The embattled City University of New York is facing another backlash as being hostile to Israel and condoning antisemitism for hiring controversial professor Marc Lamont Hill.
Hill was appointed a "presidential professor" for Urban Education at CUNY's Graduate Center.
"It's something I've always dreamed of," Hill, 44, told the Philadelphia Inquirer of his jump from his alma mater of Temple University to CUNY and teaching graduate studies.
In 2018, Hill was fired from CNN after his speech on Israel drew outrage from the Anti-Defamation League and other groups.
Hill, a media professor and network pundit, called for countries to boycott and divest from Israel in a speech given for the U.N.'s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
"We have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to political action, grass-roots 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 in prepared remarks.
After being fired from CNN, he responded to the backlash on social media.
"My reference to 'river to the sea' was not a call to destroy anything or anyone," Hill said on X, formerly known as Twitter. "It was a call for justice, both in Israel and in the West Bank/Gaza. The speech very clearly and specifically said those things."
"I support Palestinian freedom. I support Palestinian self-determination," Hill tweeted, adding, "I do not support anti-Semitism, killing Jewish people, or any of the other things attributed to my speech. I have spent my life fighting these things.
Pro-Israel and pro-Jewish activists denounced CUNY's appointment of Hill.
"I am calling on the @CUNY board of trustees to not allow this dangerous hire to move forward that will leave CUNY's Jewish students and staff feeling even less safe than they do now," Brooklyn Councilman Ari Kagan said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Former 15-year CUNY board trustee Jeff Wiesenfeld said Hill's hire is another example of the declining standards at CUNY.
"The pro-Palestinian phrase from 'river to the sea' means pushing the Jews to the sea or extermination," Wiesenfeld said.
His hiring comes just three months after CUNY Law School graduate Fatima Mohammed delivered an incendiary commencement speech blasting Israel
Among her fiery remarks to fellow grads, Mohammed accused Israel of encouraging "lynch mobs" and carrying out violence against Palestinians and calling the NYPD fascist.
A firestorm erupted, and even CUNY's board of trustees issued a statement slamming her comments as "hate speech" — but the law school dean, Sudha Setty applauded her speech from the dais.
CUNY Grad Center president Robin Garrell approved the hire, with the backing of the CUNY Board of Trustees.
"Professor Hill, a widely respected expert in his field, was unanimously selected by the Urban Education hiring committee for a position that focuses on advancing conversation and research about the role of education in American society," a CUNY Graduate Center spokesperson said.
"The committee reviewed the entirety of his scholarship and public comments, which include a public letter of apology for remarks made half a decade ago and his strong, unequivocal condemnations of antisemitism and antisemitic violence," added the representative.