American lecturer, writer and CNN analyst Marc Lamont-Hill was promptly dismissed from employment after making a speech to the United Nations on the Day of Solidarity for Palestinians calling for freedom and justice for Palestine.
His speech which called for the rights of Palestinians, and “international action that will give us what justice requires and that is a free Palestine from the river to the sea”. His comments immediately caused huge backlash from the Conservatives as well as being called anti-Semitic in the eyes of a majority Jewish-controlled CNN. His comments were seen by Israel advocates as being similar to those used by Hamas which in their eyes advocate for the destruction of Israel.
Hill’s comments form a part of the continuing trend that sees any remotely anti-Israel comments in the Western media gagged and severely punished. Not only does this raise huge concerns over the control of US mainstream media, media bias and objectivity. The question of free speech comes into the fore when it is used by one group to silence and stifle the speech of another especially one that criticises Israel.
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate in a statement on Sunday, called on Hill to visit occupied Palestine to experience the reality and suffering of the Palestinian people under the blatant racist discrimination of the Israeli government.
The union calls on all journalists and the Palestinian media to participate in the solidarity stand with Mark Hill on Monday at 5pm at Khan al-Ahmar village in East Jerusalem.
Hill comments on his Facebook page today expressing regret on using the phrase “from the river to the sea” and how this has been misconstrued. He however reiterates that his critique and political position for the basic human rights for Palestinians remain until they are free in every sense of the word.