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Bill Maher declares Harvard, UPenn ‘Team Hamas,’ derides ‘idiot’ students who are attacking Israel

“Real Time” host Bill Maher railed against universities like Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania as being “Team Hamas” and having students who are “useful idiots.” Maher also defended the anti-Israel rhetoric on the principle of free speech, saying it “works both ways.”

The presidents of Harvard and UPenn have sparked intense backlash this week for their testimony on Capitol Hill after failing to say that calls for genocide against Jews violate their university’s code of conduct. 

Maher kicked off the interview with pro-free speech group FIRE CEO Greg Lukianoff by pointing to its ranking of colleges regarding free speech and how Harvard and UPenn ranked at the very bottom of nearly 250 universities. 

“So these are two of the colleges who are now on Team Hamas,” Maher said. “Is that a coincidence? Or what is the connection?”

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Maher began listing slogans heard at pro-Palestinian rallies on college campuses and started by defending the use of the word “intifada,” which he described as “one of those vague terms like jihad,” admitting it “probably means violence.” But then he considered the pro-Palestinian slogan “From the river to the sea” as “a little more genocide-y.” 

“But, you know, let’s give the benefit of the doubt- that could be ‘Well, we just want the Jews to move and not die,'” Maher quipped. “And then there’s the phrase ‘by any means necessary.’ Ok, now I’m kinda peeing my pants.”

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Lukianoff responded by saying the term intifada is “absolutely protected” speech but quickly stressed that “of course” it can also fall under threats or harassment.

“It was kind of embarrassing to watch these university presidents of the top institutions in the country not being able to answer that clearly,” Lukianoff said. 

“What irks me is that look, I’m always going to be on the side ‘as far as you can push free speech,'” Maher said. “What bothers me is the double standard… Say they don’t want to say ‘Kill the Jews,’ but I certainly have heard chanted ‘F— the Jews, f— the Jews.’”

“I cannot think of any other group that you can say ‘f— the blank’ and have it be acceptable,” Maher added.

Harvard MIT and UPenn presidents during Congressional hearing

The HBO star later equated college students to “useful idiots,” telling Lukianoff the “bigger scandal here is that these are the biggest, most esteemed colleges in the country and they’ve raised a bunch of f—ing idiots.”

“Do I really think they want to wipe out the Jews? I don’t, but, you know, they live by these buzzwords and what they read on TikTok,” Maher said. “They want to be an ‘ally,’ an ‘ally’ of people who have more melanin and less money. That’s what you have to be, an ally. Don’t think of it more than that.”

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He went on to rail against his “dear liberal friends” who “only watch MSNBC” and “read The New York Times” who for years dismissed his concerns about what was taking place on college campuses. 

“If anything good that has come out of this, it’s that now you see what we’ve been talking about. We were not making it up!” Maher exclaimed. 

Supporters of Palestinians at Harvard University

 

Maher, who described himself as being “Team Israel,” also defended not quashing hostile anti-Israel rhetoric at colleges in addition to being a free speech principle by arguing “I want to know who’s saying it. I want to know how big the problem is.”

“I was watching ‘60 Minutes,’ did a piece on this last week and some Jewish student said ‘If you support Hamas you shouldn’t be able to have an organization on campus.’ No! I’m sorry. This is America. This works both ways. That’s your feeling, you should express it, but I also want to know- I want to know how many Hamas supporters there are on campus.”

Fox News Digital reached out to Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania for comment on Maher’s assertions. This story will be updated with any reply. 

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