Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill, under fire for comments he made that were viewed as anti-Semitic, will not be punished by the school and “remains a member of the staff.”
The announcement came Tuesday afternoon in a statement from Temple President Richard Englert following a meeting by the board of trustees.
“In giving his speech outside of his role as a teacher and researcher at Temple, Professor Hill was not speaking on behalf or representing the university,” Englert wrote.
“We recognize that Professor Hill’s comments are his own, that his speech as a private individual is entitled to the same Constitutional protection of of any other citizen, and that he has through subsequent statements expressly rejected anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic violence,” he added.
The statement continued: “The members of the Board of Trustees of Temple University — of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education, in exercise of their own constitutionally protected right as citizens to express their views, hereby state their disappointment, displeasure and disagreement with professor Hill’s comments, and reaffirm in the strongest possible terms the president’s condemnation of all anti-Semitic, racist or incendiary language, hate speech, call to violence, or the disparagement of any person or persons based on religion, nationality, race, gender, sexual orientation or identity.”
Hill made his controversial remarks on Nov. 28 at the United Nations’ International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. That day, he called for a free Palestine “from the river to the sea” — a statement some regarded as promoting violence against Israel.
The phrase has been used by multiple Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organizations that have targeted Israel for destruction.
Hill also said, “We must advocate and promote non-violence.” But he added that “we cannot endorse a narrow politics of respectability that shames Palestinians for resisting, for refusing to do nothing, in the face of the state violence and ethnic cleansing.”
In the days following his remarks, CNN severed its ties with Hill, who had been a correspondent for the cable news network, and various organizations called on Temple to do the same.
Hill pushed back on Twitter and eventually penned a letter to the Temple community that said he stood by his beliefs but that he had learned “his use of language produced interpretations, feelings, and responses that I did not intend.”