CNN Commentator Marc Lamont Hill was rightfully fired today from his position. This decision comes following Hill accusing Israel of denying “citizenship rights and due process to Palestinians just because they are not Jewish,” and expressing support for boycotting Israel in a speech at the United Nations, noting that he thinks that there needs to be “a free Palestine from the river to the sea.”
The phrase “from the river to the sea” is a phrase used by those who believe Israel should be eliminated.
CNN was right to fire him.
Hill has a long history of radical viewpoints. On June 7, 2016, he tweeted: “Israel is very much, by definition, an apartheid state.”
An avid supporter of Boycott Divest Sanctions (BDS), he criticized New York State Governor Cuomo’s initiative to stop illegal American boycotts of Israel, and simplistically defends the movement insisting it is not seeking Israel’s destruction.
Hill, quite active on social media, says that “Blaming the Palestinian Authority for violence in the region is dishonest and unproductive,” claiming that Jerusalem is occupied. Hill advocates the “return” of third- and fourth-generation descendants of Palestinian Arabs who left Israel in 1948 and 1967 — a position which would lead to the demographic destruction of the State of Israel.
Hill believes there is no religious component to the issue of Palestine. In a remarkable denial of accepted facts, he denies Radical Islamists or religion at all is an issue between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.
During a CNN appearance on August 4, 2014, Hill complained that Israel’s defensive Iron Dome weapon ‘Takes Away Hamas’s Military Leverage’ Over Israel. He said, “But what the Iron Dome does is it also takes away all of Hamas’s military leverage which is very different than say, 10 years ago or 15 years ago in other wars like Lebanon, etc. As a result, it not only serves a defensive purpose but de facto serves an offensive purpose. It allows Israel to essentially assault and siege Gaza without any retribution or response on the other side. So again, to some extent, they are not just funding defense, they are funding an offensive war and ultimately an occupation. That for me is the problem.”
Hill appears to object to Iron Dome because it “serves an offensive purpose” by allowing Israel to stop Hamas — which he does not consider a terrorist group — from killing Israeli citizens in “retribution.”(Note to Mr. Hill: There is no moral equivalent between Israel and Hamas).
It is not just on Middle East issues that Hill holds radical viewpoints. In 2009, Hill agreed with the America-hating professor Ward Churchill, who was fired from the University of Colorado at Boulder for an essay he wrote titled “On the Justice of Roosting Chickens” which said that the 9/11 World Trade Center victims deserved what they got.
Churchill’s essay asserted that the victims who died in the World Trade Center were akin to “little Eichmanns” [a reference to Adolf Eichmann, “architect of the Holocaust”] who, as a consequence of their status as faceless cogs in America’s allegedly destructive capitalist economy, had essentially brought the terrorist attacks upon themselves.
At the time, Hill commented on Churchill’s termination:
“This is a really sad day for American academic life and American public life. Ward Churchill should not have been fired. This has been about free speech from the beginning… A witch hunt began the moment that he made those comments about the 9/11 victims. And regardless of what we think about his comments, he has the right to make them. In fact, he has the responsibility to make them as an academic if he believes them to be true … and if he can empirically substantiate them, and I think he’s done that… When you look at his ‘Little Eichmann’ comment, he’s explained this. He was referring to Hannah Arendt, one of the great theorists of our time, in which he was saying that often times, the big bad person that you think is this crazy killer is actually an ordinary technocrat, someone in a building who pushes buttons, who does things without any sort of sensibility about how bad they are. And he is saying that many times the people who were in that building may have been advancing an American global financial empire without any thinking about it. And I don’t necessarily agree that we should be indifferent to their suffering. I happen to be a little more sympathetic to the victims and their families than Ward Churchill is, but he certainly had a valid point…”
When Bill O’Reilly subsequently took issue with what he called Churchill’s “Little Nazis” comment,
Hill replied: “He [Churchill] didn’t say Little Nazis … Not Little Nazis, Little Eichmanns… That’s different than calling them Nazis. He added context and texture to it.”
CNN was right to fire Marc Lamont Hill. From a Public Relations perspective — and from all morale accountability — these viewpoints are indefensible.