Professor Marc Lamont Hill is an influential and high-profile leader of two movements: The Black Lives Matter movement and the anti-Israel movement. The “intersectional” hijacking and crossover of domestic movements in the anti-Israel cause is something we have covered for years.

Lamont Hill just admitted what we all knew, but some people deny: one of the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement is the destruction of Israel. In a Zoom panel event on February 6, 2021, organized by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)’s “BDS and Palestine Solidarity National Working Group, National Political Education Committee, DSA Muslim Caucus, and the Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus,” the panel featured Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill alongside fellow Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) supporters Omar Barghouti, Sumaya Awad, and Ajamu Amiri Dillahunt.

Each of the panelists have a long history of anti-Israel organizing. Omar Barghouti has been a professional BDSer since the early 2000s (although he often ignores the BDS dictates he commands others to follow); Ajamu Amiri Dillahunt was an activist with Durham2Palestine—a local North Carolina network that invoked the “Deadly Exchange” (a conspiracy theory that blames Israel and American Jewish groups for police shootings of Blacks in the U.S.); and as a high-ranking official at Adalah Justice Project, Sumaya Awad has helped promote the organization’s bizarre claim that Zionism is “underpinned by anti-Blackness“.

Panel frontrunner Marc Lamont Hill is just as virulent an anti-Israel polemicist as his co-speakers. He is perhaps best known in pro-Israel circles for his repetition of the popular Hamas slogan (“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!”) during a speech at the United Nations in 2018.

[A screenshot of the bios of each panelist, published as the caption for the full panel, posted on YouTube.]

Hill’s anti-Zionist leanings date at least from early 2009, when he first began publishing on social media in support of BDS and sharing articles from anti-Israel agitprop sites such as Mondoweiss.

[Screenshot of an early 2009 Marc Lamont Hill Facebook post. The illustration features the BDS campaign’s mascot.]

[Screenshots of Marc Lamont Hill’s personal website, circa 2009. This page features a reposted article by former Black Panther Mumia Abu Jamal.]

[Screenshot of Marc Lamont Hill 2010 tweet, in which he shared a misleading article from Mondoweiss.]

Meanwhile, since its birth in 2013, Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement founders and prominent leaders have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with the international anti-Israel movement; indeed, anti-Israel agitators played an active role in stoking the 2014 violence in Ferguson, and have continued to hijack progressive causes by blaming racial tensions on Israel—even till today.

Marc Lamont Hill—as a BLM icon—has long embraced the ‘intersectional’ view that Israel’s “occupation of Palestine” has been engineered and perpetuated by the same “white supremacist” cabal that oppresses Blacks in the United States. In 2015, Hill traveled to “Palestine” on a “solidarity” mission with other BLM leaders who share this perspective. We documented the trip, which was organized by the self-described “socialist” group Dream Defenders—and included BLM co-founder and self-proclaimed “Marxist” Patrisse Cullors.

So it’s no surprise that Hill wasted little time during the DSA Zoom panel in repeating these themes; on a “conceptual level”, he insisted,

We understand that we can’t dismantle white supremacy or imperialism section by section…There’s no way to stop a settler-colonial movement in Palestine and not be mindful of its relationship to, you know, a settler colonial project in New Zealand or Australia or the United States…[it’s] a global system that we have to dismantle…[Black Lives Matter has] imagined…a world [that is] anti-imperialist. They don’t want to just nation-build, but they want to world-make, and so Black Lives Matter, very explicitly is talking about the dismantling of the Zionist project, dismantling of the settler-colonialist project, and very explicitly embracing BDS on those grounds.

You can see the entire panel here or below.

Naturally, Hill presented no evidence of the supposed interconnectedness of centuries-old European colonization of the New World with Zionism—the modern Jewish liberation movement centered around the ancient Jewish connection to Jerusalem (or, as it was called as early as the biblical book of Samuel, Zion)—because no such evidence exists.

But when it comes to Israel, hard facts clearly matter little to Hill, his DSA “comrades” (his words), or BLM leadership; after all, why complicate a compelling narrative and successful recruitment tool with a scrupulous examination of history?

For anti-Israel activists, building a “broad” movement requires social justice idealists from multiple and diverse backgrounds. And how better to collect them all than to draw vague analogies between disparate eras, moralize relentlessly, and deliberately muddy conversation about Jews and Israel with “conceptual” bluster posing as practical and just “political solution[s]”?

Ah, ‘intersectional’ ignorance must be bliss.


Samantha Mandeles is Senior Researcher and Outreach Director at the Legal Insurrection Foundation. You can reach her on Twitter at @SRMandeles.


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