A member of the New York State Assembly shared an image erasing Israel from the map in a now-deleted tweet amid escalating fighting between Israel and Hamas.
Phara Souffrant Forrest, a Democratic Socialist, shared an altered map of the Middle East in which Israel was labeled as Palestine, and the Dome of the Rock was prominently featured. The map erased all Israeli territory, including the areas of the nation that are not recognized as disputed territory. The image was accompanied by “#FreePalestine.”
The first-term assemblywoman’s post was widely criticized, including by Souffrant Forrest’s colleague in the New York State Assembly.
Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal wrote that the image was reminiscent of the Hamas goal to “wipe Israel off the map.”
Just like Hamas my Assembly collegue wants to wipe Israel off the map. https://t.co/RV0qzWUfSG
— Daniel Rosenthal (@DanRosenthalNYC) May 13, 2021
Hamas has representation in the State Assembly. https://t.co/pQhiJcI3cc
— Kalman Yeger ונשמרתם מאד לנפשותיכם (@KalmanYeger) May 13, 2021
StopAntisemitism.org accused Souffrant Forrest of wiping 7 million Jews “off the map.”
Brooklyn Council member Phara Souffrant Forrest just wiped 7 million Jews off the map.
She represents Crown Heights, one of the most populated Jewish areas in America.
— StopAntisemitism.org (@StopAntisemites) May 13, 2021
Erielle Davidson, a policy analyst for the Jewish Institute for National Security of America, said the map was baffling and argued the pro-Palestinian “movement is about *erasing* the Jewish state.”
Maps like these always baffle me. It’s not about having a state—if it were, the Palestinians would have accepted one of the 6+ offers they’ve received. The pro-Pal movement is about *erasing* the Jewish state. Grotesque and genocidal. https://t.co/Yj0em8Rgj1
— Erielle Davidson (@politicalelle) May 13, 2021
Forrest attempted to clarify her post by saying that the “reality on the ground” in Israel is “apartheid.” Both tweets were later deleted.
Forrest later said that her tweet had “led to misunderstandings” about her position on the conflict and that her position has “always been about peace and justice.”
I deleted a previous tweet that led to misunderstandings about my position. ⁰⁰My position has always been about peace and justice. ⁰
I stand against apartheid because I believe that all people deserve to live under equal rights regardless of ethnicity or religion.
— Phara Souffrant Forrest (@phara4assembly) May 13, 2021
Souffrant Forrest represents parts of Brooklyn, including sections of Crown Heights, a heavily Jewish neighborhood. Her campaign page touts an endorsement from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who, on Wednesday, accused President Joe Biden of taking “the side of occupation” after the president said that Israel has a right to self-defense.
Hamas has launched hundreds of rockets at Israel in the past week, the vast majority of which were intercepted by the country’s Iron Dome missile defense system. At least 90 people have died in the conflict, including 83 Palestinians.
The IDF is reportedly drawing up plans for a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip as experts in Middle East politics warn that the conflict has the potential of escalating into a full-scale war.
A delegation from Egypt is in Tel Aviv to broker a ceasefire agreement and has met with officials from both Hamas and the Israeli government.
Author: Carly Ortiz-lytle
Source: Washington Examiner: New York state legislator shares image erasing Israel from the map