Monday, May 04, 2009

Zakaria and Engel (and Barney) on Real Time

I saw Bill Maher's latest last night. A very interesting episode, one of Maher's best, I thought. Bill Maher is very interesting. He's half Jewish and he supports Israel. I'm a big fan of the comedy shows that make fun of the stupidities of government, and I think Bill Maher wins the blue ribbon in this category. John Stewart is a close second. In his last episode Bill's guests were three very smart people: Fareed Zakaria, an Indian American journalist for Newsweek, Richard Engel, and Barney Frank, a US Congressman who happens to be Jewish and gay.

In the clip below Maher and his panel talk about Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and incredibly, Israel & Palestine! Maher gives some stats on Israeli settlers in the West Bank. I was pleasantly surprised. This is the first time I've heard Maher talk about Palestine. Engel basically blames the rightist shift in Israel for the lack of peace. Maher points out that religious extremists in Israel are a big part of the problem. Barney Frank tries to defend the Israeli position, saying that Gaza was an example of how pulling out doesn't work, and then Zakaria slams him in the end with the truth. Love it. America is changing. Zakaria is awesome. I like Barney Frank, but it's clear that Zakaria and Engel are the ones who know what they're talking about. I loved hearing Richard Engel say "I'm also very worried about what happens over there..."

I remember hearing Engel say that the Palestinians are essentially fighting for their homeland, and I expected to see that in Part 7, but it's not there. Whoever clipped this did not include Engel's statement on Gaza. Engel seems to understand that most Palestinians in Gaza are there as a result of ethnic cleansing that's taken place in the last 60 years.

Correction: I fast forwarded to about 40 minutes of the recording to verify what Engel said about Gaza. Engel said about 49 minutes into the episode "but if you are living in Gaza, you feel very much imprisoned, you can't leave, you have no ability to earn an income, you feel that you're bombing an area in Sderot that was really your homeland to begin with..." About two minutes of the episode was left out between Parts 6 and 7 of these clips, where they talk about Sderot and Gaza.

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