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Ohio test question that raised Jewish concerns is withdrawn

(JTA) — An Ohio Graduation Test question that draws a direct correlation between the Holocaust and Arab resentment over the formation of the State of Israel was withdrawn for future tests.

The question on a test given to Ohio 10th-graders in five subject areas raised concerns among Ohio Jews, the Cleveland Jewish News reported.

Joyce Garver Keller, executive director of the Ohio Jewish Communities representing eight Jewish communities in the state, told the newspaper that following a March 30 meeting with Ohio Department of Education official Stan Heffner, the question will not be given again.

The test on which the question appeared was given between March 12 and 16. The question on the test’s social studies assessment read: “After the Holocaust, many Jews felt that they needed a state of their own in order to provide security for the Jewish people. In 1948, the state of Israel was formed. Many Arabs disagreed with this action. Identify two perspectives of many Arabs that explain their objection to the establishment of Israel.”

Garver Keller told the Cleveland Jewish News that she has received e-mails and calls from all over the state on the question. She said that some students were "traumatized by the question."

Garver Keller objected to the question’s implication that the establishment of Israel was a direct consequence of the Holocaust. She added that the second part of the question about Arab perspectives makes it appear that Arab perceptions are legitimate and that Israel therefore does not have a right to exist.

 

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