CNN has severed ties with one of its contributors after a controversy flared up over comments he made about Israel. The Hill quotes a spokesperson for the cable channel saying: “Marc Lamont Hill is no longer under contract with CNN.”
Hill, a Temple University professor, “urged countries to boycott Israel in a speech at the U.N. on Wednesday, calling for a ‘free Palestine from the river to the sea,'” The Hill reports.
Hill is quoted saying in his speech: “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.”
The Hill adds: “The phrase ‘from the river to the sea’ is a phrase used by anti-Israel terror groups, including Hamas, that have stated it wants to replace Israel with a Palestinian state that would extend from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.”
Hill quickly came under fire, with the Anti-Defamation League and the National Council of Young Israel among those speaking out against him today.
He defended the speech today in a series of tweets, writing, “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.”
In another tweet he wrote: “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.”