CNN fired contributor Marc Lamont Hill after public outrage followed upon incendiary comments he made about the country of Israel.
"A free Palestine from the river to the sea"
“Marc Lamont Hill is no longer under contract with CNN,” the cable news network said in a statement reported by Mediaite Thursday.
Both CNN and Hill were deluged with criticism after comments Hill made that many saw as advocating for the destruction of Israel in favor of Palestinian land claims.
“We have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to political action," Hill said in the speech, "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."
Much of the criticism came from his use of the phrase "from the river to the sea," which is used by extremist groups to advocate for the erasure completely of the Israeli state and replacement with a Palestinian nation.
Hill denied that his use of the phrase was in support of the destruction of Israel, and said that he was merely favoring more freedom for Palestinians.
"It’s absurd on its face"
Hill tried to place his comments into context on his social media account.
"Yesterday, I gave a speech at the UN in which I critiqued Israel’s polices and practices toward Palestinians," he tweeted. "It’s baffling how people are not responding to the critique, but instead responding to things I didn’t actually say."
Yesterday, I gave a speech at the UN in which I critiqued Israel’s polices and practices toward Palestinians. It’s… https://t.co/3GArMHu4ex— Marc Lamont Hill (@Marc Lamont Hill)1543507131.0
"In my speech, I talked about the need to return to the pre-1967 borders," he added, "to give full rights to Palestinian citizens of Israel, and to allow right of return. No part of this is a call to destroy Israel. It’s absurd on its face."
"I believe in full rights for all citizens," he added. "I believe in safety for all citizens. I believe in self-determination for all citizens. This is not an anti-Semitic position."
Unfortunately, we are in a moment where any critique of the Israeli government is called anti-Semitic. Any call for… https://t.co/ftOtwPlJe5— Marc Lamont Hill (@Marc Lamont Hill)1543507484.0
"Unfortunately, we are in a moment where any critique of the Israeli government is called anti-Semitic," he added. "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."