Bitter backlash on Bill Maher's tweet: Hamas is like 'crazy woman trying to kill you'
Bill Maher has sparked a bitter backlash online for appearing to condone Israeli aggression in Gaza and domestic violence in one, fell Twitter swoop.
The caustic American comedian, who is himself of Jewish heritage, compared Palestinian Sunni Islamic organisation Hamas to a “crazy woman trying to kill you”.
“You can only hold her wrists for so long before you have to slap her,” he wrote.
His controversial “joke” comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the IDF had launched a directive for “ground action” against Gaza.
“Operation Protective Edge will continue until it reaches its goal – restoring quiet to Israel's citizens for a prolonged period, while inflicting a significant blow to the infrastructures of Hamas and the other terrorist organizations.” Netanyahu tweeted in statement last night.
Palestinian health officials say that 233 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli air and naval strikes during 10 days of conflict. Meanwhile, one Israeli civilian has been killed by fire from Gaza.
His comments were heavily criticised, not just for appearing to suggest a pro-Israel stance, but also for appearing to be insensitive to victims of domestic violence:
@billmaher what is your problem, man? That is terrible on several levels. Good tweet to delete with accompanying apology.
His higher-profile critics included a fellow acerbic stand-up, Frankie Boyle, who tweeted the following response:
@billmaher I hear you. Women do go crazy when you blow up their kids, huh?
Not that the subject of the Israel-Gaza conflict was entirely off-limits to Boyle either. He posted the following:
@frankieboyle All Palestinian radio stations have been destroyed, yet we still have Jamie Theakston. WHERE IS THE HUMANITY?
Representatives for Maher are yet to respond to requests for the comedian to clarify his remarks.