Outrage over CNN commentator's anti-Israel speech at UN

Jewish groups blast Marc Lamont Hill who said at UN that violence against Israel is legitimate and called for a boycott of the Jewish state.

Elad Benari,

Marc Lamont Hill
Marc Lamont Hill
United Nations

Jewish groups on Wednesday were outraged over comments by CNN commentator and Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill, who said at the UN that violence against Israel is legitimate.

Jewish groups on Wednesday were outraged over comments by CNN commentator and Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill, who said at the UN that violence against Israel is legitimate.

Speaking at the opening session of the UN’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Hill denounced Israel, endorsed Palestinian Arab terror and called for a boycott of Israel while saying that “justice requires a free Palestine from the river to sea.”

The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) called on CNN and Temple University to fire Hill following his highly offensive anti-Semitic remarks.

“The virulent anti-Semitism spewed by Marc Lamont Hill is abhorrent, and his senseless promotion of violence against Israel is repugnant,” said NCYI.

“With his racist views and unabashed denigration of Israel, Dr. Hill does not deserve to be given any sort of platform that facilitates the dissemination of his bigotry, whether it be on Cable TV or in a classroom.”

“In light of Dr. Hill’s malevolent anti-Semitic remarks, we call upon CNN and Temple University to fire him immediately,” continued the NCYI. “Neither CNN nor Temple should countenance anti-Semitism, and their failure to take swift action and terminate Dr. Hill would make them complicit in sanctioning bigotry and anti-Semitism. With such hate-filled views that are antithetical to basic human decency, Marc Lamont Hill should not be rewarded by serving as a pundit or a professor, and both CNN and Temple have a duty to dismiss Dr. Hill and renounce his anti-Semitic beliefs.”

Sharon Nazarian, the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) senior vice president for international affairs, condemned Hill’s remarks as well.

“Those calling for ‘from the river to the sea’ are calling for an end to the State of Israel,” Nazarian told the Jewish Journal in an email.

“It is a shame that once again, this annual event at the United Nations does not promote constructive pathways to ‘Palestinian solidarity’ and a future of peace, but instead divisive and destructive action against Israel,” Nazarian added.

Similarly, Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper told the Jewish Journal in an email, “Justice requires a ‘Free Palestine from the River to the Sea’? Marc Lamont Hill is a confirmed anti-Zionist ideologue. His extremist, anti-peace views merit coverage on CNN, not as a paid pundit but as a supreme propagandist unfettered by facts.”

Cooper added, “By the way Marc, where will you put the nearly 9 million Israeli citizens, nearly 20% of whom are Arabs? Any Palestinian entity we’ve been told will be Judenrein—only place left is… Mediterranean Sea.”

Hill responded to the criticism of his remarks on Twitter, writing, among other things, “I believe in a single secular democratic state for everyone. This is the only way that historic Palestine will be free.”

In response to a comment pointing out that his saying that “justice requires a free Palestine from the river to the sea” is an allusion to the Hamas call for the destruction of Israel, Hill replied, “This is silly. And inaccurate. ‘River to the sea’ is a phrase that precedes Hamas by more than 50 years. It also has a variety of meanings. In my remarks, which you clearly didn’t hear, I was talking about full citizenship rights IN Israel and a redrawing of the pre-1967 borders.”


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