CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill’s embrace of a hate-filled call for the destruction of Israel as the world’s only Jewish state in a speech Wednesday at the United Nations was disappointing and unfortunate, but follows anti-Israel comments he has made before.
At the U.N., Hill called the creation of Israel 70 years ago "the great catastrophe in May 1948 that resulted in the expulsion, murder and to date permanent dislocation of more than a million Palestinians.”
And in a tweet Wednesday, Hill wrote: “I believe in a single secular democratic state for everyone. This is the only way that historic Palestine will be free.”
Hill’s remarks echo the exact words and phrases of the murderous Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip. Hamas regularly sends rockets and bombs strapped to kites into Israel to attack civilians, and digs terror tunnels into the Jewish state to carry out attacks.
Palestinians mourn the creation of Israel as “the catastrophe” and many call for a single secular state to replace the Jewish state of Israel. That is a call for one nation encompassing Israel, Gaza and the West Bank with an Arab majority. Creation of such a state would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state and the creation of what would become the 23rd Arab nation in the Middle East.
As if these comments weren’t enough, Hill said at the U.N: “We have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to political action, grassroots action, local action and international action that will give us what justice requires, and that is a free Palestine from the river to the sea.”
This isn’t a dog whistle. It’s a screaming cry to take all of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza – every square inch of land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea – and replace it with a Palestinian state.
If a state of Palestine occupied the entire area “from the river to the sea” – an area that has been the historic homeland of the Jewish people for 3,500 years – a Jewish state of Israel by definition could not exist on the same land.
Hill, who is also a Temple University professor, can now add another title to his resume: a shill for Palestinian terrorism.
Hill also called for the international community to boycott Israel and justified Palestinian violence against Israelis. He recast terrorists – who murder and maim Israeli Jews in their homes, synagogues, restaurants and shopping malls – as heroic people exercising their rights to resist alleged Israeli “ethnic cleansing” and “state violence.”
Hill said: “If we are to operate in true solidarity with the Palestinian people, we must allow the Palestinian people the same range of opportunity and political possibility. If we are standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people, we must recognize the right of an occupied people to defend itself …. We must advocate and promote nonviolence at every opportunity, but we cannot endorse a narrow politics of respectability that shames Palestinians for resisting, for refusing to do nothing in the face of state violence and ethnic cleansing."
Sadly, this hate-filled rhetoric is nothing new for Hill. On May 3, 2017 he tweeted: “Trump’s position on Israel/Palestine is repugnant. His call for Palestine to ‘reject hatred and terrorism’ is offensive & counterproductive.”
If it is wrong for President Trump to urge Palestinians to “reject hatred and terrorism” does Hill believe the president should have done the opposite – encourage Palestinians to hate Jews and murder as many as possible?
Hill’s rhetoric surely brought tears of joy to Hamas and the terrorist group Hezbollah, along with others gathered at the U.N. to celebrate International Palestine Solidarity Day. But there are many people who would react very differently.
There are currently 8.9 million citizens living right in the heart of the Holy Land in the democratic Jewish state of Israel – nearly 20 percent of them Arabs, who enjoy more freedoms in Israel than they do in many Arab states and the Palestinian territories.
Israelis have no intention of giving up their homes, freedoms, national identity, flag or passports. Forgive them, Mr. Hill, but they won’t roll over and play dead to fulfill the genocidal dream of too many Palestinians.
Despite his lauding of fervent anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, Hill has stated that he opposes anti-Semitism. In the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre that claimed the lives of 11 Jews at prayer, along with resurgent anti-Semitism in the U.S. and abroad, that’s a good thing.
But how does Hill square this with his rejection of the Jewish people’s ancient links with their homeland, and with his characterization of millions of Jews pursuing their national destiny in their homeland as colonialism?
Hill’s speech at U.N. was no aberration. In a tweet on May 12, 2017 he said that “Palestinian resistance to settler-colonialism” by Israel should not be compared to the actions of the terrorist group ISIS.
And in another tweet that same day, Hill stated: “We all come to an understanding that hatred and terrorism are bad things. The issue is who gets to define each term, and under what conditions.”
With no clear definition of terrorism, global or domestic, what are the implications for America? If random Palestinian violence and terrorism are justified resisting alleged state terrorism in Israel, wouldn’t such tactics be excused – even encouraged – in America by groups who feel oppressed here in our own country?
Here’s the bottom line: The Jewish state of Israel wants to live in peace with the Palestinians and with all its neighbors. It has been making peace overtures to Arab nations and Palestinians since modern-day Israel won its independence from Britain in 1948, only to be attacked repeatedly by Arab armies and Palestinian terrorists.
Israel withdrew completely from Gaza in 2005, only to see the narrow strip of land turned into a terrorist launching pad for attacks on the Jewish state. In contrast, Israel has maintained peaceful relations with Egypt after withdrawing from the Sinai Peninsula in stages, ending in 1982, and the two nations ended decades of hostility with a peace treaty and diplomatic relations.
The best way for Palestinian leaders to build better lives for their people would be to renounce violence and agree to live side by side in peace with the Jewish state of Israel. This is what Hill and others who claim they care about the Palestinian people ought to be calling for and working to achieve.