(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.” 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 Palestinian 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 into our educational program. Camp Solomon Schechter reiterates our unwavering support for the State of Israel as the Jewish homeland,” the apology 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.