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EXCLUSIVE: CNN Fires Marc Lamont Hill Following Israel Comments

CNN severed ties with contributor Marc Lamont Hill on Thursday, following comments the university professor made about Israel and Palestine in a speech at the United Nations.

“Marc Lamont Hill is no longer under contract with CNN,” a CNN spokesperson told Mediaite.

Hill urged countries to boycott Israel in a speech on Wednesday, calling for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea.” His comments sparked an immediate backlash, with many noting “from the river to the sea” is a phrase used by Hamas and other anti-Israel terror groups. The phrase implies the replacement of Israel by a Palestine stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea — though Hill disputes this characterization of his comments.

“We have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to political action, 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,” Hill said in his speech.

His comments were condemned as anti-Semitic by the National Council of Young Israel and Anti-Defamation League.

On Thursday, Hill rejected accusations of anti-Semitism in several tweets:

More from his speech at the U.N.:

“Contrary to western mythology, black resistance to American apartheid did not come purely through Ghandi and nonviolence,” Hill said. “Rather, slave revolts and self-defense and tactics otherwise divergent from Dr. King or Mahatma Gandhi were equally important to preserving safety and attaining freedom. 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. We must advocate and promote nonviolence at every opportunity, but we cannot endorse a narrow politics of respectability that shames Palestinians for resisting, for refusing to do nothing in the face of state violence and ethnic cleansing.”

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