A map distributed in a language class at San Diego State University labeled Israel as "Palestine". This led to a strong push back by students and an outcry from the Jewish community.
It happened just as classes began a few days ago, causing students who were offended and outraged by the professor's actions to be unsure how they should respond fearing their grades could be impacted.
Here's how ABC News 10 in San Diego reported the issue, what the kids are saying and how the University has responded.
I have also included 12 things you should know regarding biblical references to Israeli ownership of the land. And why Christians worldwide support the nation of Israel and their original boundaries.
Sources told ABC News 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 professor suggested the map was distributed to create dialog, but one student said, "I don't really believe it was the right place for dialog. It is a language class, it's not a class about conflict."
Some of the students gave the map to a pro-Israel San Diego group, "Stand With Us."
"Stand With Us" sent out an email alert asking the community to contact the university and the professor. The group also posted the map to its Facebook page.
The email pointed out that the map "not only fails to label 'Israel' as a legitimate country," but that "it falsely portrays the entire territory of Israel as 'Palestine'."
The student said, "I want to see an apology from the professor, and I want to see him to hand out a correct map."
Nicole Bernstein of Stand With Us questioned the department chair about the map, and she shared that response with News Team 10.
The University's response was interesting and predictable.
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."
Also, the statement to the group said the language class professor intended to "have students get into groups and research the political developments of each area on the map, with the assumption that this would lead to a discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the history of the state of Israel."
If you believe that, perhaps you would be interested in buying the Jordan River.
The school has suggested the professor would "distribute a map that includes labels for members of the Arab League as well as Israel."
After ABC News 10 contacted the University, they issued this statement:
"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."
Bernstein said despite how it happened, it should not happen again.
"Whether it was intentional or not intentional, whether it was part of course work or part of a plan, none of that context was given," Bernstein said. "That is what the problem was."
Students and the group still want an apology from the professor.
“Regardless of the views, there are false images and realistic images,” the anonymous student said. “Bringing his own bias to the classroom was just not o.k.”
Unfortunately teachers bring their bias to the classroom every day in public education.
As you know the United States does not recognize Palestine as a sovereign nation. There are reasons for this position which are related to biblical teaching understood and embraced by America as we rose to prominence.
Unfortunately, our present government is trying to create a permanent sovereign nation for Palestine.
Secretary of State John Kerry met with world leaders in France recently to discuss the matter..
ABC News 10 also reported, "A State Department news release on Sunday said Kerry gave an 'update on the ongoing permanent status negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis and reiterated the United States' commitment to pursuing intensive negotiations to end the conflict through a permanent status agreement'."
Many wonder why this issue has such high importance to biblical Christians around the world, including here in America.
In the covenant God made with Abraham, He, God, claimed the land for Himself. Believing that the Bible is God's Word and that God is as the Bible presents Him, makes this a very big deal.
Leviticus 25: 23 says, "The Land, more over, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine: for you are but aliens and sojourners with me."
Here's 12 things of biblical importance in regard to Israel and the land:
Exactly what does the Bible say about God's parcel of land, and who has a right to it?
The biblical answer to that question is that God alone determines the "rights" that any of us have. Something is right or wrong because of Divine Decree, not human feeling or human reason. The existence of God previous to the creation of the universe and mankind gives Him the right to determine our "rights."
Morality exists because God exists. Authority exists because God exists. And, Almighty God has already determined the rights of Israel and the Jewish people to the land God owns and has deeded over to them.
1: The Land of Canaan, renamed Israel by the Lord, was given by God to Abraham and his descendants as an everlasting possession.
2: The gift of this Land to Abraham and his descendants was based on an unconditional covenant from God Himself.
3: The Land was given to Abraham and his descendants as part of God's redemptive blessing to the world.
4: This land was not given to the descendants of Ishmael (one ancestor of the Arab peoples), but rather to the descendants of Isaac.
5: This Land was not given to the other sons of Abraham, but only to Isaac.
6: This Land and covenant were given only to Isaac's son, Jacob, and his descendants, not Esau and his descendants.
7: God told Israel to conquer the Land which He had given to them.
8: Israel's sin and subsequent exile from the Land did not change their divine right to this Land given to them by the Lord in covenant.
9: The name of this Land is not Palestine, but Israel.
10: The stranger (those outside the Covenant) will live among you and be treated with respect.
11: The return of the Jewish people at the end of days will be initiated by God, and their return will signal the restoration of a barren and broken land.
12: The nations will be part of the return of the people and the restoration of the land.
The prophet Isaiah of Israel said: "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. Surely the islands look to me; in the lead are the ships of Tarshish, bringing your sons from afar, with their silver and gold, to the honor of the Lord your God. Foreigners will rebuild your walls, and their kings will serve you. Your gates will always stand open, they will never be shut, day or night, so that men may bring you the wealth of the nations. For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined" (Isaiah 60:1,9-12).
For an in-depth study and Scripture reference on each of these 12 statements click here.
Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.