The CNN headquarters in Atlanta.
The CNN headquarters in Atlanta. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: US network CNN said Thursday it severed ties with a contributor after he made comments at UN event calling for a just solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“Marc Lamont Hill is no longer under contract with CNN,” a spokesperson said in a brief statement published on the television channel’s website.

Twitter was ablaze with many users criticising the news network for the firing saying Hill was just shedding light on an important human rights issues.

Marc Lamont-Hill Image Credit: Supplied

They praised his bravery for standing up for justice for the Palestinians, even though such comments are frequently attacked viciously in the American media.

Many major news outlets in America and globally as well have been called out on their pro-Israeli bias.

Arab-American writer and Gulf News contributor James Zoghby wrote on Twitter: “This is a disgrace. ⁦@marclamonthill⁩ is a fierce advocate for justice & rights. #CNN fires him for a speech he gave at the UN. Some pro-Israel groups protested & CNN buckled. There is no tolerance for open debate on #Palestinian rights.”

This is a disgrace. Hill is a fierce advocate for justice. Some pro-Israel groups protested & CNN buckled. There
is no tolerance for open debate on #Palestinian rights.”

- James Zoghby, American journalist

Another Arab-American journalist, Rania Khalek wrote: “Outraged to hear that @CNN fired Marc Lamont Hill for advocating for Palestinian rights in a speech to the UN. Calling for Palestinians to have equal rights in their ancestral lands is NOT racism or anti-Semitism. Shame on Israel’s speech suppression lobbyists and shame on CNN!”

Hill, who is a professor at Philadelphia’s Temple University, had one day prior called to “free Palestine from the river to the sea”.

Pro-Israel pundits were quick to chastise Hill for his comments accusing him of being anti-semetic—a common description attributed to anyone who criticises Israeli policies.

He made the remarks while speaking at a meeting at the United Nations held for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Hill addressed the issue on Twitter, writing that “my reference to ‘river to the sea’ was not a call to destroy anything or anyone.”

“It was a call for justice, both in Israel and in the West Bank/Gaza,” he tweeted.

“The speech very clearly and specifically said those things.”

“I support Palestinian freedom. I support Palestinian self-determination. I am deeply critical of Israeli policy and practice,” he continued.

“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.”