NN fired its popular commentator the Temple University professor and public intellectual Marc Lamont Hill last week. Contrary to most reporting, Hill was not actually fired as a result of the speech he gave at the United Nations on November 28—he was fired as a result of powerful pro-Israel forces, most notably the Anti-Defamation League or ADL, who used the speech to demand that he be fired.

Since that time Hill has apologized for a phrase that some in the Jewish community found hurtful, while reaffirming his commitment to his larger critique of Israeli practices. Hill’s many defenders have strongly asserted not only his First Amendment–based right to his opinion but equally importantly the historical and legal accuracy of his speech—and have appropriately demanded that CNN rehire him. But with a few important exceptions (Noura Erakat’s piece in The Washington Post and David Palumbo-Liu’s in The Nation among them) the important demand for rehiring Hill has obscured much of the actual content of his speech. Too many seem to have heard only the one phrase, taken out of context, that was the centerpiece of the ADL’s attack.

Read the full article at The Nation.

Phyllis Bennis directs the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is national president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach.