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Jewish camp apologizes for flying Palestinian flag

(JTA) – A camp affiliated with the Conservative movement apologized after flying a Palestinian flag “as a sign of friendship and acceptance” to visiting Palestinian Muslim and Christian students. Camp Solomon Schechter in Washington State last week hosted members of Kids 4 Peace, including Christian and Muslim Palestinian 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.”

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.

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