CNN came under pressure Wednesday to fire political commentator Marc Lamont Hill after he defended the use of force in the Palestinian resistance and repeated a terrorist slogan calling for abolition of Israel.
Mr. Hill, a Temple University professor who appears regularly on CNN, told a United Nations panel that peace was important but that there was also a role for non-peaceful means, citing the example of the slave revolts.
“We must recognize the right of an occupied people to defend itself,” Mr. Hill said. “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.”
He concluded that “justice requires … a free Palestine from the river to the sea,” an anti-Israel mantra associated with the U.S.-designated terrorist group Hamas.
Anti-Defamation League Senior Vice President Sharon Nazarian told the Jewish Journal, “Those calling for ‘from the river to the sea’ are calling for an end to the State of Israel.”
His comments came during a special meeting on the annual U.N. International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
“It is a shame that once again, this annual event at the United Nations does not promote constructive pathways to ‘Palestinian solidarity’ and a future of peace, but instead divisive and destructive action against Israel,” Ms. Nazarian said.
The National Council of Young Israel called for CNN and Temple University to fire Mr. Hill, saying the “virulent anti-Semitism spewed by Marc Lamont Hill is abhorrent, and his senseless promotion of violence against Israel is repugnant.”
Mr. Hill denied calling for the destruction of the Jewish state, tweeting: “I didn’t say it.”
Mr. Hill has also praised and appeared in photos with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, although he said last month that he disagreed with him on “LGBT/Jewish issues.”
CNN, which did not comment publicly Wednesday, described Mr. Hill on its website as “one of the leading intellectual voices in the country.”
In Wednesday’s speech, Mr. Hill also criticized U.S. progressives who side with Israel versus the Palestinians, an issue that has increasingly divided the Democratic Party.
“We can no longer in particular allow the political left to remain radical or even progressive on every issue, from the environment to war to the economy, to remain progressive on every issue except for Palestine,” he said.