CNN fired renown pundit Marc Lamont Hill after he criticized Israel during a United Nations speech Wednesday at a meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
“If we are standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people, we must recognize the right of an occupied people to defend itself,” Hill noted during his talk adding he “was boycotting the Israeli water so I was unable to quench my thirst.”
Hill compared the Palestinian movement to the American civil-rights fight and that “we must prioritize peace, but we must not romanticize or fetishize it.”
The educator also commented that the Israeli Government is guilty of “normalizing settler colonialism” and urged for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea.”
The latter remark - which garnered exclusive applause - stirred critics, who claim the utterance directly advocates for violence against Israel, since the phrase is most often used by Hamas.
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, Hill rebutted that the phrase precedes Hamas by decades and succinctly addressed the accusation against him, saying the idea of calling for the destruction of Israel is “absurd on its face.”
Hill reasoned that “it’s also ABSURD and illogical to suggest that a speech that explicitly called for redrawing borders and granting full citizenship for Palestinians IN Israel was also calling for its destruction. People either didn’t listen to the speech or they’re being dishonest.”
Hill clarified but reaffirmed several points without offering any apology.
The educator's profile - in which the media entity referred to Hill as an intellect - was removed from the CNN site and a spokesperson for the agency confirmed, to Fox News, that Hill is no longer under contract with media entity.
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.
Hill is currently a professor at Philadelphia's Temple University, where he teaches media studies and urban education. The institution has not part ways with Hill, but said “his views are his own,” adding that the ex-CNN commentator “has a constitutionally protected right to express his opinion as a private citizen.”
Hill is a former professor at both Columbia University in New York and Atlanta's Morehouse College.