A year 12 Health and Human Development practice exam included a question asking about religious discrimination and how it can influence mental health.
A sample answer stated, “An example of an individual being persecuted for their religion could be the Arab families living in Israel who practice the Islam religion rather the Jewish religion. Including unlawful demolition of homes and forced displacement and detainment of these families.”
The practice exam was produced by the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER), Victorian Branch, which is a professional association representing teachers and other professionals working in the fields of health, physical education and sport recreation areas of study in Victoria.
The following statement can be attributed to Jeremy Leibler, President of the Zionist Federation of Australia, the elected representative roof body of the Jewish community:
It is absurd that of all the examples the publishers could have used to highlight examples of religious discrimination, they have elected to single out Israel, a country where Arab citizens have full equal rights. One can’t escape the irony of providing this factually incorrect comparison when there is actual religious discrimination in neighbouring Arab countries against both Christians and Muslims of specific denominations. Israeli Arabs are elected members of the Knesset, serve as Justices of the Supreme Court and enjoy the same rights as Jewish or Christian Israelis.
“This practice exam was produced by the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER),Victoria, an organisation that claims to be the peak body representing Health Education, Outdoor Education and Sport teachers in Victoria. We should all be concerned that the Achper have hijacked an important educational issue in the curriculum to perpetuate their own political agenda.
“This isn’t the first time where a certain ideology has found its way into the classroom, but should be the last. Better practices need to be put in place to ensure that high school students are not the unsuspecting victims of extreme radical ideologies.”