A Georgia principal condemned a display of radical ideology that was surreptitiously slipped into a multicultural night at his school.
Autrey Mill Middle School in Alpharetta, Georgia, came under fire for a map that was on display that denied the existence of the state of Israel. The map, according to a report from 11 Alive, was of the Middle East. The glaring issue with the map: Israel wasn't on it. Instead, Palestine took up the area where Israel is.
Following an outcry, Autrey Principal J.E. Trey Martin said he was "disgusted" about what was on the map. At this point, it remains unclear who brought the display for the event.
A statement from the school addressed the controversy:
"Dear Parents and Guardians,
"As you may be aware, we held our annual Multicultural Night from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. last evening. This important event is coordinated by a committee of diverse staff members who represent many nationalities and countries. The intent and spirit of Multicultural Night is to build understanding and knowledge of diverse countries, cultures, people, and food. Our families sign up in advance for space to display artifacts and serve food representing their culture. This allows all of us to enjoy and celebrate the students and families who make our community and school unique. We were pleased that more than 500 people and 15 different countries were represented.
"However, I am extremely disappointed and disgusted with the individuals who presented an insensitive political and geographic representation. This display does not represent our school culture which is one that values inclusion and unity. Let me be clear, we condemn this attempt to use our Multicultural Night for one's own political or religious agenda. Please know that this type of display is not acceptable nor supported by the faculty and staff of Autrey Mill Middle School. This school is here for kids, not politics.
"I will be working closely with district leaders and others as we comprehensively investigate this incident and any necessary actions will be taken including accountability for those responsible. In addition, I will be meeting with various parent and community leaders to discuss plans to educate our parent community and to ensure that multiculturalism continues to be a valued foundation of our school community."
The concept of Israel being wiped off the map is something embraced by terrorist organizations. In the Hamas Covenant, the preamble states, "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it."
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib's office has a map of the Middle East as well. According to a tweet from Hannah Allam, a D.C.-based journalist, it has a sticky note with the word Palestine written on it over Israel.
Israel was established by the United Nations in May 14th, 1948 and continues to face anti-Semitism to this day. Such maps only promote radical ideology, persecution and prejudice.