UK Teacher Who Wrote ‘We Hate Jews’ Is Deemed ‘Not Antisemitic,’ But Will Be Suspended
A teacher in the United Kingdom who said “we hate Jews” is not antisemitic, according to a panel that reviewed his conduct and recommended that he be banned from returning to the classroom for at least three years.
Harpreet Singh — the former head of mathematics at Sandye Place Academy, a secondary school in Bedfordshire — was first suspended and ultimately dismissed from his position after a number of his social media posts on Jews, Zionism, and Israel were uncovered in June 2017.
“Every sane human is anti semitic,” Singh claimed in one post. “Because you bastards have made Zionism synonymous with the mistreatment of Palestinians. Billions are anti semitic and proud of it.”
“Israel should be wiped of [sic] the planet,” he continued. “Dogs! The chosen race?!?!?!! What an insult to God!”
In another instance, he wrote, “Of course we hate Jews. Israel is the most evil regime on the planet. Supported by Jews from within and from around the world. A token 20-30 Jews speak out.”
Singh told a panel convened by the Teaching Regulation Agency last month to review his conduct that he doesn’t oppose Jews or Judaism, arguing that he was provoked and his statements taken out of context.
While apologizing for his comments, he also claimed that they were only “directed at the actions of the Israeli Government” and were impulsively made in “an attempt to defend the Palestinians,” the panel detailed in its report of his case.
The panel subsequently “accepted that Mr Singh is not anti-Semitic,” after giving the evidence “careful and detailed consideration, and having explored this in detail with Mr Singh during his oral testimony.”
It accepted that Singh was “deeply affected” by social media posts he saw relating to Israel and the Palestinians, and that he “got carried away as a result of being upset and angry about what he saw and the comments and posts he read.”
The panel did, however, acknowledge that his comments “were serious, offensive, racist, and demonstrative of a lack of tolerance and respect for the beliefs of others.” It expressed concern that while Singh might now understand the impact of his comments, he had at first tried to explain them.
Singh was also found to have given the password to his school laptop to an individual who “admitted to accessing sexual material” on it, and to have browsed the internet for alcohol and properties for sale during class time.
Finding that Singh had failed to uphold the standards expected of teachers, the panel recommended that he be immediately banned from teaching. Yet it agreed that a review may be undertaken in three years, citing witness statements praising his teaching and noting that there was “a strong public interest in returning a good Maths teacher to the profession.”
The panel’s decision was executed by Alan Meyrick, chief executive of the Teaching Regulation Agency.