Israeli Arabs persecuted for not being Jewish, Aussie sample test says

“It’s an utter falsehood,” Rabbi James Kennard said.

By HENRY BENJAMIN/JTA
July 18, 2019 04:04
Students take a university entrance examination at a lecture hall in the Andalusian capital of Sevil

Students take a university entrance examination at a lecture hall in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain, June 16, 2015. Students in Spain must pass the exam after completing secondary school in order to gain access to university. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo. (photo credit: MARCELO DEL POZO/REUTERS)

An exercise that an Australian teachers union prepared for grading some tests suggested that Israel persecutes Arabs because “they don’t follow the Jewish religion.”

The principal of Melbourne’s Mount Scopus Memorial College, a Modern Orthodox Jewish day school, lodged a complaint to the Education Ministry about the sample question for final year students in the state of Victoria.

“It’s an utter falsehood,” Rabbi James Kennard said. “It creates a negative impression of Israel, which is actually a center of religious tolerance … and the only democratic country in the Middle East.”

According to the sample answer provided for a question on persecution, “An example of an individual being persecuted for their religion could be the Arab families living in Israel who practice the Islam religion rather than the Jewish religion. Including unlawful demolition of homes and forced displacement and detainment of these families.”

The practice exam was produced by the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation’s Victoria branch, which is a professional association representing teachers and other professionals working in the fields of health, physical education and sport recreation areas of study in Victoria.


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