ATLANTA - This morning CNN executives woke up to an ad chastising the network in the popular Sunday edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which reaches over 900,000 people.
In the paper of record, in CNN's hometown, activists sent a powerful message in support of Professor Hill and in protest of his firing.
Marc Lamont Hill was fired by CNN after he spoke at the United Nations in defense of Palestinian rights as part of the U.N.-organized International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
The Jewish Voice for Peace advertisement is part of a larger support campaign for Marc Lamont Hill, and was paid for by over 1,000 individual donations, with an average gift of $28.
Dr. Hill is accused of antisemitism by over-zealous organizations who falsely conflate visible support for equal rights and justice for Palestinians with antisemitism. A growing trend of Jewish progressives are calling for greater debate around Israel. By firing Dr. Hill, CNN is promoting a cynical and dishonest use of the term "anti-Semite."
"We ran an ad because we felt strongly that CNN is ignoring a huge group of people. Who gets to talk about Israel/Palestine? Apparently Rick Santorum? A man who egregiously claimed that there are "no Palestinians in the West Bank." That's ludicrous. By firing Dr. Hill, we believe CNN is discriminating against a commentator who spoke up for Palestinian rights. They should make it right and reinstate him." - Granate Kim, JVP Communications Director
Rabbis who are graduates of Temple University issued a letter last week stating:
People familiar with professor Marc Lamont Hill's work and activism have pointed out that he is a tireless advocate for all who face discrimination and oppression, and claim that it is a tragedy his character is being maligned like this.
"[W]e are dismayed by the claim that Professor Hill's speech at the U.N. should be punished in any way. The accusations that his talk was 'anti-Semitic' was both unfair and ignorant. Criticism of the State of Israel, however strongly stated, including advocacy for a one-state solution for the region, does not in and of itself constitute anti-Jewish speech."
Along with the Rabbis in Philadelphia, Dr. Hill's supporters include professors from Temple University; award-winning author and journalist Naomi Klein; activist and scholar Dr. Angela Davis; actor Mark Ruffalo; Representative-elect Rashida Tlaib; and many, many thousands who've signed grassroots petitions by a variety of activist groups.
Jewish Voice for Peace is a membership-driven organization with over 70 chapters, including an Atlanta chapter, and fifteen thousand members. It is considered one of the fastest-growing Jewish organizations in the country and reflects a growing shift of Jewish activism, which includes sharp critique of Israel.
"It is appropriate that this ad appears in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Atlanta should know that CNN has lost its credibility for impartial reporting of the facts around Israel and Palestine."- Rozina Gilani, JVP-Atlanta