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August 2, 2017 2:04 pm

‘Scandal’ Star Responds to Criticism of His Support for Raising of Palestinian Flag at US Jewish Summer Camp

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Joshua Malina on the set of “Scandal.” Photo: Instagram.

A Jewish actor who stars in the hit ABC series “Scandal” responded to a critic on Tuesday who scrutinized him for supporting the raising of a Palestinian flag at a Jewish summer camp.

Joshua Malina wrote an op-ed piece for the Jewish Journal about Camp Solomon Schechter in Olympia, Wash., and how it raised a Palestinian flag to welcome a visiting delegation of Palestinian youth led by the Israeli NGO Kids4Peace.

After the Jewish community complained about the flag, the camp issued an apology and removed the banner from its grounds. Malina said his reaction to the move was “deep disappointment.” He explained that he understood the camp’s efforts to welcome the Palestinian children with “a symbol familiar to them,” and said he was especially bothered by the fact that people were more interested in focusing on the flag rather than the actual visit.

“Everyone is so caught up in an emotional argument about a piece of cloth that the real story is utterly obscured” Malina wrote. “What did these Palestinian kids have to say? How did the campers respond to them? Were connections made? That’s the story; that should be our focus.”

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Not long after Malina’s article was published on Tuesday — the same day as Tisha B’av, an annual day of Jewish mourning — one reader bashed the actor saying, “It figures that [Jewish Journal Editor-in-Chief Rob] Eshman would carry this piece of trash on Tisha B’av. That Molina has no problem with the camp flying a Palestinian flag makes him, like Eshman, a major part of the problem. They both have the blood of the Israeli victims of terror on their hands.” The critic added, “Joshua Malina, thanks for giving strength to Israel’s enemies.”

The “Scandal” star defended himself by telling the reader, “The irony, of course, is that your foolishness is far more dangerous to Israel than anything I’ll ever write. Also, if you’re going to compare me to a terrorist, you could at least spell my name correctly.”

Malina shared a photo on Twitter showing his heated exchange with the reader, and in a separate tweet he posted a message written by a Kids4Peace staffer who said the visit to the summer camp was very fulfilling and “valuable” to both the Israeli and Palestinian children.

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