The snippets below were written by Cristin Severance of ABC News.
SAN DIEGO - A map distributed in a language class at San Diego State University labeled Israel as Palestine, leading to an outcry from the local Jewish community.The teacher in question is Ghassan Zakaria who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org / (619) 594-8800.
Sources told Team 10 the map was handed out by a professor on the second day of class in an Arabic language course. Sources said students were upset and unsure how to protest the erroneous map because they feared speaking out publicly could have a negative impact on their grades.
The Department Chair and Arabic Program Director is Professor Ghada Osman at email@example.com / (619) 594-1910.
Nicole Bernstein, of Stand With Us, questioned the department chair about the map, and she shared that response with Team 10.The chair of the department said this?
The department chair said the professor used Palestine in place of Israel on the labels to "reflect the view of Arab-speakers in the region."
This is highly irresponsible. Neither the department chair, nor one of his lecturers, gets to decide that because the "Arab-speakers in the region" think that Israel does not exist, that it doesn't exist.
Team 10 contacted SDSU late Tuesday morning with questions about the handout, and on Tuesday afternoon the school issued this statement:So, the university claims that this kind of thing will not reoccur, but is that enough?
"While SDSU encourages scholarly debate and discussion of varying opinions, presenting inaccurate information to students in not acceptable. SDSU's Provost has conferred with the department chair, who spoke with the faculty member. This inaccurate portrayal will not reoccur."
Should Zakaria be reprimanded? Suspended? Fired?
I honestly do not know the answer to those questions, but I also do not know that I am satisfied with the reaction of the department or the university. This kind of thing affects all of us, because we cannot have teachers on any level suggesting to students that Israel does not exist or should not exist or is something other than a sovereign, autonomous country.
University professors - and even university lecturers - have every right to criticize Israeli policy, but they do not have the right to simply wipe Israel from the map.
“This is not only anti-Israel, it’s the elimination of Israel,” Nicole Bernstein, of Stand With Us, told 10NEWS.