Anyone still living under the illusion that the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in the US is not wholly hostile toward Israel, and by extension the Jewish people, need only listen to the latest rant of Marc Lamont Hill.
In the past, the mainstream Black social justice movement headed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. largely identified with the Jewish people and its historic plight, as well as with the State of Israel and Zionism.
But as with many other sectors of American society, with the waning of Biblical Christian faith, support for Israel has turned to antagonism and an alignment with the Palestinian nationalist cause and its dangerous end goals.
"Black Lives Matter is very explicitly talking about the dismantling of the Zionist project...and very explicitly embracing BDS (the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement) on those grounds," said Hill in a brief video clip posted to social media.
Hill is not a stupid man, and like many others of his ilk will refrain from explicitly calling for Israel's destruction, or from being too overtly antisemitic. But the "dismantling of the Zionist project" can mean only one thing. Nor can Zionism as an idea, a hope and a nationalist movement be disconnected from the Jewish people at large, no matter how much some liberal progressive Jews might wish it to be.
It's arguable whether or not Marc Lamont Hill speaks for BLM as a whole. After all, it is a broad and decentralized movement. But he is undoubtedly one of BLM's more recognizable and prominent activists.
What makes him so? Hill today is a professor of media and urban studies at Temple University. He has held similar positions at a number of other universities, including Columbia University. But Hill is probably better known to most Americans as a mainstream media commentator, having appeared on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News and Al Jazeera.
In 2018, Hill was fired by CNN after he effectively called for the eradication of the Jewish state in a speech at the United Nations. "Justice," he told those gathered to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, "requires...a free Palestine from the river to the sea."
Hill later insisted that what he had meant was justice for the Palestinians in the West Bank (the river) and the Gaza Strip (the sea), and was not parroting what most Israelis recognize as the battlecry of their enemies. However, he failed to address (or was just ignorant of) the fact that the phrase "from the river to the sea" has been seen as a call to destroy Israel ever since it was made part of the formal charter of Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which back then was still recognized by the international community as a terrorist organization.
Whatever his excuses were two years ago, it is now crystal clear that Hill advocates the downfall of the Jewish state and its replacement with a bi-national (Arab-Jewish) State of Palestine "from the river to the sea," which Israelis from across the political spectrum will tell you bodes very ill for the Jews.