The Listening Post

Marc Lamont Hill and the limits on the Israel-Palestine debate

The taboo around the Israel-Palestine debate on US airwaves. Plus, Quechua news and the politics of language in Peru.

On The Listening Post this week: We look at the taboo around the Israel-Palestine debate on the American airwaves. Plus, Quechua news and the politics of language in Peru.

The limits on the Israel-Palestine debate

Last week, a CNN pundit delivered a speech at the United Nations in support of Palestinian self-determination and equal rights.

Less than 24 hours later, CNN was done with Marc Lamont Hill. When you boil it down, he was fired for his use of the words ‘from the river to the sea’ – a reference to the territory of historic Palestine, situated between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean prior to the creation of Israel in 1948.

The reference was deemed anti-Semitic.

Hill’s dismissal came on the heels of a seemingly coordinated attack by pro-Israel lobbying groups that have come to have a large say over what constitutes acceptable discourse on Palestine in the United States, by wilfully conflating legitimate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, and convincing news outlets to do the same.


Omar Baddar – Deputy Director, Arab American Institute
Batya Ungar-Sargon – Opinion editor, the Forward
Abraham Gutman – Opinion & editorial writer, Philadelphia Inquirer
Susan Abulhawa – Writer and author

On our radar

Richard Gizbert speaks to Maria Ressa, founder of the Filipino news site Rappler, about the recent tax evasion charges laid on her, and more generally, about the climate of fear facing all critical journalists in the Philippines amid increasing hostility from President Rodrigo Duterte‘s government.

Nuqanchik: Peruvian news and the politics of language

Over 45 percent of Peru‘s population is indigenous – a demographic fact that the country’s media have long failed to reflect.

It starts with language. Spanish dominates the airwaves. But over the past year, the country’s public broadcaster, Canal Peru, has launched two new news programmes in Peru’s main indigenous languages, Aymara and Quechua.

One of those programmes is called ‘Nuqanchik’, which is Quechua for ‘Us’. The appearance of Quechua – the most widely-spoken indigenous language in the Americas – on a national TV channel is being seen as an attempt to redress the racist legacies of the colonial era.

The Listening Post‘s Marcela Pizarro reports from Lima with the journalists behind ‘Nuqanchik’.


Clodomiro Landeo – Presenter, ‘Nuqanchik’
Marisol Mesa – Presenter, ‘Nuqanchik’
Hugo Coya – Director, National Institute of Radio and Television
Raul Castro – Media anthropologist
Patricia del Rio – Host, Radio Television Peru