Canadian exam question creates anti-Israel feel, group alleges


TORONTO (JTA) — A question on a provincial exam for 12th-graders in Manitoba will promote anti-Israel sentiment, B’nai Brith Canada says.    

The question — "Explain whether or not you think people in the entertainment industry have a responsibility for making the world a better place?" — was in response to an article written by Canadian singer Chantal Kreviazuk in which she deplored the suffering of children in several armed conflicts, including those killed and maimed in the Gaza Strip by an artillery shell.

B’nai Brith Canada alleged that the question will promote anti-Israel feelings, the Winnipeg Free Press reported, and wants the Department of Education to check every student’s paper and count the anti-Israel comments..

Winnipeg-based B’nai Brith Midwest region director Alan Yusim told the newspaper that most students would not have the knowledge to conclude anything other than that Israel victimized children.

"I don’t see which other conclusion you could reach," Yusim said.

Manitoba Education Minister Nancy Allan said she shares the Jewish organization’s concern, and has told department officials to find out how the question got on the exam and how "to make sure this doesn’t happen again. We’re taking this very seriously."

Some entertainers have canceled shows in Israel in response to the Gaza flotilla incident. The alternative rock band the Pixies was the latest act to pull out, joining the likes of Elvis Costello, Klaxons and Gorillaz Sound System.

Other acts, including Elton John and Rod Stewart, are still planning to play Israel this summer.

Recommended from JTA