Bill Maher Defends Bibi against 'Racism' Charge

Political comedian rejects claims Netanyahu was being racist by warning supporters that Arabs were voting 'in droves.'

Ari Soffer ,

Bill Maher
Bill Maher

Political comedian Bill Maher has weighed-in to Binyamin Netanyahu's controversial remarks about Arab voters during last week's general elections, brushing off claims of "racism" as hypocritical.

In a last minute call for Likud supporters to come out and vote, Netanyahu claimed that Arab voters were coming out "en-masse" to the ballots - and in some cases being bused over by leftist NGOs. Although the comments were apparently a warning that the anti-Zionist Join List could gain seats at the expense of the Right, many left-wing politicians and commentators - both inside and outside of Israel - criticized the call as "racist."

Even US President Barack Obama claimed he had rebuked the Israeli prime minister over the comments.

But according to Maher, the whole episode is being blown out of proportion.

"A lot of people were angry with the way that Netanyahu won this election," he said. "They said it was racist that he said in the last minute 'Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls.'

Acknowledging "that is racist in the strictest sense, [since] he's bringing race into the equation," Maher pointed out that US presidents including Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon and George Bush also "played the race card."

One panelist - Republican strategist Mercedes Schlapp - also noted Obama himself has "been playing the race card since he was elected."

"​I heard a lot of commentators here say, it would been as if Mitt Romney, in 2012, on the eve of the election said, 'black voters are coming out in droves to the polls'," Maher continued.

"But I don’t know if that’s really a great analogy. 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.

"When we were attacked by the Japanese, we didn't just not let them vote, we rounded them up and put them in camps!"