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January 31, 2019 10:53 am

Anti-Israel Op-Ed ‘Plagiarizes’ Marc Lamont Hill Speech

avatar by Simon Plosker

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Marc Lamont Hill. Photo: Wayne Riley / Wikimedia Commons.

Anti-Israel activists tend to recycle slurs and canards over and over in their efforts to denigrate and delegitimize Israel. But even we were surprised at South African academic Dr. Oscar Van Heerden’s opinion piece in The Daily Maverick.

Van Heerden opens:

The Palestinians are being decimated. Bombs are being dropped on them, rockets are deployed to kill them and snipers are at the ready to finish the job where the other methods failed. It begs the question, what have these Arabs done to deserve such treatment? And, what can be done to stop it?

You probably already get the picture.

What follows has been systematically and effectively taken apart by Dan Diker, Rolene Marks, and David Kaplan in a follow-up response in the Maverick:

Far from offering a professional assessment or even the ruminations of an amateur activist untrained in the complexities of the Palestinian Israeli conflict, Van Heerden issues a clarion call for the annihilation of the Jewish peoples’ “apartheid” nation-state and recommends that Iranian terror proxies Hezbollah and Hamas assist in carrying out the mission.

This lethal combination of malice of forethought and deep unfamiliarity with the subject matter insults the intelligence of the many South African leaders, scholars and business people who have visited Israel as well as virtually each of the east and west African nations whose presidents and prime ministers have sought out the Jewish state to assist them in vital areas such as counter-terrorism, cybersecurity, water desalination, agriculture, food and waste technology, for starters.

(You can read the full article here.)

It’s questionable, however, as to how Van Heerden’s piece ever made it past the Maverick’s editor. After his own anti-Israel invective, Van Heerden writes: “let’s refer to a recent speech delivered by Marc Lamont [sic] at the United Nations International Day of Solidarity with Palestine in which he references the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

But Van Heerden doesn’t just “refer” to the speech that cost Marc Lamont Hill his CNN commentator job. Out of a nearly 3,000 word piece, 68 percent of Van Heerden’s text is lifted — word for word — from Hill’s speech.

One of the definitions of plagiarism is: “copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not.”

We think that Van Heerden’s piece certainly qualifies.

Did Van Heerden really understand so little about the subject matter that he had to regurgitate someone else’s hateful words?

The Daily Maverick should be ashamed and embarrassed that Oscar Van Heerden’s lazy and intellectually flawed op-ed ever saw the light of day.

Simon Plosker is the managing editor of HonestReporting, the world’s largest grassroots organization monitoring anti-Israel media bias. This article was originally published by HonestReporting.

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