The National Council of Young Israel on Saturday joined those calling for the resignation of Philadelphia professor Marc Lamont Hill from his tenured position at Temple University for what some have said are anti-Semitic remarks.
Hill was fired by CNN earlier this week.
"While we are grateful that CNN did the right thing under the circumstances, it is extraordinarily disingenuous for Temple University to summarily try and distance itself from Marc Lamont Hill," read a statement from the organization. "The reality is that Dr. Hill is a member of Temple's faculty, and he therefore does indeed represent Temple as a result, despite the university's perplexing assertions to the contrary. While Marc Lamont Hill's anti-Semitic views may be his own, Temple cannot simply disavow him when it is convenient for them."
Temple University released a statement Friday defending Hill's right to speak freely, saying, "Professor Hill does not represent Temple University, and his views are his own. Further, Professor Hill's right to express his opinion is protected by the Constitution to the same extent as any other private citizen."
Patrick O'Connor, the chairman of Temple's board, told a local media outlet Friday that Hill's comments were "lamentable" and "disgusting. Free speech is one thing. Hate speech is entirely different."
Hill made the controversial comments during a meeting at the United Nations held for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on Wednesday.
In his remarks, Hill said "we must advocate and promote non-violence," but added that "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 also called for a "free Palestine from the river to the sea." Some critics say this is a statement frequently used by Hamas, a Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist organization that has called for the destruction of Israel.
Hill has been accused as being a Hamas supporter. However, during his speech, he embraced nonviolent resistance, such as boycotts, divestiture and sanctions.
Hill is not without his defenders. Congresswoman-elect Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), one of the first two Muslim American women elected to Congress, is one of them.
"Calling out the oppressive policies in Israel, advocating for Palestinians to be respected, and for Israelis and Palestinians alike to have peach and freedom is not anti-Semitic. @CNN, we all have a right to speak up about injustice any and everywhere," Tlaib tweeted out after Hill was fired.
Harvard professor Cornel West also defended Hill.
"The important thing is that we've got to stand with our dear brother Marc," West told website therealnews.com. "All he is saying is that a Palestinian baby has exactly the same value as a Jewish baby. Brother Marc is not a supporter of Hamas. You can love Palestinian people — you can support their rights and their dignity — but that doesn't mean you're a supporter of Hamas.
"I love Palestinian people but that doesn't mean I'm a supporter of Hamas," West continued. "And to make that kind of jump is ridiculous. I find it sad that people would stoop to that level to attack my brother or anybody else who stands with the Palestinian people. We would do the exact same thing if there was a Palestinian occupation of Jewish brothers and sisters."