CNN announced that it has parted with contributor Marc Lamont Hill after he delivered a controversial speech before the United Nations that was heavily criticized by Jewish groups.
In his speech on Wednesday, Hill said that while he prefers the non-violent approaches of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, standing with the Palestinian people meant supporting the use of violence to defend themselves.
“Slave revolts and self-defense and tactics otherwise divergent from Dr. King or Mahatma Gandhi were equally important to preserving safety and attaining freedom,” he told attendees at the U.N.’s International Day of Solidarity event. “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,” he added.’
Hill also said he believes in “a free Palestine from the river to the sea,” a phrase which many believe means that a future Palestinian state should include the entirety of current Israeli territory, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
The Anti-Defamation League roundly criticized Hill’s speech in a tweet.
“Those calling for ‘from the river to the sea’ are calling for an end to the State of Israel.” It's a shame that once again, this annual Palestinian event at the UN does not promote pathways to a future of peace & instead promotes divisiveness and hate. https://t.co/U1FgZ3JZvm
— ADL (@ADL_National) November 29, 2018
Hill responded that this argument was “absurd” and said he supported the return to pre-1967 borders.
In my speech, I talked about the need to return to the pre-1967 borders, 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.
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) November 29, 2018
This isn’t the first time Hill has lost a cable news gig. Fox News fired Hill in 2009 after making a series of controversial remarks including how he would like to meet the convicted cop killers Assata Shakur and Mumia Abu Jamal.