Bill Maher Posts 'Sexist' Tweet About Israel and Hamas

HBO host likens Hamas to woman 'you have to slap'

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 18, 2014 6:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – Bill Maher, America's favorite sort-of liberal, has jumped into the debate over Israel's latest conflict with Hamas—by writing a tweet that best speaks for itself:

  • "Dealing w/ Hamas is like dealing w/ a crazy woman who's trying to kill u - u can only hold her wrists so long before you have to slap her"
Ah, where to begin with the reactions? Let's start with Slate and go trolling from there:

  • "So much sexism packed into one tweet!" writes Amanda Marcotte at Slate. Maher is "trading on the tired stereotype of women as irrational children who need to be brought in line by more stable men."
  • "Violence against women, as a hilarious joke premise, went out of style somewhere between the passenger pigeon and the Pole joke," writes Alexandra Petri at the Washington Post. "I’m sure that by the time this sees publication, he’ll have gone into the usual apologetic song-and-dance of the misguided joke tweet, but—wow."
  • Will he, though? Others on Twitter have called for an apology, the Post notes, but Maher wrote in the New York Times in 2012 that he's offended by people being offended: "I don’t want to live in a country where no one ever says anything that offends anyone. That’s why we have Canada. That’s not us."
  • Hard to find anyone rallying the wagons for Maher just yet. One guy tweeted, "Prepare for a ridiculous amount of 'PC' backlash...," notes Jezebel, but he later posted, "My comment on 's tweet was not an agreement w/ it.. It was preparing him for a crazy backlash that he was asking for."
  • The Independent reports that Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle tweeted this to Maher: "I hear you. Women do go crazy when you blow up their kids, huh?"
As of this writing, Maher's tweet has been retweeted more than 2,600 times. (Read about Maher's plan to "meddle" in a House race.)

Bill Maher speaks on stage at the MusiCares Person of the Year gala honoring Barbra Streisand on Friday Feb. 11, 2011 in Los Angeles.
Bill Maher speaks on stage at the MusiCares Person of the Year gala honoring Barbra Streisand on Friday Feb. 11, 2011 in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
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