Advocating for the violent end of Israel is apparently part of a larger trend for CNN’s Marc Lamont Hill, who also has a history of questionable tweets.
Lamont Hill spoke at the United Nations commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on Wednesday and made some eyebrow-raising comments about the Israel-Palestine conflict.
“We must prioritize peace, but we must not romanticize or fetishize it. We must promote non-violence at every opportunity, but cannot endorse narrow politics that shames Palestinians for resisting, for refusing to do nothing in ethnic cleansing,” Lamont Hill said. “Justice requires a Free Palestine from the River to the Sea.”
Lamont Hill called the criticism of his comments “silly” and noted that the phrase from “river to the sea” precedes Hamas.
This is silly. And inaccurate. “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. https://t.co/6jFN22mTcq
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) November 28, 2018
Lamont Hill has flirted with anti-Semites in the past and recently defended a 2016 photo-op with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has called the Jewish people “termites,” among other derogatory comments.
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) October 19, 2018
The CNN pundit explained away the photo-op by contending that the pair discussed Farrakhan’s anti-LGBT and anti-Semitic views during their meeting.
The last 24 hours have been crazy. I have been getting challenged from many directions based on an old picture of @LouisFarrakhan and me that emerged. A lot of misrepresentations have been made. So I will speak for myself.
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) October 20, 2018
The photo was being used by Farrakhan to sell music box sets, apparently without Lamont Hill’s permission. Lamont Hill said he would “ask for it to be taken down as I don’t think it’s consistent with my values and my professional standards.”
Despite his insistence that he has “principled” disagreements with Farrakhan and his organization, the Nation of Islam (NOI), Lamont Hill has praised the pastor’s leadership in the past.
In 2015, a Twitter user asked Lamont Hill if he would support Farrakhan’s speech at the Atlanta University Center. Lamont Hill replied simply, “what you need, good brother?”
“I appreciate Minister Farrakhan demanding that we organize and build our own institutions. He’s right,” Lamont Hill wrote in 2010.
In another 2010 tweet, Lamont Hill insisted that he appreciates much of NOI’s message, but thinks it is “too conservative.”
In 2014, Lamont Hill said it was “beautiful” to see NOI among a group of organizations.
Lamont Hill has also repeatedly expressed support for convicted cop killers Assata Shakur and Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Shakur, whose given name is JoAnne Deborah Byron, was a member of the Black Liberation Army and was convicted of first-degree murder of a New Jersey State trooper in 1973. Shakur was present with two other members of the Black Liberation Army when the police officer was killed, but she claims she took no part in the murder. She later escaped from prison and fled to Cuba.
In 2009, Lamont Hill called Shakur his “hero” and a “freedom fighter” who he believes to be innocent.
Lamont Hill defended his support of Shakur in 2017 and again in July 2018, claiming that he doesn’t “support cop killers” because he believes Shakur is innocent.
“I still stand with Assata Shakur,” he said. “I still maintain her INNOCENCE. I always will.”
Lamont Hill also called for freeing Abu-Jamal, a former member of the Black Panther Party who was convicted of killing a police officer in 1982 based on the testimony of four witnesses. Abu-Jamal’s conviction was upheld by the state Supreme Court after multiple appeals.
CNN did not respond to a request for comment.