(photo credit: )
An Georgia county official has resigned from her post after criticism over comments she made on her Web site that Israel should be dismantled as a way to achieve peace in the Middle East.
Mary Catarineau, who is on the Planning Commission in the fast-growing Atlanta suburb of Cherokee County, wrote about dismantling Israel in March 22 entry on her Web site, "My Diary With God."
Catarineau also wrote in a March 24 entry that Israel "was artificially created to provide a place for Jews to avoid persecution after the Holocaust. The Holocaust is not going to recur, and Israel has caused nothing but problems. Jews can remain or leave, but give the land back to the Muslims."
Catarineau said she wanted the Internet posts to encourage people to think about different ways to end the violence in that part of the world.
"If anything I wrote on the blog was offensive, I sincerely apologize," she said. "That was not my intent."
To avoid escalating the controversy, Catarineau said she was stepping down from her position on the planning commission and from her position on the county's Comprehensive Plan Steering Council.
The posts have been removed from the Web site. But in an entry on the site dated Tuesday, Catarineau wrote that she has also said critical things about Muslims but that "people focus on only what they wish to see."