January 31, 2007

Load of crap!

I like Bill Maher. He is a very good comedian and his heart and mind are in the right place. On most issues that is. One issue where I disagree with him (and frankly I think he is totally confused about it) is Israel. I heard him say on his show on HBO that George W Bush is the greatest president America had as far as Israel is concerned. (It was said as a concession in an argument with a Bush supporter.) And then I saw this interview with the former Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, which confirmed my view.

For fifteen minutes Netanyahu held forth on the "Second Lebanon War", Israel's "disproportionately restrained" responses, Iran as the new Reich, Muslims as evil, Jews as historically perfect victims. Maher quite obediently towed the line. He quoted a Jerusalem Post article which suggests that Israel needs a "local Bill Maher" to counter the world opinion, and Maher agrees that he "could roll that way".

It almost seems frivolous to opine on this trash. Netanyahu waxed eloquent on the evils of Iran, and more generally of Muslim fanaticism. The Hitler interlude makes the inevitable appearance with Netanyahu cautioning against a repeat of World War 2, now with the new Hitler (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) armed with nuclear weapons. A close relative of this line of thinking is the view of Islamic militants as evil fanatics of an intensity never before seen by the world and eager to get to their "good heaven" after wrecking untold miseries on innocent people.

It is ironic that Maher, whose show usually resists such demented and paranoid crap, falls for it. When pulled up by British politicians for Israel's disproportionate response, Netanyahu points out that England was worse! He draws a parallel to Nazi air-bombing of London and the later Allied bombing of Dresden which Netanyahu claims probably killed 200,000 people. He accepts that Israel was disproportionate, disproportionately restrained. Thus we are to understand that Hezbollah's kidnapping of three Israeli soldiers amounts to German bombing of London during a world war.

Then it gets positively creepy with Netanyahu suggesting that Europe's often "critical view" toward Israel is a sort of defense mechanism in response to their guilt of not rescuing the Jews from the Holocaust. He also claims that for "about 2000 years Jew was the perfect victim" without any defense. World loved this as long as it lasted. But now the Jews can defend themselves and they "deviated from that perfection of powerlessness into power" and "there is a real historical adjustment that is yet to take place".

And he thinks Muslims are fanatics! This guy is the leader of the Likud and may very well become PM of Israel again. That is a scary thought!


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