News & Politics

CNN Contributor Marc Lamont Hill Calls for 'a Free Palestine from the River to the Sea'

See below for an update to this story.

In a speech at the United Nations Wednesday, CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill appeared to call for violent resistance against Israel and for its elimination.

Justice requires “a free Palestine from the river to the sea,” Hill said, borrowing the phrase from Islamists who often use the phrase “from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea” to call for the elimination of the Jewish state.

“Tactics otherwise divergent from Dr. King or Gandhi were equally important to preserving safety and attaining freedom,” Hill argued in his speech. “If we are to operate in true solidarity with the Palestinian people, we must allow Palestinian people the same range of opportunity and political possibility,” he added, suggesting that less than peaceful tactics should be used against Israel.

“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 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 thundered.

“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,” Hill concluded.

Hill’s apparent call for Jewish genocide shocked Jewish journalists like Commentary’s Seth Mandel.

Hamas leaders such as Ismail Haniya and Khaled Meshaal have used the same phrase to assert that Palestine should replace Israel from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

“Palestine is ours, from the river to the sea and from the south to the north,” said Meshaal in a speech before tens of thousands of cheering supporters at a “victory” rally in Gaza City in 2012. “There will be no concession on an inch of the land,” he told the crowd. “We will never recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation and therefore there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take.”

Haniya has used the same chilling rallying cry on numerous occasions, saying Hamas will never abandon violence or recognize the state of Israel, but should fight for its destruction.

Marc Lamont Hill has a history of making outlandish statements vis-a-vis Israel, the Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein noted:

Last year, Hill tweeted that it was “offensive” for President Trump to call on Palestinians to “reject hatred and terrorism.” Hill also defended a terrorist who killed two Jewish students and praised anti-Semitic leader Louis Farrakhan.

In a follow up 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.” Such an idea would reject the existence of Israel as a Jewish homeland with the ability to defend itself, and cede control over to terrorist groups that have been seeking Jewish extermination. The reference to the “historic Palestine” also makes no sense, since no such place ever existed with defined borders.

Hill is a professor, journalist, author, activist, and CNN contributor.

Update 4:16 p.m. EST: CNN announced on Thursday that Hill is no longer a CNN contributor: “Marc Lamont Hill is no longer under contract with CNN,” a CNN spokesperson told the Washington Examiner.

CNN had nothing to say about Hill’s vile comments calling for violent resistance and the elimination of the Jewish state.