(JTA) — A government ethics review panel in the United Kingdom said that a teacher who it had suspended for inveighing against Jews and Israel “is not anti-Semitic.”
The assertion came in the summary by the country’s Teaching Regulation Agency of a disciplinary review last month of the actions of Harpreet Singh, 48, who was head of mathematics at Sandye Place Academy in Bedfordshire, 50 miles north of London, the BBC reported Tuesday.
He was suspended from the school in June 2017 after concerns were raised by colleagues about his social media posts.
The misconduct panel, which banned Singh from teaching until at least 2021, found that he had made “offensive and racist” comments on Facebook including one which said: “Every sane human is anti-Semitic. Because you bastards have made Zionism synonymous with the mistreatment of Palestinians. Billions are anti-Semitic and proud of it.”
In another, he posted: “Of course we hate Jews. Israel is the most evil regime on the planet. Supported by Jews from within, and from around the world.”
But the panel said in its review that it “accepted that Mr. Singh is not anti-Semitic. It also accepted that he was not trying to impact upon or influence children or the public, as he did not realize his comments were public. His actions were impulsive and were made in response to something which offended him, and were said (in his opinion) as an attempt to defend the Palestinians.” Singh also wrote that “Israel should be wiped off the planet.”
Separately, France’s higher education minister, Frederique Vidal, condemned what she termed “anti-Semitic graffiti” targeting Patrick Levy, the rector of the Grenoble-Alpes University in eastern Frances. The graffiti, which did not mention Jews and were cryptic, were discovered Monday. One phrase read: “Erase Levy’s emails.” Another read: “The return is racing ahead.” The university also condemned the incident but did not call it anti-Semitic, France TV Info reported.