Maher and CNBC host and New York Times financial columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin sparred with Doug Heye, former spokesman for Representative Eric Cantor on the issue of funding Israel.
“You know what? Putin is NATO’s problem. Israel can take off the training wheels,” Maher said. “We got Guatemalan kids and Ebola on our border. We just can’t afford this shit anymore.”
Sorkin agreed with Maher, saying that Israel didn’t technically need the $3.5 billion it gets from the United States — it’s gross domestic product is growing faster than that of the United States. Sorkin did, however, argue that the United States should continue the funding for Israel and NATO as part of the efforts to buy political “friendships” internationally. Sorkin told Maher that “If I paid your credit card, Bill, every single month, you’d take my phone call, I think.”
They can absolutely stand on their own. This idea that Israel’s ‘existence is at stake’ because of Palestinian terrorism is absurd.
Heye brought up the Islamic extremism in Iran and Syria, but Aslan cut him off again, saying “Israel is the most powerful nation in the Middle East. It has 500 nuclear weapons. It’s fine.”
“I don’t think people in Israel think they’re fine,” Heye retorted.
Aslan took the argument further, saying that the United States wasn’t getting anything from its agreement with Israel, and pointed out the recent criticism directed against Secretary of State John Kerry.
Maher chimed in, adding that “By the way, if we didn’t give Israel the money, they wouldn’t have to listen to Kerry. Haven’t they suffered enough?”
Sorkin and Aslan later clashed over Israel’s claims that the Palestinian group Hamas was using civilians as human shields; Aslan declared it “nonsense,” but Sorkin pressed the point:
“These are terrorists who have a two-front war going on against Israel and their own people.”
Aslan fired back that Amnesty International didn’t find any evidence supporting that argument after conducting a month-long review. Maher concluded by saying: “It’s a war that Hamas started. And somehow when Israel reacts to this, they have to do everything in a way that doesn’t kill any civilians. People die in wars.”
You can watch the debate in the video below: