NY state apologizes for ‘anti-Israel’ cartoon
The New York state Department of Education has apologized for including a political cartoon on a statewide exam that critics called anti-Israel propaganda.
According to the American Jewish Congress, which circulated a petition claiming the cartoon was “blatantly anti- Israel,” the department responded to its complaints with a statement expressing regret for the cartoon’s inclusion, the New York Post reported.
“We are reviewing our internal procedures to vet all questions to ensure inappropriate questions are not included on future exams,” the department said in a statement.
The cartoon that appeared on the high school exam administered Jan. 24 shows three Israeli soldiers—identified by a Star of David on the back of one—huddling behind an overturned table with guns drawn. One of the soldiers says, “I knew this peace table would come in handy someday.”
The question on the multiple choice exam is ‘What is the main idea of this cartoon?”
One 10th-grade student told the Post that a Jewish classmate told a teacher that he felt targeted.
State Education Department spokesman Jonathan Burman initially told the Post that the question “measures the students’ ability to analyze a political cartoon, understand the cartoonist’s point of view and apply that information to the questions being asked.”
He said the question was not meant to indicate a point of view held by the Education Department.
State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, an Orthodox Jew, applauded the department for issuing its apology.
“After a week and half, the NYS Department of Education finally apologized for this heinous political cartoon. Better late than never,” Hikind said. (JTA)