At a high school in Virginia, members of the Muslim Students Association recently shared an unsettling picture of the US flag. It had the words “Free Palestine” sandwiched between red, squiggly fake stripes and featured swastikas in place of stars. In addition to suspending the offending students, the school authorities also disciplined the student who reported the offensive drawing.
According to the Fairfax Times, activists protested on November 17 against the treatment of the larger Jewish community as well as the Langley High School student who shared the photo.
The sources do not specify how the student—who is purportedly Asian American—got hold of the photo or if they follow any particular religion. It appears that rather than portraying him as a whistleblower, school officials are viewing him as an accomplice.
There are reports that antisemitism has long existed in the region. Parents allege that administrators have consistently taken the side of Hamas supporters, threatening and abusing their children.
One instance that has been documented is how they handled the Muslim Students Association’s November 10 walkout. In front of the school, about 150 pro-Palestine demonstrators were present. One of them had swastikas drawn on the back of a sign that said “Free Palestine.”
Ten or so Jewish counter-protesters were chanting “Free the hostages!” Using the Freedom of Information Act, members of Parents Defending Education, an activist group, were able to obtain damaging emails from a school board member on the same day that the image of the flag adorned with Swastikas went viral.
Reportedly, one of the messages extolled a Muslim educator who had voiced opposition to the strikes on Gaza.
Protests and walkouts by students nationwide have been held in response to Hamas’s attack on Israel and its counterattack on Gaza. As the number of fatalities in the Middle East keeps rising, tensions are still high.