My Debate With Marc Lamont Hill: “Are Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism the Same Thing?”
Following my last post on Marc Lamont Hill, he proposed that we discuss things live on his YouTube show.
I didn’t have to think too hard before I agreed to it.
True, I knew that by appearing on his show, I was ceding “home ground advantage” – his audience likely being predominantly anti-Israel (with a fair share of antisemites). I knew I was entering the lion’s den as it were (and to look away from the YouTube comments!)
I also knew I would face a bit of criticism from people on our side, given his views which I have personally found to be antisemitic and even supportive of terror. And this has indeed been the case.
But in my mind, we need to go beyond the echo chamber, and this was an opportunity to do so. He has a way bigger audience than I do, after all.
My main goal was not to convince Marc of the error of his ways – that will likely never happen – but to influence the intellectually honest among his audience positively towards Israel, especially those who may be sitting on the fence.
The discussion/debate happened tonight. My objectives including getting my points across while remaining calm at all times (even when inside I wanted to interrupt and get my point across perhaps more assertively). Because I understand that form is important with these things, not just substance.
My other main objective was to get certain points across, which I did. Some I did not manage to, but that is because Marc steered the discussion a certain way and we ran out of time to discuss in more depth (e.g. a rebuttal to the assertion that Israel is an apartheid state, more in-depth discussion of the IIHRA working definition of antisemitism).
You can watch the entire debate here:
Based on my own feelings and feedback I have received, I did a good job. I was especially pleased I got him to admit the Jewish presence in the land since the destruction of the second Jewish temple in 70CE, especially after I mentioned that the palestinian Arabs descend from no earlier than the Islamic conquest of the 7th century and they are the colonizers (something he could not argue against).