Why did CNN fire a pro-Palestinian commentator? | Cornel West

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No one gets closer to peace by silencing voices critical of a lethal status quo. We need a candid debate about the grim catastrophe unfolding in Israel

Why is it so difficult, if not impossible, to have a candid debate about the grim Israeli-Palestinian catastrophe that prevails in our midst? What stands in the way of our capacity to grasp the undeniable need for justice for Palestinians and the understandable fear of annihilation of the Jews in Israel? Is the only option a desperate Palestinian counter-violent struggle against the structural and military violence of the occupying Israeli state?

The recent firing of Marc Lamont Hill by CNN for calling for a free Palestine once again opens up this Pandora’s box – with little, if any, hope left for a non-violent solution. Many supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, such as Hill and myself, see this strategy as a last-ditch effort to avoid more bloodshed. This is especially important in the US context, as $3.1bn dollars of military aid currently goes to Israel to support such an unjust and inhumane occupation.

Related: CNN ends contract with contributor Mark Lamont Hill after speech on Israel

There can be no Jewish security in an Israeli state that occupies and dominates Palestinians

This status quo – this house of cards – cannot stand

Cornel West is an American philosopher, author, critic, actor, civil rights activist and leading member of Democratic Socialists of America. Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University

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