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May 25, 2012 11:06 am

British School Exam: Why Do Some People Hate Jews?

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Students taking an exam. Photo: wiki commons.

British students were recently asked “ why some people are prejudiced against Jews” during an examination in which over 1000 religious studies students hoped to attain their General Certificate of Secondary Education (somewhat equivalent to senior year finals in U.S. high schools), sparking concerns inside government and civil society, while others say the question is justified.

“To suggest that anti-Semitism can ever be explained, rather than condemned, is insensitive and, frankly, bizarre. AQA needs to explain how and why this question was included in an exam paper,” Britain’s Education Secretary Michael Gove said.

It is “the duty of politicians to fight prejudice, and with anti-Semitism on the rise we need to be especially vigilant,” Gove continued.

However, Clive Lawton, a former chief examiner of religious studies for one of England’s top 3 exam boards, says the question is a completely fair one.

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“I do understand why people might react negatively to the question, but it is a legitimate one,” he said.  “Part of the syllabus is that children must study the causes and origins of prejudice against Jews.”

A spokesperson for AQA, which administered the examination, says they did not mean to cause any harm.

“The board is obviously concerned that this question may have caused offense, as this was absolutely not our intention. The question acknowledges that some people hold prejudices; it does not imply in any way that prejudice is justified.”

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  • Rafa

    I’ve been to Britain…and there’s also serious bias against Muslims. Maybe they just hate both groups…

  • Jack Bloomberg

    The form and style of the exam question presents itself as a personal opinion survey on how they understand OTHERS’ reasons for prejudice against Jews.
    I suggest that a better and more subjective question would be, “Explain the basis of prejudice against Jews.”
    The answers will be far more enlightening.

  • Eddy Bear

    Second Reply.- Mr. Lawton is to me, perfectly right. It is to teachers , and more widely to educators to teach that racism, anti semitism or segregation of any kind is insane. They HAVE to stand in for the failures of the churches, all the churches,in teaching respectneede from one to the othe,. I’m not talking about “love”, respect will be fully enough

  • Edouard M. MARELLI (Eddy Bear)

    It is very well known that men need absolutely, allover the history of mankind, to hate.1°- It is, to me, becaus man(kind) is still, in a great part of his behaviour, an animal, a beast, who is still and allways will be, afraid of strangers, or foreigners. 2°- Islam as well as christianism, and before them, judaïsm, israelism hebreism, and every religion before andfollowing our times, have and will pretend to be the only truth on eath even not in the univers.
    Nobody will at all, understand, that our beliefs are all of them, issued one from the other.
    By the way, I do have a remark:Why it is impossible, from the increase of influence of Facebook,Twitter and all others, you, as well as any other news sites, forbid to save your infos? Edouard

  • Judi

    Firstly – IMHO – whether it is appropriate to ask the question from susceptible youth is a difficult question. However, now that it has been asked, we need to put the answers to good use – ie as Jews, we are entitled know the answers.

    and secondly – and most importantly – now that they have asked re Jews, iin order not to appear racially prejudied, it is INESCAPABLY OBLIGATORY that the same question be asked regarding other minority groups – Let’s see how the Moslems react, and how students react re Moslems.

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