CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill voiced support for violent Palestinian “resistance” to Israel during a speech at the United Nation on Wednesday, suggesting that Palestinians could be inspired by “slave revolts and self-defense and tactics otherwise divergent from Dr. King or Mahatma Gandhi.”
“Contrary to western mythology, black resistance to American apartheid did not come purely through Gandi and nonviolence,” said Hill. “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 prioritize peace, but we must not romanticize or fetishize it. 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,” he added.
Hill concluded his remarks by calling for a free Palestine, “from the river to the sea.” The line has long been a rallying cry for Palestinian nationalists against the state of Israel, and has been used by Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal
Hamas is classified by the United States as a terrorist organization and is committed to the destruction of Israel.
A Philadelphia native, Hill appears frequently on CNN as a contributor. In a profile, the network calls him “one of the leading intellectual voices in the country.” He is also a professor at Temple University.
Clips of the 20 minute-speech hit Twitter Wednesday evening, with many calling on CNN to sever ties with Hill.
“On Tuesday @CNN aired a devastating report on antisemitism in Europe. Today CNN’s @marclamonthill echoed Jihadist calls for Israel’s violent annihilation, calling for “resist[ance]” to achieve “a free Palestine from the river to the sea.” Not a great look,” Avi Mayer, assistant executive director of the American Jewish Committee said in a tweet.
Reps for Hill at CNN did not respond to repeated requests for comment from TheWrap — though Hill spent much of Wednesday responding to critics on his personal Twitter page.
It’s far from the first time Hill has created headlines and headaches for CNN. Last month, Hill’s association with Nation of Islam chief Louis Farrakhan was brought to wide public attention after reporting from TheWrap showed the minister was using Hill in promotional material for a music collection. Farrakahn himself has tweeted approvingly of their friendship.
— MINISTER FARRAKHAN (@LouisFarrakhan) August 11, 2016
Farrakhan, who is classified as an extremist by the Southern Poverty Law Center, for his long history of anti-semitic statements, recently lost his Twitter verification over similar remarks — like this one comparing Jews to termites. Farrakhan’s associations with Women’s March leaders like Tamika Mallory have led other movement leaders like Alyssa Milano and Debra Messing to publicly disassociate from the 2019 event.
In 2008, Hill defended Farrakhan during an appearance on “Hannity & Colmes.”
“I do not know if he is an anti-Semite,” Hill said after Hannity confronted him with quotes from Farrakhan, including his description of Judaism as a “gutter religion.” Hill said the line was “out of context.”
CNN also passed on multiple opportunities to comment on the Hill-Farrakhan connection at the time.