CNN fires pundit who called for elimination of Israel

CNN lets go of Marc Lamont Hill after he calls for 'free Palestine from the River to the Sea' at the UN.

Gary Willig,

Mark Lemant Hill
Mark Lemant Hill
United Nations

CNN has reportedly fired a contributor who called for the elimination of the Jewish State of Israel during a speech at the United Nations, Mediaite reported.

Mark Lamont Hill addressed the opening meeting of the United Nations commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on Wednesday.

In his speech, which was first reported by Arutz Sheva, Hill explicitly endorsed the BDS movement and said that "justice requires" a "Free Palestine from the River to the Sea," a phrase that has long been used to call for the destruction of Israel and its replacement by a Palestinian Arab State.

He also appeared to endorse violence against the State of Israel

"Contrary to western mythology, black resistance to American apartheid was not" purely nonviolent, he said. "Tactics otherwise divergent from Dr. King or Gandhi were equally important to preserving safety and attaining freedom. If we are in true solidarity, we must allow them the same range of opportunity and political possibility. We must recognize the right of an occupied people to defend themselves. We must prioritize peace, but we must not romanticize or fetishize it. We must promote non violence at every opportunity, but cannot endorse narrow politics that shames Palestinians for resisting, for refusing to do nothing in ethnic cleansing," Hill said.

CNN confirmed to multiple news outlets on Thursday that Hill had been terminated.

“Marc Lamont Hill is no longer under contract with CNN," the company said in an email.

Hill's comments drew accusations of anti-Semitism from mainstream Jewish groups in the US.

Sharon Nazarian, the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) senior vice president for international affairs, condemned Hill’s remarks.

“Those calling for ‘from the river to the sea’ are calling for an end to the State of Israel,” Nazarian told the Jewish Journal in an email.

“It is a shame that once again, this annual event at the United Nations does not promote constructive pathways to ‘Palestinian solidarity’ and a future of peace, but instead divisive and destructive action against Israel,” Nazarian added.

Similarly, Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper told the Jewish Journal in an email, “Justice requires a ‘Free Palestine from the River to the Sea’? Marc Lamont Hill is a confirmed anti-Zionist ideologue. His extremist, anti-peace views merit coverage on CNN, not as a paid pundit but as a supreme propagandist unfettered by facts.”

Cooper added, “By the way Marc, where will you put the nearly 9 million Israeli citizens, nearly 20% of whom are Arabs? Any Palestinian entity we’ve been told will be Judenrein—only place left is… Mediterranean Sea."

The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) called on CNN and Temple University to fire Hill following his highly offensive anti-Semitic remarks.

“The virulent anti-Semitism spewed by Marc Lamont Hill is abhorrent, and his senseless promotion of violence against Israel is repugnant,” said the National Council of Young Israel.

“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.”

“In light of Dr. Hill’s malevolent anti-Semitic remarks, we call upon CNN and Temple University to fire him immediately,” continued the NCYI. “Neither CNN nor Temple should countenance anti-Semitism, and their failure to take swift action and terminate Dr. Hill would make them complicit in sanctioning bigotry and anti-Semitism. With such hate-filled views that are antithetical to basic human decency, Marc Lamont Hill should not be rewarded by serving as a pundit or a professor, and both CNN and Temple have a duty to dismiss Dr. Hill and renounce his anti-Semitic beliefs.”

Human rights activist Anne Bayefsky, Director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust and President of Human Rights Voices, who witnessed the event firsthand, stated: "I have been watching the UN's so-called Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People for decades and this was an especially obscene UN moment that reveals the true nature of the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish animus of the modern United Nations."

"CNN commentator and Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill's call at the United Nations for the destruction of the Jewish state was not some accident. He didn't misspeak. He was an invited guest. He was the only person invited to speak as 'the' representative of 'civil society.' When he ended his extraordinary tirade with 'Give us a free Palestine from the river to the sea' his words were met by a round of applause. The only applause for any speaker," she observed.

"The host and Chair of the 'UN Committee for the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,' Senegalese Ambassador Cheikh Niang, thanked him profusely for his 'elegant words' & 'hailed civil society organizations.' There are no excuses for democratic nations to tolerate, to support and to finance a world organization that has profoundly corrupted its spirit and purpose."


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