During the online “Overtime” segment of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” on Friday, liberal documentary filmmaker Michael Moore dabbled in conspiracy theory by suggesting that Israel killed Hamas leader Ahmed al-Jabari in a drone strike last week as part of an effort to prolong military conflict in the region.
A viewer asked Maher’s “Overtime” panel why American drone strikes are praised, while Israeli drone strikes are typically “condemned.”
Moore explained his opposition to both practices.
“Sending drones or missiles in to kill civilians, regardless who’s doing it, is wrong,” Moore said. “And a lot of our drones have killed civilians.”
Maher reminded Moore than the Israeli drone killed a Hamas commander, not a civilian. Moore, based on his interpretation of a Haaretz story, speculated that the commander might have been killed because he was lobbying for peace behind the scenes.
MOORE: Actually, if you read the story in Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper, today — that military commander was secretly working with the Israelis to broker a peace deal. And he had decided to –
DAVID FRUM: No.
MOORE: Well, you disagree with what they wrote?
FRUM: No, I think you have not — you have to read the rest of the story. You read the top —
MOORE: I read the whole story
FRUM: It was, he had a —
MOORE: I’m not saying he was a man of peace. I’m just saying he was inclined to peace.
FRUM: He had some person he was talking to who had made a proposition to him and of course he wasn’t going to take it.
MOORE: There are people who don’t want peace to take place because they’re invested in war. This is true all around the world. People are making money off this.
DAVID AXELROD: Michael, I think some of those people are people who are hailing rockets over into Israel on a regular basis from Gaza.
MAHER: Those rockets aren’t firing themselves. You know, somebody is firing them.
However, Maher want on to make it clear he wasn’t completely oblivious to the plight of Palestinians.
“Certainly, there should be a broader solution,” Maher said. “Obviously, we are sympathetic to why people in the Palestinian territories are living in conditions they shouldn’t have to live in. There should be a greater solution.”
“If you were living in those conditions, you might be pretty pissed,” Moore added. “And you might not be thinking straight, and you may do things.”
The “Real Time” host then turned his sights on Mitt Romney.
“I’m agreeing with that, but I’m telling yo,u people like Mitt Romney who say, ‘You know, we have to be in complete lockstep with Israel. We can never even criticize them — they do not help Israel, and they do not help the peace process. That is blatant pandering to the Jewish vote in America. And by the way, it didn’t work.”