Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill is defending his controversial comments after CNN cut him loose as an on-air contributor this week.
During a recent address of the United Nations, he used a phrase often associated with anti-Israel activists.
“We have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to political action, grass-roots action, local action and international action that will give us what justice requires and that is a free Palestine from the river to the sea,” Hill said.
His phrasing has been frequently employed by pro-Palestinian and extremists groups to express support for replacing Israel with a new nation of Palestine stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
A CNN spokesperson responded to the growing backlash with a statement confirming that Hill “is no longer under contract” with the cable news network.
The political commentator tweeted on Thursday that he does not harbor antisemitic views and was merely issuing a “call for justice, both in Israel and in the West Bank/Gaza.”
Hill said the entirety of his speech “very clearly and specifically said those things.”
Temple University also provided a statement explaining Hill “does not represent” the college and that “his views are his own.”