CNN fired Marc Lamont Hill on Thursday after the longtime contributor made comments about Israel during a U.N. speech.
“Marc Lamont Hill is no longer under contract with CNN,” spokeswoman Barbara Levin told The Washington Post. The company did not answer questions about why he was dismissed. The firing was first reported by Mediaite.
Some mainstream Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, expressed frustration with Hill’s remarks, which also included endorsing the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. Fox News also fanned the flames.
Hill has been pushing back against the criticism, arguing that the detractors were ascribing to his statements meaning that wasn’t there.
“At no point did I endorse, support, or even mention Hamas. This is dishonest,” he said Wednesday on Twitter. “I was very clear in my comments about desiring freedom, justice, and self-determination for EVERYONE.”
On Thursday, he issued a lengthier explanation for his statements. “I support Palestinian freedom. I support Palestinian self-determination. I am deeply critical of Israeli policy and practice,” Hill wrote. “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 said that the “river to the sea” phrase dates to the early 20th century and “has never been the exclusive province of a particular ideological camp.”
“This means that all areas of historic Palestine — e.g., West Bank, Gaza, Israel — must be spaces of freedom, safety, and peace for Palestinians,” he wrote. “The idea that this is a Hamas phrase is simply untrue.”
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
Some used the news of Lamont’s firing to attack CNN.
“FINALLY FIRED,” wrote Sebastian Gorka, a former aide to President Trump. “Now for the rest of the Anti-Semites @CNN and the rest of the Left embrace.”