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Thread started 11/30/18 4:06am

deebee

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CNN fires Marc Lamont Hill following speech defending Palestinian freedom

CNN has parted ways with contributor Marc Lamont Hill after a speech the college professor made on Israel and Palestine at the United Nations.

A CNN spokesperson confirmed Hill was no longer under contract. The network did not give a reason, but the move came amid objections to Hill’s speech by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and other groups.

Hill, a professor of media studies at Temple University in Philadelphia who had been a recurring political commentator on CNN, defended his speech in social media posts, saying he did not support antisemitism or violence against Jewish people and had fought against this.

Speaking on Wednesday, he called for countries to boycott and divest from Israel in a speech given for the UN’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

“We have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to political action, grass-roots 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 said in the speech.

The ADL and others said the “river to the sea” phrase was code for the destruction of Israel, often used by Hamas and groups bent on its destruction. “Those calling for ‘from the river to the sea’ are calling for an end to the state of Israel,” the ADL’s senior vice president for international affairs Sharon Nazarian said in a statement, adding that the annual event at the UN “promotes divisiveness and hate”.

Hill defended his speech.

“My reference to ‘river to the sea’ was not a call to destroy anything or anyone,” Hill said on Twitter. “It was a call for justice, both in Israel and in the West Bank/Gaza. The speech very clearly and specifically said those things.

“I support Palestinian freedom. I support Palestinian self-determination,” Hill tweeted, adding: “I do not support anti-Semitism, killing Jewish people, or any of the other things attributed to my speech. I have spent my life fighting these things.”

Source: https://www.theguardian.c...ill-israel

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The speech is here in full:



I confess I never knew MLH had it in him, but it was a powerful speech. The spurious association of his words with "Hamas" and "destruction" is morally bankrupt, but we know it's propagated by those who believe the ends justify the means, and the weak-kneed capitulation to such defamation by the network is far more offensive.

I personally take the view that a two-state solution is the better strategic aim, on balance, but I'm very well aware that others such as Hill believe in pushing for a single democratic state in the region of historic Palestine, in which both Palestinians and Jews will be equal citizens with full rights, and that this is a call for an end to racial and religious supremacy and the building of an inclusive polity like post-Apartheid South Africa, not a call for the destruction of any people. Shame on those who misrepresent his honourable words for political ends.

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
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Reply #1 posted 11/30/18 4:25am

OnlyNDaUsa

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He was not defending Palestinian freedom he was advocating genocide. His attempts to back peddle were ridiculous.

Anyone for banning the AR15 must be on the side of the criminal as once banned only criminals will have them.
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Reply #2 posted 11/30/18 4:50am

deebee

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OnlyNDaUsa said:

He was not defending Palestinian freedom he was advocating genocide. His attempts to back peddle were ridiculous.

That's a silly claim that doesn't merit serious engagement. By all means, critique the politics of the bi-national state solution he was advocating, but let's have no cheap provocations on this thread.

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
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Reply #3 posted 11/30/18 5:33am

OnlyNDaUsa

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Tell that to CNN
Anyone for banning the AR15 must be on the side of the criminal as once banned only criminals will have them.
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Reply #4 posted 12/01/18 9:18pm

Graycap23

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OnlyNDaUsa said:

He was not defending Palestinian freedom he was advocating genocide. His attempts to back peddle were ridiculous.

B.S.

FOOLS multiply when WISE Men & Women are silent.
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Reply #5 posted 12/03/18 4:59am

2elijah

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I’m wondering if he had defended freedom for Israel, if CNN would have fired him, if someone from a Palestinian organization would have complained. hmmm
[Edited 12/3/18 4:59am]
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Reply #6 posted 12/04/18 5:36am

hausofmoi7

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OnlyNDaUsa said:

He was not defending Palestinian freedom he was advocating genocide. His attempts to back peddle were ridiculous.


Nonsense.
Only ethnocrats and racial supremacists would view his perspective of a democratic society with equal rights for all people as genocide.
If I recall a conservative news pundit this year claimed that allowing migrants into America was also tantamount to committing genocide. as it would mean that there would no longer be a white majority in the country.
So I can see why you and others view his comment as such.


What’s absurd is that America is a democratic state.
Yet somehow what he advocated for here (I.e a democratic state) is considered an extreme or genocidal statement.


historically Israel/Palestine was always a single country to begin with.
It wasnt until the 20th century that the British decided to divide the land up.
Which ultimately created this situation.
Reverting back to a single state is only logical.




.
[Edited 12/4/18 6:52am]
"It means finding the very human narrative of a man navigating between idealism and pragmatism, faith and politics, non-violence, the pitfalls of acclaim as the perils of rejection" – Lesley Hazleton on the first muslim, the prophet.
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Reply #7 posted 12/05/18 8:00am

NorthC

"From river to the sea"? I really cannot see that any other way than as a call to "remove" Israel. "A free Palestina" is NOT the same as "equal rights for Palestinians and Israelis".
But I don't think he should be fired for voicing an opinion, stupid though it may be. Just like that English editor that talked about killing vegans or whatever it was a few weeks ago. If people get fired for having a "wrong" opinion, that's not good.
[Edited 12/5/18 8:05am]
I may disagree with everything you say, but I will defend your right to say it.
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Reply #8 posted 12/05/18 8:28am

deebee

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NorthC said:

"From river to the sea"? I really cannot see that any other way than as a call to "remove" Israel. "A free Palestina" is NOT the same as "equal rights for Palestinians and Israelis". But I don't think he should be fired for voicing an opinion, stupid though it may be. Just like that English editor that talked about killing vegans or whatever it was a few weeks ago. If people get fired for having a "wrong" opinion, that's not good. [Edited 12/5/18 8:05am]

Well, let's make sure we're clear about what that mischievously ambiguous word "remove" means. A one-state solution would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish-supremacist state. It would mean a radical transformation of the kind of political entity that exists in the region of historic Palestine, which would become a democratic state of the citizens that reside in it - just like other states we esteem. It would not, however, mean the 'removal' of the Jewish population of Israel - as that ambiguous term 'removal' scurrilously implies. It would not be a call for 'genocide', meaning that it would be quite unlike talking about "killing vegans." (And, as it happens, if someone were calling for genocide, I would fully support that being banned as incitement to violence.)

By way of analogy, had Apartheid South Africa been known as 'Boerland', then ending Apartheid would have meant 'the end of Boerland', in a strictly political sense. It would not, however, have meant the genocide of White South Africans in an existential sense.

Now, I don't happen to think it's a good strategy, because, though it has a powerful ethical pull (Jews and Arabs living side by side as equals citizens) i don't think it's politically feasible. But I make the case against it on those grounds, not by slanderous insinuation.

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
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Reply #9 posted 12/05/18 8:44am

NorthC

I would totally support everything you and Hill say if... he had talked about freedom for Palestinians. Yes, freedom from Israëli oppression, from their own corrupt government, from the terrorists of Hamas... who wouldn't want that? But he didn't say that. He didn't mention the people, he mentioned a country. You cannot have two countries in the same place. And if he had said, a free Palestine, I would also have agreed with him. But a free Palestine "from river to sea" can only exist if there is no Israel and then the Jewish supremacist state would be replaced by a Muslim supremacist state. And that doesn't look like an improvement to me.
I may disagree with everything you say, but I will defend your right to say it.
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Reply #10 posted 12/05/18 9:23am

deebee

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NorthC said:

I would totally support everything you and Hill say if... he had talked about freedom for Palestinians. Yes, freedom from Israëli oppression, from their own corrupt government, from the terrorists of Hamas... who wouldn't want that? But he didn't say that. He didn't mention the people, he mentioned a country. You cannot have two countries in the same place. And if he had said, a free Palestine, I would also have agreed with him. But a free Palestine "from river to sea" can only exist if there is no Israel and then the Jewish supremacist state would be replaced by a Muslim supremacist state. And that doesn't look like an improvement to me.

Palestine is the name given to the land; what the political state would be called is not mentioned anywhere. As noted above, it's absolutely no secret that such political reform would mean the state of Israel in its current supremacist political form would not exist, but what is untrue is that this means that any flesh-and-blood human beings should not exist, or should be displaced. It simply means all people of the region of historic Palestine would become full citizens of a democratic state as yet uncreated.

There is a well-known context to what a one-state solution is intended mean - even if that is a context with which you're not familiar. Hill is clear about that in his op-ed:

"My use of 'river to the sea' was an invocation of a long history of political actors – liberal and radical, Palestinian and Israeli – who have called for their particular vision of justice in the area from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. For many, justice will come from a two-state solution. For some, like me, justice will come through a single bi-national democratic state that encompasses Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. I strongly believe that this is the best method to achieve peace, safety, security, and self-determination for both Israelis and Palestinians. Justice requires that everyone, not just a single side, is free and equal."

So, it's not correct to suggest that his proposal implies the creation of a "Muslim supremacist state", or that supremacist states of some stripe or other are the only thinkable options.

Now, I'm not saying you should support this proposal. You might well want to argue that, in political reality as it currently stands, there are compelling reasons to believe that a bi-national, democratic state of all of the region's citizens in the region of historic Palestine would be swayed in undesirable directions, and that there would be no way to build-in measures that would make this impossible. I would also be concerned about potential risks, if people raise them convincingly. But it's not fair to confuse that with Hill's intended meaning, or the intent of the one-state solution arguments he's referencing.

[Edited 12/5/18 9:24am]

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
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Reply #11 posted 12/05/18 9:40am

NorthC

Okay, so that's what he said after his speech. I'm sure he means well, but he should have realized that "a free Palestine from river to sea" suggests that there is no room for Israël and therefore no room for Jews. Two states, that's the only solution and even that seems difficult enough. So a Utopia where everybody lives together happily is something we shouldn't waste our time thinking about. Still, I don't mind repeating that I think firing someone for voicing his opinion is very wrong.
I may disagree with everything you say, but I will defend your right to say it.
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Reply #12 posted 12/05/18 9:46am

poppys

2elijah said:

I’m wondering if he had defended freedom for Israel, if CNN would have fired him, if someone from a Palestinian organization would have complained. hmmm


That would be a hard NO.

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Reply #13 posted 12/05/18 10:07am

deebee

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NorthC said:

Okay, so that's what he said after his speech. I'm sure he means well, but he should have realized that "a free Palestine from river to sea" suggests that there is no room for Israël and therefore no room for Jews. Two states, that's the only solution and even that seems difficult enough. So a Utopia where everybody lives together happily is something we shouldn't waste our time thinking about. Still, I don't mind repeating that I think firing someone for voicing his opinion is very wrong.

I would agree that "a free Palestine from river to sea" could "sugges[t] that there is ... no room for Jews" to an audience with no knowledge of the extensive literature and thriving debate on a one-state solution. I'd even go so far as to say it's sensible for a speaker making such a point to be aware that at least part of his audience (such as yourself) may not be familiar with that debate, and take precautions to avoid being misunderstood. More saliently, regarding the furore surrounding this speech, a speaker should also be well aware that there is an audience that will pretend to interpret these words as having a disgusting meaning they are well aware that they do not have, and will do so in order to advance a pro-Israel political agenda and shut down debate on the issue.

On your criticism of the strategy of campaigning for one-state solution itself, I'm inclined to agree. I always think, in response to the one-state campaigners' criticisms of the injustices of a two-state solution (ratifying the loss of Palestinian land, etc), that these are true, and their argument is 'more ethical', but that that it's too big of a struggle to achieve. It's a little like Freud's statement that the aim of psychoanalysis was not to make everyone totally cheery, but, rather, to "transform hysterical misery into ordinary unhappiness." That seems more possible - though I'm always open to being convinced.

[Edited 12/5/18 14:57pm]

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
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Reply #14 posted 12/05/18 12:14pm

2elijah

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poppys said:



2elijah said:


I’m wondering if he had defended freedom for Israel, if CNN would have fired him, if someone from a Palestinian organization would have complained. hmmm



That would be a hard NO.


Lol, true.
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