MOSHE HILL OPINION COLUMNS AUGUST 30 2023
CUNY has an anti-Semitism problem – and they don’t care. For years, CUNY Law has been a hotbed of Jew-hating activity, culminating in back-to-back commencement addresses from student-chosen speakers who proudly declared their hatred for the Jewish state. Recently, four Jewish professors have been retaliated against for complaining that their professional environment is hostile to their Zionism. Now, CUNY has hired someone who openly said to a United Nations panel that he wants “a free Palestine, from the River to the Sea.”
Marc Lamont Hill (no relation) was a CNN contributor until he went on the floor of the United Nations in November 2018 advocating for Palestinians. In his speech, Hill used the phrase “from the River to the Sea,” which openly advocates for the murder of all Jews in Israel. Regardless of how the left tries to spin it, that is what that phrase means. There is no existing Palestinian-controlled territory that Jews can safely live in. If the any of the groups that control the Palestinian territories – whether Hamas, Hezbollah, Fatah, or even the Palestinian Authority – were to create a “free Palestine, from the River to the Sea,” as Hill expressed his sincere desire to happen, it would essentially lead to a second Holocaust. All 7.1 million Jews living in Israel would be expelled or killed from their rightful homeland.
CUNY is well aware of Hill’s past statements, yet they hired him anyway. Hill was appointed a “presidential professor” for Urban Education at CUNY’s Graduate Center. Three months after Fatima Mohammed accused Israel of encouraging “lynch mobs” from the podium of CUNY Law graduation, and weeks after Zionist professors were targeted, Hill received unanimous support for his hiring to the position.
CUNY Grad Center president Robin Garrell approved the hire, with the backing of the CUNY Board of Trustees. A spokesman from the Grad Center said, “The committee reviewed the entirety of his scholarship and public comments, which include a public letter of apology for remarks made half a decade ago and his strong, unequivocal condemnations of anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic violence.”
There is no indication that Hill has any regret or remorse – or has even slightly changed his outlook on the conflict in the region or on the Jewish people. Mere months after going viral for his comments to the UN and his “apology,” Hill doubled down. In July 2019, at Netroots Nation (an annual far-left conference), Hill was speaking at a panel entitled, “Embedding Palestinian rights in the 2020 agenda.” For context, the conference was selling T-shirts listing things to “resist” like racism, sexism, and Zionism. The panel also referred to Israel as a “white supremacist project.”
When asked about telling Palestinian stories in a newsroom, Hill referred to the major broadcast networks as “Zionist organizations.” “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,” he said. “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 view. And if your point of view competes with the point of view of the institution, you’re going to have challenges.”
CUNY has no problem with having this person in a high-ranking position on their staff, as they have been institutionally captured by people who agree with Hill’s position. CUNY Law staff and faculty openly support the BDS movement, and the position is infecting the rest of CUNY’s two dozen campuses. SAFE CUNY, a non-partisan organization dedicated to ensuring that Zionists feel safe on CUNY campuses, dismissed the notion that CUNY doesn’t want this. “They’ve done their research,” SAFE CUNY posted on X (formerly Twitter). “This is the university that they want. Nerdeen. Fatima. Linda. Marc. And now four cross-campus investigations against Zionist Jews for filing complaints of anti-Semitism experienced on their campuses.”
There needs to be extreme pressure placed on both Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams to get CUNY in line regarding its anti-Semitism problem. The CUNY Board of Trustees has 17 members, ten of whom are appointed by the State of New York, five of whom are appointed by the City. If Hochul and Adams are the friends of Jews and Israel that they claim to be, it’s far past time for them to lean on the Board to make changes to CUNY, either by firing Chancellor Felix Rodriguez, or making significant changes to the administration. This can no longer be allowed to stand.