Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill was fired from his role as a CNN commentator after he gave a speech critical of Israel at the United Nations on Wednesday, Mediaite reported on Thursday.
“We have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words,” Hill said at the conclusion of his speech during a Palestinian solidarity event, “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.”
Immediately, pro-Israel commentators and groups jumped on Hill’s comments as anti-Semitic and even genocidal, due to the “free Palestine from the river to the sea” line’s association with Palestinian nationalist groups.
“The virulent anti-Semitism spewed by Marc Lamont Hill is abhorrent, and his senseless promotion of violence against Israel is repugnant,” the National Council of Young Israel said on Wednesday. “With his racist views and unabashed denigration of Israel, Dr. Hill does not deserve to be given any sort of platform that facilitates the dissemination of his bigotry, whether it be on Cable TV or in a classroom.”
Hill responded on Thursday and stressed that he said nothing even remotely calling for violence against Jewish people—because he, uh, didn’t.
Apparently, this wasn’t enough for CNN. “Marc Lamont Hill is no longer under contract with CNN,” a CNN spokesperson confirmed to Mediaite on Thursday.
It shouldn’t need to be pointed out that this is an objectively ridiculous response to what Hill said, especially in the context of his earlier comments during the speech comparing the apartheid-like conditions the Israeli government has imposed on Palestinians with Jim Crow in America. Per Mediaite:
“Contrary to western mythology, black resistance to American apartheid did not come purely through Gandhi and nonviolence,” Hill said. “Rather, slave revolts and self-defense and tactics otherwise divergent from Dr. King or Mahatma Gandhi were equally important to preserving safety and attaining freedom. If we are to operate in true solidarity with the Palestinian people, we must allow the Palestinian people the same range of opportunity and political possibility. If we are standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people, we must recognize the right of an occupied people to defend itself. We must prioritize peace, but we must not romanticize or fetishize it. We must advocate and promote nonviolence at every opportunity, but we cannot endorse a narrow politics of respectability that shames Palestinians for resisting, for refusing to do nothing in the face of state violence and ethnic cleansing.”
Also, as many observers noted, CNN continues to employ hardline anti-Palestinians like Rick Santorum, who once said, “All the people that live in the West Bank are Israelis. They are not Palestinians. There is no Palestinian. This is Israeli land.”
I have reached out to CNN for comment about why one of these viewpoints is allowed on their network and one isn’t and will update if I hear back.
Remember folks: the biggest threats to free speech in America are liberal college students, social media companies who’ve banned one or two Nazis from their platforms, and BDS. Anyway, be sure to tune into CNN today, tomorrow, and every day after that for the Rick Santorum Show.