Temple University Refuses To Fire Professor Dumped By CNN For Anti-Israel Comments

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Temple University professor and CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill caused a stir after he spoke before the United Nations and made pro-Palestinian statements that critics claimed were thinly veiled calls for the elimination of Israel.  CNN promptly fired Hill and many at Temple University demanded that the media studies professor also be fired.  Temple correctly stood firm on the free speech rights of faculty to speak out on such important but controversial issues. While disassociating itself from the merits of the commentary, the university stated that “we acknowledge that he has a constitutionally protected right to express his opinion as a private citizen.”

We have been discussing the often inconsistent approach taken to controversial statements or postings of students and faculty at our universities and colleges, including here and here and here. I have previously written about concerns that public employees are increasingly being disciplined for actions in their private lives or views or associations outside of work. We have previously seen teachers (herehereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehere, here) students (herehere and here) and other public employees (here and here and here) fired for their private speech or conduct, including school employees fired for posing in magazines (here), appearing on television shows in bikinis (here), or having a prior career in the adult entertainment industry (here).  This includes Halloween costume controversies.

In this case, Hill spoke at a meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. He called the Israeli government of “normalizing settler colonialism” and called for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea.” That last remark was denounced as a type of dog whistle for the elimination of the States of Israel.  He also at one point poured himself from water and explained that he just got off a plane to Palestine and that “I was boycotting the Israeli water so I was unable to quench my thirst.”  He also said somewhat cryptically “We must prioritize peace, but we must not romanticize or fetishize it.”

He later defended his remarks by insisting that “In my speech, I talked about the need to return to the pre-1967 borders, to give full rights to Palestinian citizens of Israel, and to allow right of return. No part of this is a call to destroy Israel. It’s absurd on its face.”

Not so for CNN which promptly fired him.

Temple refused calls to do so.  That is the correct decision.  This is not about the merits of Hill’s statements — any more than it is about the merits of the criticism of those remarks.  Hill was exercising his free speech rights outside of his employment with Temple.  Regardless of how one may feel about his views, academics are allowed to hold opposing views on Israel.  If not, what is the standard to be applied to academics in the exercise of free speech?

Here is his speech that caused the turmoil:



118 thoughts on “Temple University Refuses To Fire Professor Dumped By CNN For Anti-Israel Comments”

  1. He’s lucky, in this political atmosphere. Saudi Arabia can do no wrong. Putin can do no wrong. Israel has America’s complete support regardless of how they are cleaning house. etc. This is Trump the oligarch, autocrat, buffoon.

    1. Do you have Tourette’s Syndrome??? I notice you always hatefully spit out something bad about Trump, which is not what one would expect from someone your age. But you seem unable to comment without doing it. Like a tobacco-chewer can’t help having to spit.

      Is it involuntary on your part??? If so, I will quit teasing you about it.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      1. And you hatefully spit out something bad about anyone who doesn’t agree with your fawning over that disgrace in the Oval Office, that piece of shite that makes fun of almost everyone, who states openly that everyone who came before has been wrong, doing it wrong, don’t know what they were doing, etc., etc.. That is the most derogatory statement I can make about you, many, many, many times worse than any disease.

        1. There you go again!

          C’mon, how old are you? You are still behaving like a 5 year old whose Mommy wouldn’t let her have a cookie. Sooo, she stomps her feet and runs around hollering “Mommy doesn;t love me!”

          You should be ashamed. Look at you said, “that piece of shite that makes fun of almost everyone, who states openly that everyone who came before has been wrong, doing it wrong, don’t know what they were doing, etc., etc..”

          Stop stomping your feet for a second, shut your trap about Mommy, and answer me this:

          Did the people who came before know what they were doing? Because from what I can see, they didn’t. We launched an aggressive war against Iraq, our infrastructure is crap, millions of illegal cheap laborers have invaded the country, our jobs have been outsourced to China and Mexico, record numbers of Americans are committing suicide via various forms of dope while we decide to legalize pot, half of some populations have STDs, and educational grades and test scores are in decline. There are large swaths of America where people head indoors and hunker down as soon as the sun goes down because of the violence.

          And who does Widdle Isaac get mad at??? The mean old Republican who points it out.

          Yeah Isaac, you’re really something else.

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

  2. What I remember most about the Palestinians is that they were dancing in the streets on 9/11

  3. Even though I am generally a liberal, I have to agree with Professor Hill in this case, that the Palestinians deserve equal standing with the Israelis in their region, and that Hill has the right to freely express this view. In my opinion, the WW2 Holocaust in Europe has given the Jews in general, and Israelis in particular, a deed to the moral high ground. And that because of that, Israel can do no wrong. And that any objection to an Israeli policy or action is “antisemitism.”

    1. They don’t ‘deserve’ a blessed thing from the Jews or anyone else. If they’re willing to build and maintain local communities and local enterprises, they’re properly accorded the fruits of that. That’s what they’re not willing to do. The whole political order on the West Bank and in Gaza and in the UNRWA camps is directed toward harassing the Jews, not toward any concrete accomplishments.

    1. Sooo, CNN is run by left-wing liberal Jews, and when someone gets canned for criticizing Israel, we blame right-wingers??? What a crock!

      Greenwald usually has good ideas, but I think he has conflated “right-wing” outrage with CNN’s decision. If right-wing outrage is what motivates CNN, Jim Acosta would have been fired long ago, with over half of the other CNN employees.

      Noting that the right-wing outrage was hypocritical is one thing, and he is reasonable about that. But that ain’t what got Hill fired. The left-wing Liberal Jews done that! And I support them on this!

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

  4. Hill is undoubtedly in an employment contract with the university.

    If so, he cannot be fired unless he violates the terms of the contract.

    It’s highly unlikely comments like this would violate an employment contract.

    My undergrad psychology professor used to joke that once a professor is tenured, the standard of future employment is how many children he has to rape in public on campus before he gets fired.

    1. As a general rule, tenured faculty can be fired if their programs are eliminated. He teaches in expendable programs.

      1. It’s up to the state legislature to decide what programs public universities teach.

        Besides, firing him wouldn’t solve anything. A man with his credentials would simply be hired at another university in another state.

        My state would have no problem hiring him. He never proposed killing Jewish people. He simply says he wants Palestinian self-determination. Keeping the two groups mostly separated artificially has led to increased ethnic tension.

        In South Africa, when the government engaged in a policy of ethnic integration, inter-ethnic violence dropped precipitously.

        1. ProsecutorMilesEdgeworth – state legislatures do not get involved unless buildings are involved. The President/Chancellor of the institution decides on overall programming and each department decides on the courses offered each semester/quarter.

          For instance, the legislature would approve the school of law but not the courses offered.

          1. The state legislatures control the funding to public universities. The poster I am replying to says the professor could be removed through defunding. It would be up to the legislature to cut funds to the university to get him to leave, which would be pointless because he would simply be hired elsewhere.

        2. “He simply says he wants Palestinian self-determination. Keeping the two groups mostly separated artificially has led to increased ethnic tension.”

          Blind as a bat. I guess that is why the recent name change without a step up from prior silliness.

        3. Keeping the two groups mostly separated artificially has led to increased ethnic tension.

          A judgment I’d expect from a spergy neckbeard. How would such a person make a living practicing law?

        4. Besides, firing him wouldn’t solve anything.

          Yes it would. It would clean up a mess at Temple University. If someone else wishes to make that mess their own, that’s their problem.

          And his ‘credentials’ aren’t worth cr!p. He’d be hired because the bozos who run higher education like to have lawn jockeys.

          1. “A judgment I’d expect from a spergy neckbeard.” -Wretched

            “…the bozos who run higher education like to have lawn jockeys.” -Wretched, again

            This wretched one is really a piece of work. Another crazy, angry American spouting off in the comments section of a blog.

            1. I’m telling the truth, which bothers avocational liars of which there are quite a crew on these boards. Diane is foremost among them.

  5. Since JT loves to post about free speech, maybe he can explain the memo federal workers got wednesday about using the the words resist or impeachment at work.

      1. ” Using federal workers as a political machine” ? Really? What the hell does that mean when it comes to Trump’s “acting AG” ? Or his cabinet? Or his statements on the Justice department? Or Federal judges? His white house press secretary? Trump has tried and used federal workers as a political machine from day one. My God he just used US soldiers at our border as political machines.

        1. Your questions are stupid and irrelevant. Every person you named is a discretionary appointee.

  6. OK, sooo here is your Thought Problem for the day!

    One, Julius Streicher, is a Professor of Journalism at Temple University. He gives a speech which contains the following quotes:

    “We handed the most important belongings of our people — the railroads and the banks — to [the Jews] who 2000 years ago had turned the temple into a house of usury. Back then there was a man who had the bravery to drive out these scoundrels with a whip! If today a[n] [angry black man] is seen with such a temple-whip, he’s thrown into jail. ”

    “Who are the moneylenders? They are those who were driven out of the Temple by Christ Himself 2000 years ago. They are those who never work but live on fraud.”

    “You are blinded and you serve the God of the Jews, who is not the God of love but the God of hatred. Why don’t you listen to Christ Himself, who said to the Jews: “Ye are of your father the devil!” ”

    “That’s why the peoples have to die — so that the Jew can live. He drives the peoples to war to make a profit from the fratricide of the white race. In the World War 11 million gentiles had to die. The Jew was the winner.”

    “The Roman historian Tacitus once said, that the health and the disease of a state can be measured in the number of its laws. If we [Americans] nowadays look at the huge number of laws, we have to say, that it’s not health, but death that we’re approaching. … It is strange that it is Social Democracy of all movements, which in the old state complained about exceptions, that now issues exception laws itself. These exception-laws are means of force and are created in the parliaments with the help of supranational financial powers. … In the old state an interest rate of more than 6 percent was deemed usury. Today this usury is legalized. It was YOU, the men of the left — who always pretend to fight against capitalism and exploitation — who accomplished this. It will be your downfall! ”

    Sooo, what does Temple do? Does it fire Professor Streicher???

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    PS. FWIW, we hung the real Julius Streicher at Nuremberg in 1946, for saying stuff like the above quotes. Which you can unredacted, here:


    1. well we also convicted Rudoph Hess who wasnt even in Germany but locked up in england for the duration of the war. His main crime was trying to make a peace. And then the british waited 40 some years to hang him….. oh wait i forgot– he killed himself. a very strong 93 old man and waited a very long time to do that!


      just conspiracy theories folks, nothing to see ,moving on

  7. Temple is a public university. It would be a serious issue were they to terminate any employee for ex parte remarks on public policy.

    That having been said, it is almost certainly true that Temple takes steps to run dissidents out of graduate programs, to avoid hiring dissidents, and to removing dissidents from the faculty in the tenure process. The professoriate’s understanding of ‘academic freedom’ is that they get to create nasty little sandboxes for themselves with public resources, while lying all the way to everyone else (and to themselves sometimes).

    Hill’s an ass and the subjects he teaches are absolutely expendable. That he has a tenured berth to teach them is an indication that the Pennsylvania state government needs to put trustees in charge of Temple with plenary discretion to clean out the corruption. Job 1 would be to discontinue programs like ‘media studies’ and ‘urban education’ and put all their faculty out on the curb. Tomorrow.

  8. Yes. Temple could support his free speech rights, but donors and supporters of Israel may also “speak” with their wallets and refuse to provide for this school considering the quality of faculty that they hire.

    1. And of course donors opposed to apartheid and ethnic cleansing, many of which are wealthy Jews, also speak with their wallets, .

      1. There is no aparthied or ethnic cleansing. You’ve never uttered one true word on these boards.

  9. This is the same guy who called Martin Luther King III and Jim Brown mediocre negros after they met with Trump.

  10. Professor Hill should not be fired. I don’t agree with him, but he does have a right to his own opinion. The courtroom of public opinion is always in session.

    1. IBob

      Much of the world agrees with the professor. The Israeli lobby is huge, well funded, and very effective.

      1. . The Israeli lobby is huge, well funded, and very effective.

        Intellectual and moral degenerates obsessed with da Joos don’t understand the dispositions of normal human beings and fancy da Joos must have Jedi mind-tricked them. Normal people have no issues with Jews qua Jews and are not antagonistically disposed to the Jewish state. Israel is a place with only normal range shortcomings of a sort you’ll seen in any occidental country.

        1. Samantha, If one is against apartheid and ethnic cleaning one can start in many countries of the world especially the Middle East. While Israel never forced Arabs to leave their borders the other Arab states ethnically cleaned the Middle East from almost all Jews, around 700,000. They are now cleansing the area of all Christians. Take a look at how women are treated and extend that to gays or anyone that doesn’t follow the religious practices of the area. Aquaint yourself with an understanding of Dhimmi status. Aquaint yourself with charters of organizations that pledge to wipe out Jews using both direct wording and indirect wording almost the same as used by Hill.

  11. Professors in higher education are not private citizens as long as the federal tax payers alone fund 2,000 plus institutions who are then under control of DOE leaving ony two count them two colleges Grove in Pennsylvania and Hillsdale in Michigan who accept zero government funding. The latter kept their academic freedom in a suit filed by DOE in a Colorado court. The rest, the 2,000 plus are in a fiduciary sense government employees therefore the finding by the university are incorrect.

  12. JT question: “If not, what is the standard to be applied to academics in the exercise of free speech?”

    Matthew 15: 16-20

    And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?

    Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?

    But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

    For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

    These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

  13. The more I listened to this Trotskyite, the more I heard him call for violence against Israel. Don’t fire him. Put him a room with an IDF officer and play this tape. I’ ll bet he’s only brave behind armed security at the U.N.

  14. Why is it nearly always that someone must be fired? People have a property right to their employment.

      1. The simple solution to the problem is to discontinue the ‘media studies’ program and the ‘urban education’ program and terminate all the faculty therein. There’s no law which says the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has to offer tertiary schooling in any given subject and it would be absolutely proper for the Pennsylvania legislature to enact a glossary with permissible degree programs and concentration programs delineated therein, and requiring the termination of all faculty who teach outside such delineations as of a certain date.

        1. These less than strenuous academic disciplines are parking lots for jocks, unqualified students and Abbie Hoffmans in the making. Vaporize them.

            1. …And it was just one of many leftist idols that told the American public how wonderful things were in Cambodia. That was Noam Chomsky.

    1. The employer has the property right. The employee has a right to a pay packet with whatever is agreed upon. Employees have zero property rights beyond that except the right to seek employment elsewhere. OR file a union complaint OR a suit.

    2. No one has a property right to their employment. Public employees, particularly uniformed services, should be able to avail themselves of process to establish a claim that their dismissal was for an impermissible reason. They should be able to claim an indemnity if so abused. Their abusers should be subject to process by a state ombudsman and terminated if found guilty. That having been said, the professionalism of the civil service should be advanced by the use of examinations and competitions in recruitment and promotion, not in granting tenure to employees. It should be no more difficult to terminate a civil servant that it should be in a fairly bureaucratic (non-union) business corporation. There should be a rebuttable presumption that a termination is valid, with the terminated employee given an opportunity to demonstrate otherwise in front of a hearing examiner by a preponderance of the evidence. Public sector unions are not properly granted collective bargaining agency, but could function as a mutual aid society for their members by having labor lawyers on retainer, running credit unions, running insurance programs &c.

      And, again, continuous tenure for college faculty should be limited to old men who can see retirement coming. Other faculty should be on renewable contracts which run from one term to seven years, with terminal contracts available for cut faculty of a duration derived from the number of years they’ve been employed by the institution.

  15. Hill is just a garden variety anti-Semite. He can keep his job like Farrakhan keeps his job — employed but a thoroughly despicable man. Bull Connor’s got nothing on this guy.

      1. That’s a nonsense statement, of course.

        If the Arab public and the Arab leadership on the West Bank and Gaza would like a better situation, they need to develop (1) a set of political goals that an autonomous interlocutor would accept and (2) bargain in good faith. They’ve been unwilling to do that for > 50 years. The actual political goals of most of the public and the bulk of the leadership on the West Bank and the Gaza strip presume that the Arabs are in a position to dictate terms to the Jews. They aren’t and they never have been. For them, wretched circumstances are preferred to an explicit acknowledgement that they have to come to terms with Jews. Let them have their wretched circumstances. If they want something better, they’re going to have to cut the deals they don’t want to cut. People who favor the Arab cause on the West Bank and Gaza are almost invariably pig ignorant, malicious, or carrying around a puerile inability to assess and understand human agency.

      1. No, they aren’t. “Anti-semite” is a term of 19th century derivation with a specific conventional meaning. Beyond that, ‘semitic’ refers to a language family which includes Arabic dialects. Your point is trivial and stupid.

      2. He is an anti-Semite. Learn the meaning of words as used in common discussion.

        You also misunderstand who the Palestinians are. Decades ago when there were discussions of farmers turning desert into farms whether in the NYTimes or elsewhere those farmers in what is now Israel were Jews. That is what the Jews in that land were called.

        The Palestinian of today isn’t being abused by Israel. They are abused by their leaders and their culture of death when their children are trained in school to hate Jews and trained to kill Jews. Get rid of hateful leadership and what we call the Palestinians of today would flourish.

        Two comments attributed to Golda Meir”

        “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.”

        “We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”

        1. Get rid of hateful leadership and what we call the Palestinians of today would flourish.

          There is no indication from public opinion research that there is a cravasse of opinion between the general public in the West Bank and Gaza and the political leadership. Presumably the balance of opinion in UNRWA camps outside the West Bank and Gaza is even more militant. This collection of Arabs has a rotten political culture. Too bad, but that’s where we are in this world. You can’t do much with people who have that culture except to set up security measures to protect yourself.

          1. “There is no indication from public opinion research that there is a cravasse of opinion between the general public in the West Bank and Gaza and the political leadership.”

            DSS, I am not sure I understand what you are trying to say.

            1. Their leadership is giving them what they want. The problem is what they want.

              1. Historically, the culture wasn’t as bad as it is today, but when leadership supported by Europe takes the money to teach terrorism and hate the end product is a culture of death. The Gaza strip was turned over totally intact and quickly a lot of the productive things were destroyed.

  16. I agree with Mike Peterman. He was speaking more in his private capacity and should keep his job, but if he had condemned Hamas he would have been fired.

    1. Nobody would bat an eye if he condemned Hamas. Calling attention to how odious Hamas is is not so outre in faculty circles that it gets you into any trouble bar in MENA studies faculties chock-a-block with kooky partisans like Joseph Massad. The thing is, to call out a murderous criminal organization is a straightforward opinion that ordinary people would express. It isn’t sophisticated, so it’s not something most faculty would do.

  17. Can certainly agree that Mr. Hill should not be fired from his job for his free speech, but rest assured that if he gave a speech proclaiming the opposite, he would have been fired in an instant.

    1. I don’t think so. Of course, no one advocates ‘the opposite’ except the Jewish Defense League and a splinter faction of an Israeli party callled ‘the Jewish Home’. The closest you see to that would Robert Stacy McCain’s suggestion some years back that the IDF replicate Sherman’s March through Georgia on the West Bank and Gaza, on the theory that the Arabs (like Georgian’s in 1865) aren’t going to know they’re defeated until you lay waste the land.

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