According to Jewish Insider, former CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill, who has protested for some time that he is not anti-Semitic, accused major networks such as NBC and ABC of being “Zionist organizations” that produced “Zionist content” as he spoke at the progressive Netroots Nation summit.
Democratic presidential hopefuls Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Governor Jay Inslee of Washington and former HUD Secretary Julian Castro all appeared at the summit this year.
Speaking with a panel on “embedding Palestinian rights in the 2020 agenda,” Hill reportedly responded to a question from a member of the audience and fulminated about the supposed difficulty young journalists faced in reporting about Palestinian Arabs, snapping:
They’re like, I want to work for Fox, or I want to work for ABC or NBC or whoever. I want to tell these stories. You have to make choices about where you want to work. And if you work for a Zionist organization, you’re going to get Zionist content. And no matter how vigorous you are in the newsroom, there are going to be two, three, four, 17, or maybe one powerful person — not going to suggest a conspiracy — all news outlets have a point of a view. And if your point of view competes with the point of view of the institution, you’re going to have challenges.
The panel also reportedly made statements that Israel was working on a “white supremacist” project. Jewish Insider reported that one panelist, Noura Erekat, a professor at George Mason University, stated that “the whole land is occupied,” and stated there was an “explicit project” led by Ashkenazi Jews in Israel to avoid “sully[ing] the blood line with becoming dark and oriental” by intermarrying with dark-skinned Jews hailing from other lands.
Jewish Insider noted, “At the summit, t-shirts were sold grouping Zionism with racism, sexism, homophobia and antisemitism as maladies to be ‘resisted.’”
Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, ripped the summit, telling Jewish Insider, “Zionism is nothing like white supremacy. Anyone who offensively claims Zionism is a white supremacist project is ignorant of the tremendous diversity of modern Israel and seeks to negate the millennia-old connection of Jews to the Land of Israel.”
Lamont Hill has a history of anti-Semitism; in May 2018, Hill implied Israelis were murderers in the Huffington Post, writing of the Palestinians, “This is about the 70-year struggle of a people who have been expelled, murdered, robbed, imprisoned and occupied.” He defended Palestinians’ right to use violence against Israel but claimed Palestinians truly wanted peace, adding, “Occupied people have a legal and moral right to defend themselves. To ask them not to resist is to ask them to die quietly. Palestinians want peace.”
Hill continued by slamming Israel’s very right to exist: “By naturalizing the idea that nation-states have a ‘right to exist,’ we undermine our ability to offer a moral critique of Israel’s (or any settler-colony’s) origin story.” He continued with an outright lie, ignoring the fact that the Jewish state existed 3,000 years ago, writing: “… the idea of nations and nationalism is relatively new.”
In 2014, Hill tweeted that he opposed the “occupation” of Gaza although Israel left Gaza nine years before.
In 2008, when Fox News host Sean Hannity confronted Hill with the remarks of anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, including calling Judaism a “gutter religion,” and asked Hill if he thought Farrakhan was an anti-Semite, Hill defended Farrakhan, saying, “I do not know whether he is an anti-Semite … those quotes are severely out of context.”