CNN Fires Marc Lamont Hill Following Controversial Remarks On Palestine And Israel

Hill called for 'a free Palestine from the river to the sea.'

Mark Lamont Hill sits staring pensively into the distance.
D Dipasupil / Getty Images

Hill called for 'a free Palestine from the river to the sea.'

CNN has confirmed the firing of contributor Marc Lamont Hill over remarks he made in a speech that endorsed the Palestinians’ use of all methods of resistance against Israel, and called upon the international community to weigh economic methods of punishment in condemnation of the nation-state’s treatment of its native non-Jewish population.

As Newsweek reported prior to the network going public about its decision, Hill came under fire from the Anti-Defamation League, the National Council of Young Israel, and various other public figures and groups that found his words before the United Nations on Wednesday, November 28, to be anti-Semitic in nature.

During the 21-minute address, the Temple University professor and BET host cited more than 60 laws that he says have been instituted to deny Palestinians full citizen rights. He also called out the Israeli government’s sanctioning of human rights violations through oppressive policing of Palestinian territories and civilians, at one point rehashing the characterization of Gaza as the “largest open air prison in the world.” But the one line that critics have underscored as particularly troubling involved Hill appearing to advocate for the elimination of the Jewish state when he called for “a free Palestine from the river to the sea,”

In its coverage of the controversial remarks, The Hill points out that the phrase is one that Hamas and other violent groups have used as a rallying cry to wage terror against Israel, with the implication being that every bit of land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea belongs to the Palestinian people.

Hill has spent much of his time since the UN appearance defending his remarks on Twitter.

“At 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,” he’d go on to tweet after claiming that the “river to the sea” quote predated the creation of Hamas by at least 50 years.

Many of Hill’s critics are accusing him of calling for the destruction of Israel on the basis of parallels he drew between the Palestinian struggle and the history of his enslaved ancestors who at times employed means of violent rebellion against their so-called masters. Hill warned against demonizing the people of Palestine for uprising via violent resistance, while urging those on the outside looking in to boycott, divest, and impose sanctions should they wish to utilize “non-violent means by which to demand a return to the pre-1967 borders, full rights for Palestinian citizens, and the right of return as dictated by international law.”