CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill was fired on Thursday, following comments he made about Israel, during a speech at a United Nations assembly.
Hill, a media studies professor at Temple University, in Pennsylvania, was criticized for calling for a â€śfree Palestine from the river to the seaâ€ť during his speech.
The words drew criticism from several conservatives and advocates for Israel, who claimed that such remarks â€śechoed language used by Hamas and other groups that seek to eliminate Israel.â€ť
Hill posted on his Twitter account, fighting back at the criticism, “I support Palestinian freedom. I support Palestinian self-determination. I am deeply critical of Israeli policy and practice. 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.”
He added, â€śAt no point did I endorse, support, or even mention Hamas. This is dishonest. I was very clear in my comments about desiring freedom, justice, and self-determination for EVERYONE.â€ť
He also explained that the â€śriver to the seaâ€ť phrase dates to the early 20th century and â€śhas never been the exclusive province of a particular ideological camp.â€ť
â€śThis means that all areas of historic Palestine â€” e.g., West Bank, Gaza, Israel â€” must be spaces of freedom, safety, and peace for Palestinians.â€ť
Hill stressed, â€śThe idea that this is a Hamas phrase is simply untrue.â€ť
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.