Bill Maher On Gaza Conflict: "It's A War That Hamas Started;" "People Die In Wars"

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BILL MAHER: I saw in the news today that not only did Republicans block the immigration law, they blocked aide for wildfire relief out here in the West because they said it would add to the deficit. And I couldn't help but notice, you know, we give Israel $3 billion a year and we pay three-quarters of the tab for NATO, who is supposedly fighting Putin. You know what? Putin is Europe's problem. Israel can take off the training wheels. We've got Guatemalan kids and Ebola on our border. We just can't afford this shit anymore.

I always hear from Republicans about the culture of dependency. We shouldn't be giving money to poor kids and widows and sick children and ladies who are pregnant. You know what, what about Germany? That's the real culture of dependency. Germany and Israel and Japan and Korea and all these countries. They don't need our money. They can handle it themselves.

REZA ASLAN: It's not like we're giving them money to build schools; we're giving the money to buy weapons.

MAHER: From us.

ASLAN: Which is the worst business plan ever, by the way. What business gives its customers money to buy its stuff?

MAHER: Right, yeah. We're like a Polish protection racket. We pay.

ASLAN: And you know, I think in the case of Israel, $3.5 billion, that's $750 per Israeli per year. And Israel is not a third-world country, it's the 50th richest country in the world. It's got a GDP growing faster than America's GDP.

MAHER: It doesn't need our money.

ASLAN: And these weapons aren't being used to protect it from Syria or Iran, these weapons are been used to enforce an illegal military occupation and we're paying for it.

MAHER: Well...

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MAHER: There was an article in the paper, it was also in the New York Times, two weeks ago, it was called: Jihadis Tug at Edges of Staunch American Ally. What it said was that in a city called Amman, Jordan -- where there is no ISIS presence -- they held a parade to congratulate ISIS for their conquests in Iraq and Syria. And it said, even though there was no ISIS presence in the area the event demonstrated an appeal extending upon those who would take up arms and don suicide vests. In other words, we're not terrorists ourselves but we love your work.

ASLAN: Sure, look, these guys address a lot of grievances that aren't being addressed by governments.

MAHER: They're crucifying people on the side of the road.

Where are the protests about that? I know that Israel's horrible, but where are the protests about crucifying people? Boko Haram has killed more people than Israel this year, with the war going on.

ASLAN: But not with American weapons, and I think that is why you're seeing a lot more emphasis in the United States.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: You're going to defend Hamas?

ASLAN: I'm not defending Hamas. All I am saying is that if you are going to have a situation where 1,600 people, 85% of them civilians, hundreds of children are being killed every day that you paid for --

ROSS SORKIN: That's because they are putting them in front of them!

ASLAN: That is nonsense!

MAHER: That is not nonsense.

DOUG HEYE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: That is the absolute truth.

ASLAN: You can say that all day --

ROSS SORKIN: They have a two-front war going against Israel and their own people!

ASLAN: First of all, Amnesty International, which is on the ground right there, did a month-long review of this. They have found no evidence whatsoever of any kind of human shield being used. They did say that Hamas leaders --

HEYE: Then why are weapons in schools?

MAHER: It's a war. It's a war that Hamas started and somehow when Israel reacts to this they have to do everything that doesn't kill any civilians. People die in wars. Now, I've said this before on this show, if the situation was reversed, Hamas would kill every single person in Israel. The reason why that is not happening is because they can't. Because they can't doesn't make them good, it makes them weak.

ASLAN: You know, last time I checked 'we're better than Hamas' is not Israel's national motto. If this idea that somehow because Hamas is a terrorist organization and Israel is a democracy that there is no moral equivalence -- you're absolutely right, there is no moral equivalence. It's the democracy that requires greater criticism. It's the democracy that has to live up to the values that it ascribes for itself. (HBO'S Real Time, August 1, 2014)

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