In a follow up to what I wrote last week about the world media’s awful coverage of the recent events here in Israel, I just wanted to point out some of the stupidities that have been said by some of America’s most popular comics turned political pundits.

First there’s Bill Maher. Now Maher is usually a supporter of Israel. He did not actually say anything against it on his show Friday night. In fact, the subject of the current conflict was not even brought up on his HBO show Real Time’s main broadcast. He only mentioned it on a short follow-up segment which airs on line after the show is over.

In this Internet program Maher answered an e mail from a viewer about the current fighting. Maher’s only comment was that Israel has suffered no casualties and that more than one hundred people had already died in Gaza. I guess no one told him about the Iron Dome missile defense system that the IDF is using to protect us from all of those rockets.

Maher seemed to be mostly concerned with how it makes America look that weapons made in the USA are being used by Israel against Arabs.

At least he did make a comment that after the Holocaust the world asked how could all of those Jews have just let that happen to them. So Israel is based on the principal of never letting it happen again and basically makes sure to let everyone in the world know not fuck with it.

The really annoying part came when some Jewish writer whose name I won’t mention and who was a guest on last week’s show felt compelled to offer his opinion. This guy gave the stock comment that somehow Israel has lost all of the good will that it once had in the world back before the Six Day War and continues to squander it every time it does anything to defend itself.

For the record, while Israel may have had a brief moment of popularity after its victory in the Six Day War, it was never treated with goodwill by the world at large. In the nineteen years before that war Israel was already under attack by cross border terrorist raids and had world leaders, including American presidents, insisting that it let the so called Arab refugees back in. This, of course, was all before it gained control of Gaze, the West Bank and the eastern part of Jerusalem.

And on that subject, where in the hell did this nonsense about restraint and “overreactions” on Israel’s part come from anyway. What exactly is any nation supposed to do when a terrorist organization has taken control of an area just across its border from which to shoot missiles at it? What exactly would constitute a “measured” response? It’s like the world media is just using the Arab world’s anti-Israel talking points.

Then there is Jon Stewart, whose Daily Show only just returned last night from a two week break. Now I admit that he’s a funny guy. And I probably agree with him on most of the issues. But he’s a living breathing cliché of the New York Jewish intellectual who has to attack Israel whenever he gets a chance just to reaffirm his liberal credentials.

I mean seriously, has this guy ever had anything nice to say about Israel? Does he ever defend it? Has he ever even been here?

I wonder what exactly, if anything, has to be done against Israel for him to actually sympathize with it.

But we’re supposed to take his opinion seriously because he constantly reminds the world that he’s Jewish as he laments the traumas that he suffered having to bring matzo sandwiches to school for lunch on Pesach, eats bacon on the air and does not even take off for Yom Kipur.

What did he say this time? Somehow he found a way to criticize Israel for first warning Gazans of impending attacks with a shot on their roofs with blank shells and telephone calls to warn them to leave.

Does Hamas give Israelis any such warnings? No!

Jon Stewart

Did Stewart mention that the IDF has to make the warnings because Hamas uses its own people as human shields, having hidden their facilities and their leaders behind their own women and children? No!

Stewart also asked where the people are supposed to evacuate to since Gaza is so small. Uhm, gee I don’t know Jon it’s not like Israel just expects them to get out of the buildings that they’re in, not go to France.

Then for some insane reason Stewart decided to express the disproportionate nature of the suffering of Gazans to the suffering of Israelis by showing pictures of two reporters side by side. One was in Gaza and wore a helmet and a flak jacket, while the other was in Tel Aviv and wore no protective gear at all.

Well gee, you got me there Jon! I guess you must be right. The level of fear instilled in foreign correspondents is clearly the best gage for determining which side in a conflict is suffering the most.

(Bill Maher’s mother was born Jewish, but she converted to Roman Catholicism when she married his father. Maher, for his part, is an avowed atheist and hates being told that because his mother is a Jew then he is one too.)

About the author


Gil Tanenbaum made aliyah from New York after he completed college. He Has lived in Israel for over 20 years. He has an MBA from Bar Ilan University and is a contributor for various blogs.


  • Jon Stewart knows more about the political situation in the middle east then you ever will buddy. And to answer your question, “yes, hamas sends the same type of warning that Israel does: a bomb”

    • Jon Stewart for the most part does a good job in capturing the complexity of the situation instead of throwing out one liners or brief things that fuel propaganda and other misunderstandings, but he seriously disappointed in this segment, and the worst part is it was probably due to lack of time because of so much he had to cover after being gone for 2 weeks.

  • Ooooh snap Gil! I think he got you! Oh wait. You’re an IDF veteran and you’ve lived in the Middle East for a long ass time…

  • Jon Stewart actually knows and understands nothing of any international/world issues.

    You know nothing Jon Snow, um Stewart

    • Jon Stewart has some pretty smart, and funny guys on his writing staff. A lot of them are Jewish too. He’s right on target most of the time, though I think he missed out on some of the nuance in this case. He’s certainly the bane of Republicans but we would do well to pay a little attention here.

    • Kudos to Gil for his GoT reference in his dressing down of Jon Stewart!

      Generally I do like Jon Stewart and the Daily Show, but this segment definitely demonstrated Stewart’s lack of command of the issues in the current conflict between Israel and Hamas.

      I cannot help but wonder if he has ever visited Israel…..