologue by showing Romney’s 47 percent clip and suggesting that Romney should have taken a page from Netanyahu’s book.

“You know that stuff you say in private? Your core beliefs? Those things you try to hide from people because you fear society will shun you? It appears all you have to do is turn into that skid. The real message is go big or go home!”

So why did Maher rise to Netanyahu’s defense?

Although Maher often takes liberal positions on current events and issues, he takes pride in not fitting in a right-wing or left-wing mold. And make no mistake, Maher is a staunch supporter of Israel. When they came under fire this summer when casualties in Gaza hit the news, Maher shrugged it off and declared, people die in wars.”

Watch Bill Maher come to Benjamin Netanyahu’s defense.

Here’s the video from Real Time with Bill Maher, with Maher defending Netanyahu.


H/T: Jerusalem Post. Featured image: Video screen grab/Real Time with Bill Maher.

Elisabeth Parker is a writer, web designer, mom, political junkie, and dilettante.

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