The CNN news network has fired commentator Marc Lamont Hill, after comments he made at a U.N. event for International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which provoked widespread outrage in the Jewish community and beyond.
Hill gave a speech in which he defended Palestinians’ right to violent resistance against Israel and urged that the world “give us what justice requires — and that is a free Palestine from the river to the sea.”
The term has been a favorite of Hamas for years and is regarded as code for their program of terror, implying the elimination of Israel.
Hill also called for the boycott of Israel.
“Marc Lamont Hill is no longer under contract with CNN,” a CNN spokesperson confirmed in an emailed statement to the Washington Examiner.
The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) called on CNN and Temple University in Philadelphia, where he is a professor, to fire Hill.
“The virulent anti-Semitism spewed by Marc Lamont Hill is abhorrent, and his senseless promotion of violence against Israel is repugnant,” said the National Council of Young Israel.
The Anti-Defamation League, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and other Jewish organizations similarly expressed outrage at Hill’s comments.
“In the Trump era, CNN has made countering racism and hatred a large part of their news coverage, so with Marc Lamont Hill’s latest comments calling for the elimination of Israel ‘from the river to the sea,’ it faces a test of whether employing genocidal rhetoric targeting Jews is okay,” Washington Examiner executive editor Philip Klein wrote.
The Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Abraham Cooper denounced Hill as an anti-Semite. “Justice requires a ‘Free Palestine from the River to the Sea’? Marc Lamont Hill is a confirmed anti-Zionist ideologue. His extremist, anti-peace views merit coverage on CNN, not as a paid pundit but as a supreme propagandist unfettered by facts.”
Cooper asked rhetorically, “By the way Marc, where will you put the nearly 9 million Israeli citizens, nearly 20 percent of whom are Arabs? Any Palestinian entity we’ve been told will be Judenrein—only place left is… Mediterranean Sea.”
Hill dismissed the reactions, writing on Twitter that the connection drawn to Hamas “is silly. And inaccurate. ‘River to the sea’ is a phrase that precedes Hamas by more than 50 years. It also has a variety of meanings. In my remarks, which you clearly didn’t hear, I was talking about full citizenship rights IN Israel and a redrawing of the pre-1967 borders.
“I believe in a single secular democratic state for everyone. This is the only way that historic Palestine will be free,” he stated.
Temple University told The Hill that their professor’s views are his own.
“Marc Lamont Hill has been quoted extensively over the last 24 hours,” the university wrote in a statement. “Marc Lamont Hill does not represent Temple University and his views are his own.
“However, we acknowledge that he has a constitutionally protected right to express his opinion as a private citizen.”