CNN Fires Pundit For Endorsing Violent Palestinian 'Resistance'
The liberal-leaning network confirmed in a concise press release that contributor Marc Lamont Hill is "no longer under contract."
The university professor's termination comes after his anti-Israel speech at the United Nations.
Hill urged countries to boycott Israel in a speech on Wednesday, calling for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea.” His comments sparked an immediate backlash, with many noting “from the river to the sea” is a phrase used by Hamas and other anti-Israel terror groups. Critics argue the phrase implies the replacement of Israel by a Palestine stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea — though Hill disputes this characterization of his comments.
“We have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to political action, grass-roots action, local action and international action that will give us what justice requires and that is a free Palestine from the river to the sea,” Hill said in his speech.
On Thursday, Hill rejected accusations of anti-Semitism in several tweets:
I support Palestinian freedom. I support Palestinian self-determination. I am deeply critical of Israeli policy and practice.— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) November 29, 2018
I do not support anti-Semitism, killing Jewish people, or any of the other things attributed to my speech. I have spent my life fighting these things.
My reference to “river to the sea” was not a call to destroy anything or anyone. It was a call for justice, both in Israel and in the West Bank/Gaza. The speech very clearly and specifically said those things. No amount of debate will change what I actually said or what I meant.— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) November 29, 2018
This isn’t a case of throwing rocks and hiding hands. I genuinely believe in the arguments and principles that I shared in the speech. I also genuinely want peace, freedom, and security for everyone. These are not competing ideals and values.— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) November 29, 2018
However, another excerpt from Hill's speech condoned violence.
“Contrary to western mythology, black resistance to American apartheid did not come purely through Ghandi and nonviolence,” Hill said. “Rather, slave revolts and self-defense and tactics otherwise divergent from Dr. King or Mahatma Gandhi were equally important to preserving safety and attaining freedom. If we are to operate in true solidarity with the Palestinian people, we must allow the Palestinian people the same range of opportunity and political possibility. If we are standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people, we must recognize the right of an occupied people to defend itself. We must prioritize peace, but we must not romanticize or fetishize it. We must advocate and promote nonviolence at every opportunity, but we cannot endorse a narrow politics of respectability that shames Palestinians for resisting, for refusing to do nothing in the face of state violence and ethnic cleansing.”