In 2014, I had the honor of being invited by Marc Lamont Hill on HuffPost Live to discuss one of my articles on Ferguson. The footage for some reason is no longer up, perhaps because I eventually became a Trump supporter, or perhaps because The Huffington Post had another reason for removing the interview. Nonetheless, I’ve been a fan of Dr. Hill’s activism and although I don’t always agree with him, he’s a passionate and intelligent voice among Democrats.
I don’t think Dr. Hill is antisemitic nor do I think CNN should have fired the professor. However, it’s today’s Democratic Party and its liberal “intelligentsia” who believe offensive speech warrants termination at work or on social media. Ultimately, it’s the left that silenced Marc Lamont Hill for an indiscretion, not Trump or conservative media. His views should be debated, and I’d love to debate his viewpoints on Israel if given the opportunity.
The main problem with Professor Hill’s viewpoint is that it omits one of the central themes of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and one that nobody on the left addresses during its daily orgy of anti-Israel condemnation. When Professor Hill uses rhetoric like “free Palestine from the river to the sea” and the world “must recognize the right of an occupied people to defend themselves,” he’s conveniently forgetting that Hamas tried to assassinate Fatah’s Prime Minister in March. According to Reuters, Hamas attacked Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah’s convoy in Gaza:
The bombing of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah’s convoy in Gaza last week dealt another blow to efforts to implement a unity deal between the two main Palestinian factions – Islamist Hamas, which dominates Gaza, and Fatah, the main party in the Palestinian Authority in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
The motorcade Hamdallah and Palestinian security chief Majid Faraj was attacked on March 13 shortly after it entered Gaza from neighboring Israel. They were uninjured.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had blamed Hamas for the explosion.
After Thursday’s raid, a spokesman for Hamdallah’s government questioned Hamas’s version of events and again accused the group of bearing “full criminal responsibility” for the assassination attempt.
“Once more, Hamas is going along the same path of … fabricating weak stories that make no sense,” the spokesman, Youssef Al-Mahmoud, said.
More than a decade after Hamas fighters drove the Palestinian Authority out of Gaza, Egypt has been brokering a reconciliation deal under which the PA would again assume administrative and security control in the territory of two million people.
Missing in Marc Lamont Hill’s speech on Palestinian rights at the UN is the fact that Hamas tried to assassinate a Fatah Prime Minister. If Israel had attempted the assassination rather than Hamas, there’s no doubt Dr. Hill and everyone else on the American left who blames Israel first for the conflict would pontificate on the vile and illegal assassination attempt.
Then there’s the issue of Israel and human rights in Palestine. Granted, Hill and other bring up good points regarding human rights tragedies endured by the Palestinians. However, missing from their indignant condemnation is any reference to Palestinians who abuse their own people. According to The Atlantic, Abbas recently retaliated against Hamas for forming a “shadow government”:
In March, Hamas announced the formation of the administrative committee, a quasi-governmental body that would ostensibly assume more functions of a state. Fatah leaders reacted with outrage, accusing Hamas of forming a shadow government that would “perpetuate the division instead of promoting reconciliation.”
Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Fatah and the president of the PA, responded with an unprecedented show of force. He cut off payments for electricity to the Gaza Strip, effectively plunging the impoverished coastal enclave into darkness. (Hamas refuses to interact with Israel, so the PA has subsidized parts of Gaza’s electricity input since 2007.)
Abbas also slashed the salaries of his out-of-work PA employees in Gaza, cut payments for Hamas prisoners in Israeli jails, reduced medical-supply shipments, and announced that over 6,000 PA workers would be forced into early retirement. These wide-ranging sanctions were the toughest Abbas had ever levied against Hamas, let alone his own people.
If Israel had been accused of “plunging the impoverished coastal enclave into darkness” progressive media pundits would spread never-ending condemnation and calls for Israel to end its barbarism.
Finally, when Hamas executed 23 Palestinians in 2015, I’m not certain Marc Lamont Hill or any other anti-Israel voice conveyed condemnation of the terrorist group. According to The Guardian in 2015, Hamas executed Palestinians in obvious violation of international law:
Hamas executed 23 Palestinians under cover of Gaza conflict, says Amnesty
Damning report by rights group claims Hamas also carried out other horrific abuses in 2014 as it ‘ruthlessly settled scores’ with opponents
Hamas has been accused of using the cover of last summer’s war in Gaza to carry out summary executions, including to “settle scores” against opponents under the pretext they were “collaborators with Israel”.
The claims that Hamas committed rights abuses amounting to war crimes are made in a damning report by Amnesty International highlighting abuses committed by Hamas during last summer’s 50-day war.
It includes accusations that Hamas carried out the summary execution of at least 23 Palestinians and the arrest and torture of dozens of others, including members and supporters of Hamas’s political rivals, Fatah.
…In one of the most horrific and well publicised incidents during last summer’s war, six men were publicly executed by Hamas outside the al-Omari mosque on 22 August in front of hundreds of spectators, including children.
We don’t hear much from Marc Lamont Hill about Hamas executions or Fatah retribution. We hear only condemnation and hatred of Israel, masked in a cloak of references to apartheid and the Civil Rights Movement. Nelson Mandela never executed 23 human beings nor did Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. orchestrate the launching of thousands of rockets into civilian centers. Dr. Hill’s reference to both men ignores the realities of the Middle East and in a surreptitious manner, condones the atrocities committed by Hamas. Until powerful voices like Marc Lamont Hill take the time to be even handed in their grandiose speeches and condemnation, his one-sided viewpoints will be perceived by many, perhaps rightly so (although I don’t think he has hate in his heart), of being antisemitic. Focusing only upon Israel, while ignoring the human rights violations and crimes against humanity of Hamas and others, dehumanizes the lives of Jewish people who have suffered, and continue to suffer at the hands of terrorists.