CNN fires Marc Lamont Hill for anti-Israel comments

The US won crucial backing from the EU for the draft resolution that condemns the firing by Hamas of rockets into Israel and demands an end to the violence a measure championed by US Ambassador Nikki Haley

This past week, "hip hop" professor and frequent cable news talking head Marc Lamont Hill lost his gig at CNN after uttering a phrase long perceived to be anti-Semitic.

The comments were painted as anti-Semitic by pro-Israel groups such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the National Council of Young Israel (NCYI).

Marc Lamont Hill, a Temple University professor and CNN political commentator, used the slogan during an address at the United Nations at an event marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

The ADL and others said the "river to the sea" phrase is code for the elimination of Israel. "However, we acknowledge that he has a constitutionally protected right to express his opinion as a private citizen", a Temple spokesperson told Fox News. We must recognize the right of an occupied people to defend themselves.

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"My reference to "river to the sea" was not a call to destroy anything or anyone", he wrote. Hill, speaking at a United Nations event, called for a "free Palestine from the river to the sea".

"The worldwide community can not continue to decry the violation of Palestinian rights and destruction of the two-state solution without acting to end this unlawful situation", Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian UN ambassador, said on Thursday.

But by courageously demanding that Palestinians be made free and equal to all of humankind, Professor Hill apparently broke some taboos of the nominally "neutral" mainstream, with immediate outcome.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley has accused the United Nations of anti-Israel bias, citing the General Assembly's annual adoption of numerous resolutions supporting the Palestinians.

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The obstacles, the UN Secretary-General identified as the continued military occupation of Palestinian territory; ongoing violence and incitement; continued settlement construction and expansion; deep uncertainties about the peace process; and deteriorating humanitarian and economic conditions, particularly in Gaza.

The comments were immediately condemned by critics who said Hill was calling for the end of the Israeli state. "The speech very clearly and specifically said those things".

"It is intolerable that Hill, who describes himself as 'one of the leading intellectual voices in the country, ' has enjoyed important platforms to spread his ignorant and bigoted views", said B'nai B'rith. "It's baffling how people are not responding to the critique, but instead responding to things I didn't actually say".

Since March, Palestinians have been holding weekly "March of Return" protests on the border, which Israel has accused Gaza's Hamas rulers of using to carry out attacks on troops and attempt to breach the security fence. I genuinely believe in the arguments and principles that I shared in the speech.

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