Thursday, November 29, 2018

CNN Drops Commentator After Expressing Solidarity with Palestine
11/29/2018 06:19 PM EST

CNN dropped commentator Marc Lamont Hill on Thursday after he made remarks in support of Palestinian rights that some interpreted as calling for the elimination of Israel.

“Marc Lamont Hill is no longer under contract with CNN,” a network spokesperson told POLITICO.

Speaking at a meeting at the United Nations on Wednesday, Hill called for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea.” The statement, which many say refers to the boundaries of the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, is a rallying cry by several Palestinian groups, including Hamas, and is viewed by some as calling for the elimination of Israel, which currently occupies those boundaries.

The comments received quick backlash from some pro-Israel organizations, which pointed out that “from the river to the sea” has historically been used by groups actively hostile to Israel. The Anti-Defamation League condemned his comments, as well as the UN meeting, which fell on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

“‘Those calling for “from the river to the sea” are calling for an end to the State of Israel,’” the organization wrote on Twitter, quoting Sharon Nazarian, its senior vice president for international affairs. “It’s a shame that once again, this annual Palestinian event at the UN does not promote pathways to a future of peace & instead promotes divisiveness and hate.”

Hill, a longtime media contributor and a professor of media studies at Temple University, spurned criticism of his comment as anti-Semitic or anti-Israel. In a series of tweets, Hill argued that his statement was calling for a reversal of Israeli policy that he said was harmful to Palestinians, and made no reference to dismantling the state of Israel.

“I did not. I have not. And I would not,” Hill tweeted in response to a tweet claiming he called for the destruction of Israel.

“I support Palestinian freedom. I support Palestinian self-determination. I am deeply critical of Israeli policy and practice. 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 tweeted.

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