CNN released political commentator Marc Lamont Hill on Thursday, a day after he made incendiary comments in a United Nations speech in which he condoned the use of force by Palestinians against Israel.
“Marc Lamont Hill is no longer under contract with CNN,” said a network spokesperson.
Meanwhile, Temple University defended the free-speech rights of Mr. Hill, a professor of media studies and urban education there, who compared Palestinian terrorism to the slave revolts and repeated a terrorist mantra calling for Israel’s elimination.
“Marc Lamont Hill does not represent Temple University and his views are his own,” said the statement. “However, we acknowledge that he has a constitutionally protected right to express his opinion as a private citizen.”
Mr. Hill, a liberal political analyst, said that “justice requires … a free Palestine from the river to the sea,” a slogan associated with the terrorist group Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization.
“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.”
He added, “We must advocate and promote non-violence 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.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition launched Thursday a phone campaign to have Mr. Hill fired from Temple, saying that his “call for creating a Palestinian state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea” would mean the “complete annihilation of Israel.”
“This slogan is not a dog whistle, it is as blatant as a swastika daubed in red paint,” tweeted Dani Dayan, Israeli counsel general in New York City. “This slogan unites Hamas, ISIS, Iranian Ayatollahs, Al Qaeda, and far-left groups in the West under a vision of ethnically cleansing Jews from their homeland and denying Jews their inalienable right to self determination.”
Shortly before CNN released him, Mr. Hill denied calling for Israel’s destruction and insisted he was not anti-Semitic.
“I support Palestinian freedom. I support Palestinian self-determination,” Mr. Hill tweeted. “I am deeply critical of Israeli policy and practice. I do not support anti-Semitism, killing Jewish people or any of the other things attributed to my speech.”
Mr. Hill, who was dropped by Fox News in 2010, also works as a host for BET News.
Mr. Hill had previously come under fire for praising and appearing in photos with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, although he said last month that he disagreed with him on “LGBT/Jewish issues.”
His speech Wednesday, timed to the annual U.N. Day of Palestinian Solidarity, was delivered at a special meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and was greeted with applause.
At one point, Mr. Hill interrupted his remarks to pour himself a glass of water, saying he was thirsty because he had just returned from the Middle East and “I was boycotting the Israeli water.”
The Anti-Defamation League called it “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.”