During a speech at the United Nations on Wednesday, author and activist Marc Lamont Hill spoke out about the treatment of Palestinians in Israel. The comments have received backlash and he has been fired from CNN.
Hill said, “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.”
He also said, “Contrary to western mythology, Black resistance to American apartheid did not come purely through Ghandi and nonviolence, rather slave revolts and self-defense and tactics otherwise divergent from Dr. King or Mahatma Gandhi were equally important to preserving safety and attaining freedom. 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.”
Hill continued, “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.”
Some felt like Hill was calling for violence and were offended by the term “from the river to the sea.” Newsweek reports, “‘From the river to the sea’ is a phrase often used by groups, including Hamas, who wish to remove Israel and replace the country with a Palestinian state that would stretch from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.”
Hill was challenged with this on Twitter. He responded by Tweeting, “.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.”
Nonetheless, Hill has been fired from CNN.
There were mixed reactions to Marc Lamont Hill’s comments and him being fired, see below: