Rep.-elect Rashida Tlaib criticized CNN for firing commentator Marc Lamont Hill, one day after the liberal pundit called for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea” in a speech at the United Nations.
The phrase has often been used by Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups and implies the removal or destruction of the state of Israel.
Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress, responded to the firing on Twitter. “Calling out the oppressive policies in Israel, advocating for Palestinians to be respected, and for Israelis and Palestinians alike to have peace and freedom is not antisemitic,” she tweeted. “@CNN, we all have a right to speak up about injustice any and everywhere.”
She also retweeted a petition calling on CNN to apologize and re-hire Hill.
Tlaib, who represents a Detroit-area district, is the first Democratic member of Congress to call for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In a series of tweets, Hill denied that he was anti-Semitic or that his speech called for the elimination of Israel, claiming instead that he supported Palestinian freedom and self-determination.
Hill has long been an outspoken critic of the Israeli government. In his U.N. speech, he also called for countries to boycott Israel. He previously came under fire last month after it emerged that a photo of him smiling with the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan was being used to promote Farrakhan’s album.