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New York Regents State Exams Blasted for Shameful Antisemitic Questions

A Regents exam administered to thousands of New York students last week was blasted by critics as “unconscionable and shameful” for including “loaded” questions about Israel.

A group of Jewish leaders and civic organizations ripped a section of the test that showed maps of the changes to Israel’s borders over the decades and asked two questions that gave a “dishonest” impression about the Jewish state’s expansion.

“The maps lack all context,” former state Assemblyman Dov Hikind said. “Specifically, that border changes resulted from successive wars started by Arab states to annihilate Israel. Second, the questions, at best, lend themselves to debate, not to singular answers from among false choices.”

Hikind also said that the Global History and Geography Regents II, given last Thursday, included the trope that the Holocaust was the prevailing reason for the state of Israel and that “Zionists and Jewish immigrants” benefited most from the “changing borders.”

“When you show these maps and ask why the state of Israel was created, it just attributes it to the Holocaust,” said Hikind, who added that the Zionist movement toward the Jewish state actually began in the 19th century under Theodor Herzl.

He also complained that the test referred to the Golan Heights region, which was recognized by the US in 2019, as being “annexed” by Israel.

The questions shocked proctors charged with administering the test, he said.

“One proctor was so angry, she was beside herself,” Hikind told The Post. 

Hikind, along with Brooklyn Councilwoman Inna Vernikov and the group Americans Against Antisemitism, are calling on New York State Commissioner of Education Betty Rosa “to swiftly remove the disingenuous questions and conduct a thorough audit to ensure such egregious distortions of history that invariably lead to animosity for the sole Jewish state aren’t being inadvertently fed to our children.”

“Test transparency can raise legitimate issues of questions’ appropriateness and wording,” said David Bloomfield, an education professor at  Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center. “It’s not a matter of ‘wokeness’ to civilly debate these matters.”

Hikind said that by reducing the creation of the Jewish state to the Holocaust ignores all historical, ancestral, and biblical connections of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. “That connection goes back thousands of years.”

This isn’t the first time the Regents have had an Israel problem. 

In 2017, an “anti-Israel” cartoon blasted as “anti-Israel propaganda” was discovered on the Global Studies Regents.

The New York State Education Department said the two questions on Israel were “designed to test students’ knowledge of geography as it relates to historical events.”

“New York State social studies teachers prepared, selected, and reviewed the excerpt and questions on the Global History Regents Exam prior to their inclusion,” they added. “All exam questions are reviewed multiple times by NYS-certified teachers and State Education Department subject matter and testing specialists to ensure they are not biased, accurately measure the learning standards, and contain no errors.”

Source: https://nypost.com/2023/01/31/new-york-regents-exam-blasted-for-loaded-questions-about-israel/