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CNN Sacks Contributor After Anti-Semitic Pro-Palestinian Speech at UN

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Marc Lamont Hill, CNN, oPT, coverage bias, Palestinian human rights violations, israel crimes against Gazans/Palestinian, occupied Palestine, illegal Israeli settlements, free speech, U.S.aidto Israel, news coverage, usa, education, freedoms )

- 19 days ago -
Academic Marc Lamont Hill lost his contract as a CNN contributor after a speech about Israel and Palestine


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fly bird (26)
Thursday November 29, 2018, 8:25 pm
Academic Marc Lamont Hill lost his contract as a CNN contributor after a speech about Israel and Palestine that critics called anti-Semitic. His firing quickly turned into a battleground in the ongoing US political culture war

Hill teaches at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and has been a frequent on-air contributor for CNN – until Thursday, when the network dropped his contract like a hot potato without further comment, following the outrage over a speech he gave.

Speaking at the UN on Wednesday, Hill accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and denying due process to Palestinians, calling for a “a Free Palestine from the River to the Sea,” meaning the Jordan to the Mediterranean.

That particular phrase is anti-Semitic, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) fired back. “Those calling for ‘from the river to the sea’ are calling for an end to the State of Israel,” Sharon Nazarian, ADL’s senior VP for international affairs, told the Jewish Journal.

“Marc Lamont Hill is no longer under contract with CNN,” the network said on Thursday afternoon, without further explanation. Battle lines were quickly drawn over Hill’s termination, with CNN finding itself in the crossfire.

Hill’s defenders called his firing shameful and accused CNN of kowtowing to Israeli interests.

Those who agreed with the ADL said that CNN should have denounced Hill and his statements openly, and that a network that just aired a special on the rise of anti-Semitism was actively contributing to it.

Hill himself tried to explain on Twitter that he does not support anti-Semitism or killing Jews, but is “deeply critical of Israeli policy and practice” and supportive of Palestinian freedom and self-determination.

“My reference to ‘river to the sea’ was not a call to destroy anything or anyone. It was a call for justice, both in Israel and in the West Bank/Gaza,” he said.

fly bird (26)
Thursday November 29, 2018, 8:30 pm
US Must Hold Israel Accountable for Great Return March Massacre.

On Friday, March 30, 30,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip began the Great Return March: six weeks of sit-ins and demonstrations to demand their internationally recognized right of return to the villages they were displaced from in 1948, which lie just a few miles away on the other side of Israel’s prison fence.

As they exercise their right to protest, the Israeli military is meeting them with lethal and excessive force. Israeli military snipers, prepositioned with shoot-to-kill orders, are using live fire, expanding bullets, and unknown toxic gases on the demonstrators. As of 10:00 AM on May 14, 2018, Israeli snipers have killed at least 90 Palestinians participating in the Great Return March and injured more than 10,500.

Israel is expecting to act with impunity – again. But you can help hold it accountable for its excessive use of force against Palestinian demonstrators.

Israel is the largest recipient of US military aid, and several US laws require the imposition of sanctions against a government which uses US military aid to commit human rights abuses.

Contact your Members of Congress today and demand an investigation to hold Israel accountable for violating these laws.

fly bird (26)
Thursday November 29, 2018, 8:32 pm
See: Holiday Season Boycott Action Kit. (Freya's Post)

fly bird (26)
Thursday November 29, 2018, 8:36 pm
Pink Floyd's Roger Waters takes on Israel in 'Us and Them tour'.

During his latest Us + Them tour in South America, the British rock star stands against Israel as part of a campaign launched by the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement.

Roger Waters, Pink Floyd’s founding member and rebellious lead singer, is touring Latin America once again, but this time not just to stage a musical performance. Waters is also speaking out against Israeli atrocities in Palestinian territories as part of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement’s global campaign.

Waters’ tour has been themed as “Us + Them”, which aims to develop more awareness in the world concerning Israeli actions against Palestinians across the Holy Land. On Tuesday, the musician was in Chile after touring Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina.

During the tour, the 75-year old British rock star has strongly condemned the Israeli actions in Palestine, where Israel recently conducted deadly air strikes in the Gaza Strip, killing at least 14 Palestinians and wounding many others. In April, Waters tweeted in support of Palestinians who marched in Gaza protesting Israeli atrocities.

"We all know that life in the Palestinian territories is unbearable," Waters said during the Chile leg of his tour, describing Israeli actions as a result of a “supremacist and racist policy.”

In the capital Santiago, he also compared the Israeli actions against Palestinians to South Africa’s former apartheid regime, which collapsed in the 1990s in the face of massive protests led by the late Nelson Mandela and members of his African National Congress.

The South African protests were strongly supported by the anti-Apartheid movement around the world. Similarly, there is now a growing BDS movement against Israel, which has been receiving worldwide support.

Known as a strong supporter of the BDS movement, Waters has often been targeted by Israel and other zionist organisations around the world, accusing him of being an anti-Semite.

“I am not anti-Semitic,” Waters told Chileans during his speech in the Centro Cultural Matucana 100, as he shared some private details about his father, who was killed by Nazi allies when he was fighting as a British officer in Italy, in 1944.

Father and son

During World War II, his father Eric Fletcher Waters was a Christian pacifist, refusing to serve in the British army. He became an ambulance driver and met his future wife who converted him to communism, a decision which later convinced him to fight Nazis.

His father's legacy left an unforgettable mark on the co-producer of The Wall, a music album which was regarded as one of the best albums ever made by many music critics.

“That was my father,” said Waters. “I have no choice but to fight against the Nazis that I have now in front of me,” the artist continued, comparing past Nazi policies with current Israeli actions.

“And it does not make me anything different from my father," Waters added, as an excited audience gave him a standing ovation.

Waters’ son is married to a Jewish woman, and has two grandsons who, according to Judaism, are identified as Jewish. In Judaism, descent is traced through the female line.

After delivering his speech on Tuesday night, Waters performed a concert for the Chileans.

From The Wall to Supremacy

Soon after its release in 1979, Pink Floyd’s signature album The Wall became an instant hit, lifting the band to the highest echelons of the musical world. Eight months after the fall of the infamous Berlin Wall, Pink Floyd performed in Berlin, in July 1990, to commemorate the reunion of east and west Germany.

Today, the eight-metre-high wall built by Israelis in the centre of the Holy Land, to separate Palestinians from Jewish people, could be another metaphor for the four-decades-old album, The Wall. Though Waters left the band in the mid-1980s, he joined his former co-performers for various concerts.

Waters’ latest album Supremacy does not only protest the Israeli wall, claimed to be one of the signs of an apartheid regime, but also directly goes against US President Donald Trump’s decision to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In recent months, Trump has also been keeping himself busy, building another wall along the country’s southern border with Mexico to prevent migrants crossing to the US.

In Supremacy, Waters performed part of a poem written by Mahmoud Darwish, a Palestinian poet. The poem is known as The Penultimate Speech of the 'Red Indian' to the White Man.

"Le Trio Joubran (a musical group of oud-playing brothers) and I have collaborated to perform an excerpt from an epic poem by the great Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish," recounted Waters on his Facebook page in March.

"On the surface it narrates the last speech of the Native American to The White Man, but it also speaks to Darwish's beloved Palestine, and its indigenous people, in fact to all victims of settler colonialism everywhere."

Waters not alone

Waters is indisputably the most visible artistic member of the BDS movement, but he is not alone. The British musician’s efforts has also led to other joining and cancelling performances in Tel Aviv and other Israeli locations.

The list includes musicians such as Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams, Gorillaz, Natalie Imbruglia and Lorde, as well as celebrities including Meg Ryan, Elvis Costello, Brian Eno, and Ken Loach.

The famed British Jewish scientist Stephen Hawking, who recently passed away, also joined the movement before his death.

During Waters’ Chile appearance, several native performers also joined him, with Juanito Ayala and Mariana Loyola among them.’s-roger-waters-takes-on-israel-in-us-+-them-tour
Source: TRT World

fly bird (26)
Thursday November 29, 2018, 8:43 pm
‘Get it right!’ Israeli consulate spars with US journalist over Gaza headlines.
15 Nov, 2018

An American journalist who pointed out the extensive edits the New York Times made to its article about the Israeli bombing of Gaza found himself in a heated Twitter argument with the Israeli consulate.

A Twitter account “Editing The Gray Lady,” which tracks edits to the Times, revealed on Monday how the US paper of record changed its headlines and copy to describe the events in Gaza.

“Incredible propaganda,” Ben Norton, a New York-based writer for The Real News, commented on the edits, adding that the Times “bent over backward and rewrote its article to erase how Israel initiated the violence in Gaza, obscuring the fact that Gaza's self-defense was ‘retaliatory’ and instead pushing the covert Israeli operation until the end.”

That attracted the attention of the Israeli consulate in New York, however, which admonished Norton to “get it right.”

Norton was having none of it, laying out a timeline of events in Gaza and insisting he did get it right and the consulate was wrong.

“If the terrorist propaganda TV station of a genocidal terrorist group like Hamas is your source of news, we understand exactly what sort of ‘journalist’ you are,” the consulate replied.

“Bombing a TV station of a news outlet is a war crime, even if you don't like the journalists running it,” Norton shot back.

This is hardly the first time Israeli diplomats have used Twitter to directly address journalists reporting on the conflict. In August, Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon accused the BBC of lying over a Gaza story and demanded the British broadcaster “change it IMMEDIATELY.”

In July, Nahshon lashed out at CNN International to “STOP YOUR MANIPULATION,” saying they “got it wrong and not for the first time.”

fly bird (26)
Thursday November 29, 2018, 8:45 pm
Israel detained over 900 Palestinian children since start of 2018
November 20, 2018

Israel detained 908 Palestinian children under 18 years of age since the beginning of 2018, according to Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) in a statement marking Universal Children’s Day, that out of the 908 Palestinian children detained since January 2018 until the end of October, 270 are still held in detention in various Israeli prisons.

PPS emphasized that children are usually detained in the middle of the night from their family homes, often severely beaten, and threatened in order to get them to sign confession papers. The children are also denied education, while some are denied family visits, and medical attention for those who need it while in detention.

PPS stressed Israel has enacted several laws since 2015 targeting Palestinian children in particular that would allow detention and trial of minors at age 14 years and stiff prison sentence for more than 10 years for throwing rocks and even life sentences.

Read full report in Maaan News

fly bird (26)
Thursday November 29, 2018, 8:47 pm
The Truth About Israeli Influence on US Foreign Policy by Col. Lawrence Wilkerson.

Sunday Wire LIVE Episode #258

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson served as Secretary of State and Colin Powell’s chief of staff, and through his experience in Washington, he is able to demonstrate how Israel’s influence over the U.S. has affected America’s strategic approach toward the Middle East. This is part of a fascinating panel discussion on Israel’s influence on foreign policy, with Dale Sprusansky, moderator for the conference event entitled, “Israel’s Influence: Good or Bad for America?” held in Washington, DC on March 18, 2016 at the National Press Club.

fly bird (26)
Thursday November 29, 2018, 8:54 pm
Israel has injured 24,000 Gaza protesters.
25 November 2018

Palestinians have paid a great price for their call for life with dignity during mass protests held along Gaza’s boundary with Israel over the past eight months.

Some 180 Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli occupation forces and nearly 6,000 others injured by live fire during the Great March of Return.

“The vast majority of casualties were unarmed, and were fatally shot from a distance while in the Gaza Strip itself,” according to a new report by the Israeli group B’Tselem, confirming previous findings by other rights organizations.

“As a general rule, the protectively clad troops sniping at them from other side of the fence were not in any real danger,” B’Tselem added.

In addition to injuries by live fire, 2,000 cases of injury by tear gas inhalation have been recorded, along with hundreds of injuries by rubber-coated metal bullets.

Injuries to 90 protesters – 17 of them children – have resulted in amputation, nearly all of the lower limbs.

Altogether, a staggering 24,000 Palestinians have been injured during the Great March of Return protests – more than one percent of the territory’s population.

Around half of those injured were treated at field clinics at protest sites. The rest were transferred to hospital for treatment.

“The mass influx of casualties has disrupted an already fragile health system,” according to the World Health Organization. “In the hospitals, trauma patients are prematurely discharged to make room for new patients.”

Hundreds of Palestinians require long-term limb reconstruction involving multiple surgeries and extensive rehabilitation, according to the organization.

Shot in lower limbs

B’Tselem surveyed more than 400 protesters who were wounded by live fire, including 63 children.

The vast majority – 85 percent – were shot in their lower limbs.

Some 40 percent were hit while they were in the immediate vicinity of the Gaza-Israel boundary fence. Around a third were up to 150 meters away from the fence. Just over 20 percent were more than 150 meters away when they were shot.

Forty-one of the children surveyed said they were “injured while they were watching the protest, waving a flag, photographing or filming the protest, moving away from the protest, or treating the wounded,” B’Tselem stated.

Nearly all of the protesters wounded by live fire surveyed by B’Tselem require prolonged, medical treatment. More than half require rehabilitation and physical therapy. Ten percent are permanently injured.

Being shot by occupation forces is only “the first chapter in a prolonged ordeal,” according to B’Tselem.

“Even a superbly functioning healthcare system would be sorely tried when faced with such a large number of casualties,” the group states.

“Yet in Gaza, even before the protests began, the healthcare system was already on the brink of collapse.”

The dire state of Gaza’s healthcare system is a result of the 11-year Israeli blockade at the center of the protests that have met with brutal violence.

Medicines depleted

At the beginning of the month, Gaza’s central pharmacy “was completely out of 226 essential drugs, and had only a one-month supply left of another 241,” B’Tselem states.

Stocks of more than 250 types of medical disposables had been depleted.

“The blockade places restrictions on replacing worn-out, broken medical equipment, on importing advanced medical equipment and drugs, and on travel by physicians for professional training outside Gaza,” according to B’Tselem.

“In addition, Gaza’s intermittent power supply, again largely Israel’s doing, also disrupts hospital functions.”

Israel meanwhile denies or delays permission to medical patients to travel outside Gaza via Erez checkpoint for treatment unavailable in the besieged territory.

Others have been referred to hospitals in Egypt but cannot afford the treatment.

Gaza’s sole prosthetic limbs workshop “can provide only the most basic prosthetic legs with limited range of motion,” according to a recent media report.

The cost of going abroad for prosthetic limbs is prohibitive in impoverished Gaza where the blockade has pushed unemployment rates to over 50 percent.

In addition to physical harm, Israel’s crackdown on the protests has increased symptoms of post-traumatic stress in children who find themselves reliving trauma from previous military assaults on Gaza.

“Deliberate policy”

“The high number of casualties at the protests is not an unavoidable fact of life,” B’Tselem states.

“It is the result of a deliberate policy by the Israeli security establishment.”

“Manifestly unlawful” open fire orders “permit the use of live fire against unarmed protestors who pose no danger to anyone and are on the other side of the fence, inside the Gaza Strip.”

Israeli forces have shot bystanders standing hundreds of meters away while “doing nothing to jeopardize the troops,” as stated by B’Tselem.

These open fire orders – kept secret by the state – have been rubber-stamped by Israel’s high court.

A lower court recently ruled that Palestinians in Gaza are not entitled to seek compensation for damages from Israel because the state has declared the territory an “enemy entity.”

“Banned from redress”

That was the argument made by the court as it rejected a case filed on behalf of a boy in Gaza who was left quadriplegic after Israeli forces opened fire on him in November 2014.

With the court upholding a 2012 law barring residents of an “enemy entity” from receiving compensation, all Palestinians in Gaza “are now banned from redress and remedy in Israel, regardless of the circumstances and the severity of the injury or damages claimed,” according to the rights groups Al Mezan and Adalah.

The new law “introduced criteria that are nearly impossible to meet for victims from Gaza,” leaving Palestinians in Gaza who suffered injury or damage during military operations ineligible to seek compensation. A narrow window of time in which Gaza residents initiate claims in Israel – at significant financial cost – and other restraints effectively bar anyone there from seeking justice.

But even in the case of the child represented by Adalah and Al Mezan, “who was shot in the absence of military activity and his family complied with all of the … stringent criteria,” the state argued that the boy was ineligible for compensation with “the simple justification that he is a resident of Gaza.”

According to the rights groups, “With this message, Israel declared that it absolves itself from the responsibilities, as a state, to investigate, deter, and take responsibility for violations by its armed and security forces.”

The ruling “grants comprehensive immunity to the Israeli military and the state for illegal, reprehensible, and even criminal actions” in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

With no way to fulfill their right to effective legal remedy from Israel, the occupying power, “the only legal options currently available to Palestinians in Gaza are limited to international judicial mechanisms,” Adalah and Al Mezan state.

The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor has warned Israeli leaders that the shooting of unarmed Palestinians along the Gaza boundary could be considered a crime under international law within the court’s jurisdiction.

Palestinian and international nongovernmental organizations have called on the International Criminal Court to “urgently” open an investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes.

The situation in Palestine has been under preliminary examination by the prosecutor’s office since 2015.

fly bird (26)
Thursday November 29, 2018, 9:08 pm
Listen: LA’s Israel lobby fails to ban conference on Palestinian rights . (Podcast)

“I don’t think anyone should have to go through this really hellish experience,” Abdulhadi explained. “But fighting it and having the judge dismiss it with prejudice and coming out and basically saying that none of these allegations are true – that justice work in Palestine definitely does not equate to anti-Semitism, [that] anti-Zionism is not equal to anti-Semitism, that has been quite a vindication.”

Listen to the interviews with Ayesha Khan and Rabab Abdulhadi via the media player above.

fly bird (26)
Thursday November 29, 2018, 9:13 pm
Every American dollar donated to the occupation’s state translates into our suffering as a Palestinian people

- Fareed Taamallah, Palestinian activist

fly bird (26)
Thursday November 29, 2018, 11:40 pm
TAKE ACTION: CNN fires Dr. Marc Lamont Hill for supporting Palestinian rights

Nov 29, 2018

Earlier today, CNN fired Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, prominent academic, author, activist, and television personality, in response to pressure from Israel advocacy groups. The news network was attacked after Hill gave a speech yesterday at the United Nations in defense of Palestinian rights, as part of the UN-organized International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

If you’d like to watch Dr. Hill’s speech, you can view it here.

Dr. Hill, who was named one of America’s most influential Black leaders by Ebony Magazine, frequently travels to Palestine and is a passionate supporter of Palestinian rights. He is an avid and outspoken advocate for freedom and equality for all people.


TAKE ACTION NOW contact CNN, here is their contact information:

CNN Twitter:
CNN: 1 (404) 827-1500
CNN Feedback form:

Tania N (883)
Friday November 30, 2018, 3:20 am
Thanks for sharing.

Tania N (883)
Friday November 30, 2018, 3:21 am
Thanks for sharing.

Colleen L (3)
Friday November 30, 2018, 7:15 am
Action taken.
Thanks Fly

fly bird (26)
Friday November 30, 2018, 10:16 pm
CNN: Reverse Firing of Marc Lamont Hill For Endorsing a One-State Solution to Israel-Palestine Crisis

CNN has fired commentator Marc Lamont Hill for advocating for a one-state solution to the Israel-Palestine crisis in a speech at the United Nations. Hill believes that given the extent of settlement activity in Palestinian territory occupied by Israel, a two-state solution is no longer viable. That leaves two paths forward: A single state in which all citizens within the borders have equal rights, or a single state that operates on an apartheid model where some citizens have basic rights, while others are left in a second-class legal status.

CNN caved to pressure, wrongly saying Lamont Hill’s views are anti-Semitic and firing him on that false premise. Outside of the United States, a one-state solution is becoming a non-controversial suggestion, while here in the U.S., it is cause for firing from a job doing political commentary. Agree or disagree with Lamont Hill's proposal, his right to hold it is a bedrock principle.

CNN should immediately reverse course, apologize and re-hire Marc Lamont Hill.

To: Jeff Zucker
From: [Your Name]

You fired Marc Lamont Hill for advocating for a one-state solution to the Israel-Palestine crisis in a speech at the United Nations. Hill believes that given the extent of settlement activity in Palestinian territory occupied by Israel, a two-state solution is no longer viable. That leaves two paths forward: A single state in which all citizens within the borders have equal rights, or a single state that operates on an apartheid model where some citizens have basic rights, while others are left in a second-class legal status.

Some pro-Israel advocates argue that the former position -- one state with equal rights -- is anti-Semitic, because the Palestinian population within Israel will continue to grow and will ultimately amass a majority capable of taking democratic power and ending its status as a Jewish state. Outside of the United States, a one-state solution is becoming a non-controversial suggestion, while here in the U.S., it is cause for firing from a job doing political commentary. Agree or disagree with Lamont Hill's proposal, his right to hold it is a bedrock principle.

CNN should immediately reverse course, apologize and re-hire Marc Lamont Hill

fly bird (26)
Saturday December 1, 2018, 11:00 pm
Marc Lamont Hill politically lynched for telling truth about Palestine.
30 November 2018

Marc Lamont Hill gave a beautiful speech at a United Nations event marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People this week.

For this, the Temple University professor and long-time advocate for Palestinian rights has been the target of an orchestrated political lynching by Israel lobby groups.

Smeared as an anti-Semite and grotesquely and falsely accused of calling for genocide against Jews, Hill was fired from his role as a political commentator for CNN.

The same Israel lobby operatives who bullied CNN into ending Hill’s contract are also demanding that he be fired from his teaching position.

The university has rebuffed these calls, citing Hill’s “constitutionally protected right to express his opinion as a private citizen.”

The accusations against Marc Lamont Hill are outright lies promoted by high-level operatives of the Israel lobby in their latest effort to silence and punish anyone who dares speak out in support of Palestinian equality and freedom from Israel’s brutal regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.

They perfectly match the kind of smear and sabotage tactics revealed in the censored Al Jazeera documentary on the US Israel lobby that was recently published in full by The Electronic Intifada.

Israel and its lobby see solidarity for Palestine from Black people as a particularly dangerous threat to be combatted with special zeal. It is no wonder that Jackie Walker, a Black Jewish anti-Zionist activist in Britain’s Labour Party, has likened the years-long smear campaign targeted at her by the Israel lobby to a lynching.

At the top of this page is the full video of Hill’s UN speech, published by the anti-Palestinian group UN Watch, no doubt in an effort to embarrass him.

You can also read a transcript.

Anyone familiar with Israel lobby defamation campaigns will not be surprised to learn that there is not one word of bigotry and of course nothing that can remotely be construed as a call for genocide.

Real solidarity

Rather, Marc Lamont Hill commits an even more unforgivable thought crime in the eyes of Israel and its lobby: he calls for effective solidarity with the Palestinian people on the basis that the full range of rights contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights should apply to them no less than to any other people.

Hill also draws on the Black history of struggle against American state racism as a source of inspiration for that solidarity. His own words are worth quoting at length:

As a Black American, my understanding of action and solidarity action is rooted in our own tradition of struggle. As Black Americans resisted slavery, as well as Jim Crow laws that transformed us from a slave state to an apartheid state, we did so through multiple tactics and strategies. It is this array of tactics that I appeal to as I advocate for concrete action from all of us in this room.

Solidarity from the international community demands that we embrace boycotts, divestment, and sanctions as a critical means by which to hold Israel accountable for its treatment of Palestinian people. This movement, which emerges out of the overwhelming majority of Palestinian civil society offers a nonviolent means by which to demand a return to the pre-1967 borders, full rights for Palestinian citizens and the right of return as dictated by international law.

Solidarity demands that we no longer allow politicians or political parties to remain silent on the question of Palestine. We can no longer in particular allow the political left to remain radical or even progressive on every issue from the environment to war to the economy. To remain progressive on every issue except for Palestine.

Contrary to Western mythology, Black resistance to American apartheid did not come purely through Gandhi and nonviolence. Rather, slave revolts and self-defense and tactics otherwise divergent from Dr. [Martin Luther] King or Mahatma Gandhi were equally important to preserving safety and attaining freedom.

We must allow – if we are to operate in true solidarity with Palestinian people, we must allow the Palestinian people the same range of opportunity and political possibility.

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.

Hill ended his speech with a call for “a free Palestine from the river to the sea.”

The political lynch mob tried to spin these words as a genocidal call for the destruction of Israel.

But they are a simple recognition of reality: historic Palestine – what is today Israel, the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip – is not free between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

As a landmark UN report– quickly withdrawn under Israel lobby pressure – documented last year, the entire territory and the entire Palestinian people are subject to an “apartheid regime.”

The report found “beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crimes of apartheid” as defined in international law.

With clarity and courage Marc Lamont Hill rightly stands by his principled words and we should stand by him – as many are doing.

Almost 5,000 people have already signed a petition demanding that CNN reinstate Hill.

Fake support for press freedom

Earlier this month, CNN and many of its defenders postured as defenders of press freedom and freedom of speech after the White House withdrew the pass of its correspondent Jim Acosta.

The Acosta affair was a cheap opportunity for pundits to pose as brave and courageous members of the #Resistance to Donald Trump.

But when freedom of speech really faces a test – as it so frequently does when it comes to Palestine – don’t expect to find too many of the same voices demanding that Hill’s right to ask difficult questions be respected and protected.

A critically important lesson from CNN’s firing of Marc Lamont Hill is that mainstream media will tolerate just about anything, from white supremacy to climate denial, but never clear, open and principled support for Palestinian rights.

That is a systemic problem and it underscores that only truly independent media free from corporate and state control can guarantee us the right to speak freely about Palestine and advocate for its liberation.

fly bird (26)
Monday December 3, 2018, 6:39 am
The Bottomless Dishonesty of CNN on Palestine and Marc Lamont Hill Firing
Juan Cole

CNN has fired contributor Marc Lamont Hill for a speech he gave on Palestinian rights at the UN. The speech can be found here.

You can protest this outrageous firing at this petition site.

And here is a link to his book, Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond, which everyone should buy and read.

CNN would have been under special pressure to fire Hill because he is a prominent African-American intellectual with a following in his own community, and the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs (the propaganda arm of the Likud government) is worried about the boycott and sanctions movement spreading among American minorities who might sympathize with the oppressed Palestinians.

In his speech, Hill carefully explained all the ways in which Israeli Apartheid practices (my word, not his) devastate the basic human rights of the 5 million Palestinians living under Occupation. Not only are the 20 percent of Israeli citizens who are of Palestinian heritage second class citizens (and, increasingly, third class citizens), but those kept under the jackboot of the Israeli military in the Palestinian West Bank and in Gaza are kept stateless and without even the right to have rights.

These crimes, epochal and unparalleled in our own time, are being committed by Binyamin Netanyahu and his henchmen in plain sight, violating every principle of agreed-upon international law in the post-1945 period. (I say unparalleled because I know of no other government on earth in the 21st century deliberately keeping millions of persons stateless and depriving them of citizenship. Some countries give minorities a citizenship many of the latter do not want, but they still do have a passport and property rights). Israel occupied the Palestinian West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967 and refuses to relinquish them or grant citizenship to the inhabitants, ensuring they remain in the twilight zone of statelessness. They are by far the largest stateless population in the world, (Undocumented migrants are not stateless since they have citizenship in their home country). The Nazis made Jews stateless as a prelude to the Holocaust.

One way that the Israeli right wing gets away with these atrocities is to use techniques of blackballing, smearing, and propaganda to marginalize any voices they don’t like. Jewish American mainstream organizations like the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco secretly have created web sites and techniques for getting people fired or blocking their career advancement if they aren’t on board with Israeli colonization of the Palestinian West Bank. Canary Mission is even now targeting our undergraduate students, hoping to blight their lives for taking a stand for justice. I do not believe it is too much to say that Canary Mission is evil.

Pro-Israel bigots in the United States who freely speak about Arabs as “animals” or speak of “filthy Arabs” suddenly develop a saintly halo and accuse anyone who points to Netanyahu’s systematic dispossession of the Palestinians of being an anti-Semite. And they’ve been remarkably successful in marginalizing anyone who takes them on. They connive at unelecting congressmen and -women, they block appointments to the Federal government, and organize massive letter-writing campaigns to news outlets to pressure them into firing and blackballing journalists or changing the way they speak about Israeli colonizing activities. (The organization “CAMERA” targets journalists in particular).

This success is not because “Jews” are “powerful.” First of all, only a minority of Jewish Americans sympathize with the far right politics of the Likud Party. Jon Stewart used to complain tongue in cheek that if Jews were so powerful he ought to have been able to get off basic cable and have a network show.

The success is because right wing white people are so powerful, and many of them still have a latent belief in the goodness of colonialism and in the White Man’s Burden. Melanie McAlister argued brilliantly that for right wing Christian whites in the United States, the Israeli domination of the Palestinians is a symbolic reenactment of the Vietnam War, in which this time the “white people” (as they characterize themselves) win instead of losing. I.e., Israel functions as did those old Rambo movies. I was shocked to discover that my opposition to Bush’s Iraq War and critique of it as neo-colonialism was offensive to the Northeast power elite because they supported the war and apparently couldn’t deal with their unfaced assumption of racial superiority over Iraqis.

On the other side, a Christian Zionist such as Rick Santorum is paid to go on CNN and say things like, “If they want to negotiate with Israelis, and all the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis, they’re not Palestinians. There is no ‘Palestinian.’ This is Israeli land.”

That is all right in White America, but substitute Palestinians for Israelis and vice versa in Santorum’s vile quote and imagine what would happen to someone who said *that* on t.v.

Hill was raked over the coals by the bigoted and racist Israel lobbies for saying this:
“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.”

You will notice that Palestine, i.e. the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza (the Green parts), stretches from the river to the sea:

Map showing the occupied West Bank and GazaIt is interrupted by Israeli territory in between, of course.

Dishonest propagandists accused Hill of using the language of Hamas, which rejects Israel and has said, “Palestine is ours, from the river to the sea and from the south to the north.” But you’ll note that Hill did not say anything about north to south.

Hill admittedly does not think a two-state solution is any longer plausible. But what he was calling for was for the people living in the Occupied territories to be full citizens, and to have these citizenship rights pertain to everyone living between the river and the sea. He did not say anything about Israelis not having equal rights.

It is not a firing offense to ask for Palestinians living between the river and the sea to enjoy the full rights of citizenship. In fact, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres pledged exactly that. Rabin shook Yasser Arafat’s and Bill Clinton’s hand over it on the White House lawn. Rabin was later assassinated by the sort of person now howling for Hill’s blood. Rabin’s vision of a Palestinian state and a two-state solution may well be impossible. That outcome has been engineered by Netanyahu and his thugs. But whatever the diplomacy, it cannot be allowed to keep Palestinians stateless and virtually without secure rights forever.

Hill was also slammed for urging Palestinian activism to oppose the Occupation. One of the standard Israeli propaganda techniques is to equate any resistance to their frankly fascist techniques of social control imposed on the colonized Palestinians with “terrorism.” There is nothing new or strange about this. The British in India considered Gandhi a terrorist. Of course the colonial state views opposition as terrorism.

That same dishonest columnist at The Forward managed to reconfigure Hill’s activism as violence. The fact is that international law recognizes the right of occupied peoples to mount even violent resistance to occupation militaries. But that isn’t what Hill was calling for. And then, any violence is then twisted around as violence toward civilians. And there you have it. Terrorism.

The golden magic circle of Hasbara (Zionist propaganda) gives us: resistance= violence= terrorism.

The only thing the Palestinians and their sympathizers can do to make Zionists happy is to bend over and allow themselves to be royally screwed– or better yet, allow themselves to be deported from their homeland of millennia at the hands of the Russian and Polish immigrants.

The Likudniks don’t actually want nonviolent resistance. That prospect horrifies them since they can’t do a magic circle number on it. When Mubarak Awad tried to start a center for Palestinian nonviolent resistance on the West Bank, the Israeli government illegally expelled him from his own home. One of the reasons the Israeli army is just shooting down unarmed Palestinians in cold blood inside Gaza is that they want to create the image of a violent confrontation where there is none (the marches have not involved clashes with the Israeli army).

CNN does a criminally negligent job of covering Palestine, giving us little better than Israeli propaganda. For the most part, it shapes the presentation of the story by simply ignoring it. But it also shapes the story with a systematically biased language intended to demonize the Palestinians and exonerate Israeli crimes against humanity.

Last March when Palestinians imprisoned in the open air concentration camp of Gaza by the Israeli army, navy and air force– and blockaded from key commodities– began marching to draw attention to their imprisonment, the Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his officer corps decided to deal with these protests by shooting down unarmed protesters, many of them women and children, with live fire, on the Gaza side of the border. Using live ammunition on protesters is a war crime. All the civilized countries in the world should have withdrawn their ambassadors and slapped severe economic sanctions on the Netanyahu regime in response.

CNN’s reporting on one of the first such Israeli crimes? “Gaza: 17 Palestinians killed in confrontations with Israeli forces – CNN”. That makes it sound as though the dead Palestinians had come over to the Israeli side of the border and attacked Israeli “forces” (Israel has an army, let us call it an army). But there is a problem with this framing. Those shot down were on the Gaza side of the border and there has been no direct physical encounter with Israeli troops. The dozens of Palestinians shot down in cold blood and the hundreds shot and injured in these demonstrations since March have largely gone unreported at CNN. Otherwise there’d be a segment every Friday afternoon.

In the first six months of the ongoing weekly rallies, Mezan reported that “150 Palestinians have been killed in the demonstrations. At least 10,000 others have been injured, including 1,849 children, 424 women, 115 paramedics and 115 journalists. Of those injured, 5,814 were hit by live ammunition…”

Amnesty International notes that many of the injuries inflicted on the protesters are to lower limbs and that:
“According to military experts as well as a forensic pathologist who reviewed photographs of injuries obtained by Amnesty International, many of the wounds observed by doctors in Gaza are consistent with those caused by high-velocity Israeli-manufactured Tavor rifles using 5.56mm military ammunition. Other wounds bear the hallmarks of US-manufactured M24 Remington sniper rifles shooting 7.62mm hunting ammunition, which expand and mushroom inside the body.

The nature of these injuries shows that Israeli soldiers are using high-velocity military weapons designed to cause maximum harm to Palestinian protesters who do not pose an imminent threat to them. These apparently deliberate attempts to kill and maim are deeply disturbing, not to mention completely illegal. Some of these cases appear to amount to wilful killing, a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions and a war crime.”

Again, the weekly carnage committed by the Israeli army in direct violation of the Geneva Convention of 1949 on the treatment of Occupied populations and in direct violation of the 2002 Rome Statute that created the International Court of Justice, is not covered by CNN. If you got your news from that source, you would not know anything is going on in Gaza.

Nor does CNN cover the tripling of Israeli squatter colonies on Palestinian land in the Palestinian West Bank during the Trump administration, nor the daily acts of violence, sabotage and usurpation committed by Israelis squatting on Palestinian land against Palestinians in their own homes.

This United Nations set of reports is what the real news from the Occupied Territories looks like.

If Netanyahu could shut the UN up, he would. His minions have shut up Marc Lamont Hill, a brave voice for freedom and human rights in our time who will now be replaced by the Rick Santorums.

fly bird (26)
Monday December 3, 2018, 6:40 am
TAKE ACTION! Tell CNN: Reinstate Marc Lamont Hill. Advocating for Palestinian Rights is not Antisemitic.

On Wednesday, Marc Lamont Hill, a political commentator on CNN, delivered a speech to the United Nations in support of the Palestinian people. He advocated for their human rights, outlined how Israel denies Palestinians their basic liberties, and asked the international community to ‘commit to political action’.

The next day — under pressure from right-wing leaders and the Jewish establishment — CNN fired him.

This news is appalling. We are demanding that CNN reinstate Marc Lamont Hill because advocating for Palestinian rights should NOT be a fireable offense. In supporting Palestinian freedom, Marc Lamont-Hill was in no way being anti-semitic.

Marc Lamont Hill has spent much of his life fighting against racism and oppression in America. In a tweet responding to accusations against him, he said “I support Palestinian freedom. I support Palestinian self-determination. I am deeply critical of Israeli policy and practice. 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”.

Especially in the Trump Era, it is dangerous to link advocating for Palestinian rights to anti-semitism. It distracts from real threats to Jewish community — the rise of white nationalism.

Unfortunately, the ADL already vilified Marc Lamont Hill for his criticism of Israeli policy. Once again we are seeing the American Jewish establishment censor conversations about Palestinian rights by falsely claiming antisemitism, and it is setting a terrifying precedent.

Meanwhile, CNN has not cut ties with many other frequent contributors who have expressed beliefs that are actually bigoted. For example, Rick Santorum, currently a senior political commentator at CNN, has such reactionary views on Israel that he has called Palestinians an “invented people.”

Just imagine being fired because you gave a speech that criticized Israel’s policy of Occupation and declared that Palestinian deserve basic human rights. That is why we as Jews are saying it is not antisemitic to demand freedom for the Palestinian people, and advocating for Palestinian human rights should not be a fireable offense.

We need a future where no one lives in fear of being fired for talking about Palestinian human rights and liberation. Demanding freedom and dignity for all Palestinians can also include demanding an end to antisemitism and white nationalism.

CNN, we call on you to reinstate Marc Lamont Hill immediately.
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