The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate accused the CNN of consenting to the “Zionist Lobby.”
CNN was accused of “total acquiescence to pressure from the Zionist lobby” for its decision to fire contributor Marc Lamont Hill on November 29th, for calling for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea,” during an event held at the United Nations for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on the previous day.
“We must advocate and promote non-violence,” he said in his comments. “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.”
Hill is a professor of media studies and urban education at Temple who also hosted the syndicated television show “Our World with Black Enterprise.”
“We have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to political action, grassroots 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.
The Philadelphia Enquirer published an opinion piece by Hill on December 1st, “Critics of this phrase have suggested that I was calling for violence against Jewish people. In all honesty, I was stunned, and saddened, that this was the response.”
“Palestine from the river to the sea” was a slogan of the Palestine Liberation Organization beginning with its founding in 1964, claiming a Palestinian state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. It rejects any control by Israel of any land in the region, including areas controlled by Israel before 1967. It later became a political slogan used by Palestinians who reject any compromise with Israel, and most notably of Hamas.
In his article, Hill said that he supported justice in the area from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, in the form of a single bi-national democratic state that encompasses Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
The Ramallah-based Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, which is dominated by loyalists of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction expressed their full solidarity of Marc Hill.
On December 2nd, Al Jazeera published an opinion piece by Mariam Barghouti named “CNN: Facts first, just not on Israel.” In her article, she reviewed Hill’s speech who very much based everything he said on facts. However, “CNN, which last year adopted a new slogan – “Facts first” – did not seem to agree with these facts. After pro-Israel organisations like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned the speech, the TV station was quick to sever its ties with Hill.”
CNN did not disclose why it fired Hill, however Barghouti claimed that to many it is clear that the outlet caved in to pressure from pro-Israel groups, and it really is obvious.
The Zionist lobby is quick to use accusations of anti-Semitism against anybody who criticizes Israel and supports the Palestinian right to self-determination. However, calling for the freedom of Palestinians and for recognition of their human rights is not “anti-Semitic; it is pro-Palestinian.”
This is also another example of a media that claimed objectivity and delivery of “facts first, and be standing up to the ones in power took part in silencing voices.
“Those who do not stand on the “safe side” of things – people like Marc Lamont Hill – have been taking clear positions on Palestine, based on facts and critical thinking. They – like others throughout history who stood up for oppressed peoples’ rights – are vilified and viciously attacked, but they will persevere and continue to speak truth to power, objectively and factually,” Barghouti wrote.