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B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith International is appalled that the New York State Education Department used an anti-Israel cartoon on a New York State Regents exam. The test was administered on Jan. 24. According to the New York Post, the cartoon depicts three Israeli soldiers, one with a Star of David on his back, positioned with guns behind a table. One of the soldiers says, “I knew this peace table would come in handy someday.” The question related to the cartoon, asks “What is the main idea of this cartoon?”
The New York Post spoke with a 10th-grade student that said a fellow Jewish classmate felt insulted, “…He said he felt like they were putting the blame on his religion.”
This cartoon is political propaganda, and turns the peace process into a one-dimensional cartoon. The New York State Education Department should avoid materials that can generate biased opinions. The New York State Education Department made an error by using this cartoon. This should serve as a teachable moment for the educators behind this exam question and their supervisors.