Marc Lamont Hill, who was recently fired from CNN for calling for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea,” appears to be accusing Israel of poisoning the water of Palestinians in a video.
In a video from the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) conference on Sept. 28, Hill says that Palestinians were “collectively punished” in 1948 and 1967.
“I can’t just think about political prisoners here in the states, I have to think about political prisoners in Palestine,” Hill said, “and I have to ask questions about what the face of those prisoners look like, and what legitimate resistance looks like.”
Hill adds that people who struggle tend to favor a “civil rights tradition” that “romanticizes nonviolence.”
“How can you romanticize nonviolence when you have a state that is at all moments waging war against you, against your bodies, poisoning your water, limiting your access to water, locking up your children, killing them,” Hill said. “We can’t romanticize resistance.”
In June 2016, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accused “certain rabbis in Israel” of telling “their government that our water should be poisoned in order to have Palestinians killed.” He later walked it back after facing criticism of using an anti-Semitic blood libel.
Hill continues, “So for me, part of the challenge is when we start saying we should overcome and holding hands and sit-ins, which is an important and indispensable strategy, I would never disrespect that strategy. We just can’t fetishize that strategy. We can’t fetishize that here in the states.”
Hill proceeds to call the “hands up, don’t shoot” protest against the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown as “problematic”
“This ain’t the posture I want to have against a violent state,” Hill said, adding that he would prefer to go “Leila Khaled-style,” an apparent reference to the convicted terrorist who was involved in both an airplane hijacking and an attempted airplane hijacking.
Hill then says, “Yeah I’m probably fired right now.”
Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper said in a statement sent to the Journal, “Marc Lamont Hill apologized for his Jordan to the Sea/ Palestine Will be Free statement capping his outrageous UN speech. While he is at it, he can apologize for repeating the canard that Israel poisoned Palestinian drinking water, his justification for Palestinian violence and terrorism, his relationship with [Louis] Farrakhan, and perhaps rethinking his vision of one ‘secular’ Arab-majority state in the Holy Land. “
“Can this Temple University educator point to an Israeli neighbor’s treatment of minorities—Syria perhaps, Egypt, Jordan, worth emulating?” Cooper added. “Don’t think so. And by the way, Palestinian Authority is committed to a Judenrein Holy Land.”
Roz Rothstein, co-founder and CEO of StandWithUs, said in a statement to the Journal, “Hill has made his views very clear at the UN and at anti-Israel conferences. His apology failed to address the fact that he tried to shield Palestinian groups from accountability for terrorism against Israelis.”
“We are grateful that CNN parted ways with him due to his extremist and dangerous views and that Temple University leaders have condemned his rhetoric,” Rothstein added.
When asked for comment by the Journal, a spokesperson for Temple University pointed to the university president’s Friday statement distancing themselves from Hill’s “free Palestine” comments but recognizing his right to free speech.
Patrick O’Connor, the chairman of the university’s board, told the Philadelphia Inquirer on Friday that Hill would have been fired “immediately” if Temple were a private university; however, Hill is a tenured professor. O’Connor told the Inquirer that the university’s legal staff will “look at what remedies we have.”
Hill has apologized for his “free Palestine” comments.
Hill and the USCPR did not respond to the Journal’s requests for comment as of publication time.