CNN political commentator Marc Lamont Hill, who on Wednesday appeared to call for the elimination of Israel and defended the use of violence, has been terminated from his job at the network.
“Marc Lamont Hill is no longer under contract with CNN,” Matt Dornic, the network spokesman, said Thursday.
Hill made his remarks while speaking during the United Nations International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, as first reported by Arutz Sheva.
“If we are in true solidarity, we must allow the Palestinian people the same range of opportunity and political possibility. We must recognize the right of an occupied people to defend themselves,” Hill said.
“We must prioritize peace, but we must not romanticize or fetishize it. We must advocate and promote non-violence at every opportunity, but cannot endorse narrow politics of respectability that shames Palestinians for resisting, for refusing to do nothing in the face of state violence and ethnic cleansing.”
Hill concluded by saying that justice requires a “free Palestine from the river to the sea.” According to multiple reports, the phrase “Free Palestine from the River to the Sea” is a rallying cry often uttered by Hamas and other Islamic terrorist groups calling for the elimination of the Israeli state.
But Hill said on Twitter on Thursday he did not mean that.
“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,” he wrote.
Hill also wrote on Twitter: “Unfortunately, we are in a moment where any critique of the Israeli government is called anti-Semitic. Any call for Palestinian freedom is seen as an attempt to diminish Israel freedom. This does not have to be, nor should it be, the case.”
Hill’s comments were widely condemned on Twitter, with some pointing out that CNN had taken no action after his U.N. speech.