Palestinian Authority flag
Palestinian Authority flag Flash90

A camp affiliated with the Conservative movement apologized after flying a Palestinian Authority flag “as a sign of friendship and acceptance” to visiting Palestinian Arab Muslim and Christian students.

Camp Solomon Schechter in Washington State last week hosted members of Kids 4 Peace, including Christian and Muslim Palestinian Arab children.

In a letter sent to parents and supporters following the visit the camp wrote: “For the sake of a teachable moment, we did raise the Palestinian flag as a sign of friendship and acceptance. It was met with uncertainty by some campers and staff, especially the Israeli’s [sic], but all understood that the message of hope for peace by flying the Israeli flag alongside helped develop empathy. Still we plan to take down all the flags for Shabbat since there is no peace and also to relieve the sadness and anger that some feel by the site [sic] of the flag.” The letter also said that the camp “remain(s) unabashedly pro-Israel and we are celebrating Israel alongside our new friends.”

In the letter of apology sent Sunday and posted on the camp’s Facebook page, the camp indicated that the Kids 4 Peace group requested the raising of a PA flag, alongside the U.S., Canadian and Israeli flags that are raised daily.

We sincerely apologize that we upset some in our CSS and larger Jewish community by introducing the Palestinian flag…

Posted by Camp Solomon Schechter on Sunday, July 30, 2017

“We sincerely apologize that we upset some in our CSS and larger Jewish community by introducing the Palestinian flag into our educational program. Camp Solomon Schechter reiterates our unwavering support for the State of Israel as the Jewish homeland,” the apology said,

“Camp Solomon Schechter is a proud Zionist and pro-Israel camp. We honor the Israeli Army and Israeli people on a daily basis at CSS. Our goal was to create a safe space for all, and begin dialogue among the next generation,” the apology also said.

Parents who responded to the apology on Facebook were divided between those that applauded the camp for trying to be a positive force toward peace and those angry that the camp would raise the flag waved in support of terrorists carrying out attacks against Jews.

A statement also was issued by Sam Perlin, executive director, and Andy Kaplowitz, co-board president of Camp Solomon Schechter. “Camp Solomon Schechter regrets raising the Palestinian flag alongside US, Canadian and Israeli flags on Thursday and Friday mornings and it is a long standing CSS custom to lower flags for Shabbat and raise them again Sunday morning. We neglected to foresee in such actions the serious political implications and for that lapse in judgment, we are deeply sorry,” the statement said.

Join our official WhatsApp group