Marc Lamont Hill’s Lame Attempt to Argue “From The River to the Sea” Does Not Call For The Destruction of Israel
Marc Lamont Hill has just released this video, following Rashida Tlaib’s censure for using the phrase “from the River to the Sea,” an anti-Israel rallying cry calling for the eradication of Israel.
It is common knowledge that “from the River to the Sea” calls for the establishment of a State of Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, erasing the Jewish State of Israel.
The phrase has its origins in the Palestinian National Council‘s initial charters of the 1960s, which demanded a Palestinian state geographically encompassing the historic boundaries of Mandatory Palestine, and a removal of a majority of its Jewish population. Lamont Hill actually mentions the PLO, claiming their use of the phrase wasn’t “calling for the destruction or killing of the Jewish people.” This is a blatant lie.
From the PLO’s original charter of 1964:
We. The Palestinian Arab people, who faced the forces of evil, injustice and aggression against whom the forces of International Zionism and colonialism conspired and worked to displace it, dispossess it from its homeland to realize its freedom and dignity and who has determined to amass its forces and mobilize its efforts and capabilities in order to continue its struggle and to move forward on the path of holy war until complete and final victory has been attained.
Article 1. Palestine is an Arab homeland bound by strong national ties to the rest of the Arab Countries and which together form the large Arab homeland.
Article 7. Jews of Palestinian origin are considered Palestinians if they are willing to live peacefully and loyally in Palestine.
Article 14. The liberation of Palestine from an Arab view point, is a national duty. Its responsibilities fall upon the entire Arab Nation, Governments and peoples, the Palestinian people being in the foreground. For this purpose the Arab Nation must mobilize its military spiritual and material potentialities, specifically, it must give to the Palestinian Arab people all possible support and backing and place at its disposal all opportunities and means to enable them to perform their roles in liberating their homeland.
Article 17. The Partitioning of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of Israel are illegal and false regardless of the loss of time, because they were contrary to the wish of the Palestine people and its natural right to its homeland, and in violation of the basic principles embodied in the charter of the United Nations, foremost among which is the right to self-determination.
Article 18. The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate system and all that has been based upon them are considered fraud. The claims of historic and spiritual ties, ties between Jews and Palestine are not in agreement with the facts of history or with the true basis of sound statehood. Judaism because it is a divine religion is not a nationality with independent existence. Furthermore the Jews are not one people with an independent personality because they are citizens of the countries to which they belong.
Article 20. The causes of peace and security and the needs of right and justice demand from all nations, in order to safeguard true relationships among peoples, and to maintain the loyalty of citizens to their homeland, to consider Zionism an illegal movement and to outlaw its presence and activities.
Article 24. This Organization does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or the Himmah Area. Its activities will be on the national popular level in the liberational, organizational, political and financial fields.
Clearly, their goal was to supplant the Jewish state of Israel with an Arab state. Only Jews born in then Palestine would be allowed to live there, as long as they were loyal to this Arab state. The other Jews – Zionists – would be driven out in this “Holy war.” After all, there was no connection between the Jews and the land according to the PLO.
Note also how the PLO would not exercise sovereignty over “the West Bank” or Gaza, since Jordan and Egypt were in control of it at the time and the PLO had no problem with this because they were Arabs. This also makes a mockery of Lamont Hill’s claims about the meaning of the phrase.
The Palestinian National Covenant of 1968 replaced this charter. Let’s see what it had to say:
Article 1: Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation.
Article 6: The Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion will be considered Palestinians.
Article 8: The phase in their history, through which the Palestinian people are now living, is that of national (watani) struggle for the liberation of Palestine. Thus the conflicts among the Palestinian national forces are secondary, and should be ended for the sake of the basic conflict that exists between the forces of Zionism and of imperialism on the one hand, and the Palestinian Arab people on the other. On this basis the Palestinian masses, regardless of whether they are residing in the national homeland or in diaspora (mahajir) constitute – both their organizations and the individuals – one national front working for the retrieval of Palestine and its liberation through armed struggle.
Article 9: Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. This it is the overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase. The Palestinian Arab people assert their absolute determination and firm resolution to continue their armed struggle and to work for an armed popular revolution for the liberation of their country and their return to it . They also assert their right to normal life in Palestine and to exercise their right to self-determination and sovereignty over it.
Article 10: Commando action constitutes the nucleus of the Palestinian popular liberation war. This requires its escalation, comprehensiveness, and the mobilization of all the Palestinian popular and educational efforts and their organization and involvement in the armed Palestinian revolution. It also requires the achieving of unity for the national (watani) struggle among the different groupings of the Palestinian people, and between the Palestinian people and the Arab masses, so as to secure the continuation of the revolution, its escalation, and victory.
Article 15: The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab viewpoint, is a national (qawmi) duty and it attempts to repel the Zionist and imperialist aggression against the Arab homeland, and aims at the elimination of Zionism in Palestine. Absolute responsibility for this falls upon the Arab nation – peoples and governments – with the Arab people of Palestine in the vanguard. Accordingly, the Arab nation must mobilize all its military, human, moral, and spiritual capabilities to participate actively with the Palestinian people in the liberation of Palestine. It must, particularly in the phase of the armed Palestinian revolution, offer and furnish the Palestinian people with all possible help, and material and human support, and make available to them the means and opportunities that will enable them to continue to carry out their leading role in the armed revolution, until they liberate their homeland.
Article 19: The partition of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of the state of Israel are entirely illegal, regardless of the passage of time, because they were contrary to the will of the Palestinian people and to their natural right in their homeland, and inconsistent with the principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations; particularly the right to self-determination.
Article 20: The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void. Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong.
Article 21: The Arab Palestinian people, expressing themselves by the armed Palestinian revolution, reject all solutions which are substitutes for the total liberation of Palestine and reject all proposals aiming at the liquidation of the Palestinian problem, or its internationalization.
Article 22: Zionism is a political movement organically associated with international imperialism and antagonistic to all action for liberation and to progressive movements in the world. It is racist and fanatic in its nature, aggressive, expansionist, and colonial in its aims, and fascist in its methods. Israel is the instrument of the Zionist movement, and geographical base for world imperialism placed strategically in the midst of the Arab homeland to combat the hopes of the Arab nation for liberation, unity, and progress. Israel is a constant source of threat vis-a-vis peace in the Middle East and the whole world. Since the liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence and will contribute to the establishment of peace in the Middle East, the Palestinian people look for the support of all the progressive and peaceful forces and urge them all, irrespective of their affiliations and beliefs, to offer the Palestinian people all aid and support in their just struggle for the liberation of their homeland.
Article 30: Fighters and carriers of arms in the war of liberation are the nucleus of the popular army which will be the protective force for the gains of the Palestinian Arab people.
This was even more explicit in expressing its goals to rid the land of Zionist Jews through armed struggle, with the only Jews allowed to stay being those “who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion.”
So clearly this is what the phrase meant when it was invented, and we commonly see it being chanted by angry anti-Israel protesters who never call for a peaceful, two-state solution, and make very clear they want no Jewish state at all.
Including Lamont Hill himself, who just recently, after the October 7 Hamas atrocities, used the phrase in the same speech he demanded “decolonization” – meaning the dismantlement of the entire Jewish state of Israel. He also demanded the so-called palestinian Arab refugees be able to enter Israel – a certain death sentence for us Jews living there (made even clearer from the preview of it on October 7 when “only” a thousand or so flooded in).
If Lamont Hill wants to argue he and Rashida meant otherwise – despite the way this phrase is always meant – good luck with that. I’m not buying it.
So no, Marc. That phrase does not mean “justice, peace, freedom and self-determination” for all. It means the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel and the murders of all Jewish inhabitants, as Hamas recently reminded us.
The only honest thing to come out of your mouth in this video was the burp.