Israel Erased From Map Displayed at Georgia Middle School
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Jewish leaders and parents across Atlanta are demanding to know why a map that replaced Israel with Palestine was displayed at a middle school’s multicultural night. The photo is posted below.
The map was placed on a table promoting Palestinian culture at Autrey Mill Middle School in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Rabbi Jordan Ottenstein urged members of his congregation to “condemn in the strongest possible terms any display in public that is anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, or anti-Semitic,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
“Disagreements over policies and political differences must never succumb to this level of visceral hatred and it is so sad that a night devoted to the education of cultural differences was dragged to these depths,” he wrote in a letter to Congregation Dor Tamid.
Principal Trey Martin expressed his disappointment and disgust in a letter to parents, calling the presentation “an insensitive political and geographic representation.”
“We condemn this attempt to use our Multicultural Night for one’s own political or religious agenda,” Martin wrote. “This type of display is not acceptable or supported by the faculty and staff of Autrey Mill Middle School.”
The Georgia chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations told television station WXIA that students were responsible for setting up the exhibit. They said school leaders approved and even visited the display table.
CAIR-Georgia Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell told the television station the map was meant to show historic Palestine during British governance from 1920 until 1948.
“In other words, the map depicted a real part of their family history and Palestinian history, not an attempt to engage in political or religious commentary,” Mitchell said.
He condemned the school district’s reaction to the controversy, saying it had led to students being bullied and harassed.
“This has put a target on the backs of young Palestinian-American kids and Muslim kids and anyone who looks Muslim at that school,” Mitchell said.