On October 16, Lena Awwad and Shatha Hussein wrote in the Harvard Crimson:
As countless students around the world took the SAT a week ago, Palestinians from the West Bank could not join their ranks. The October SAT exam was cancelled for students in the West Bank: The Israeli authorities held the exams sent by the College Board for weeks, not releasing the tests to AMIDEAST’s office in Ramallah.
According to them, “This latest SAT episode is merely a symptom of systematic attacks on Palestinian education.”
Indeed, it’s all too easy to attribute anything and everything to Israeli malevolence towards the Palestinians. Sometimes, however, the truth is rather more mundane, as reported by the AP only four days later:
The US State Department said dozens of Palestinian students whose SAT exams were delayed because of Israeli customs will take the test this Saturday.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Wednesday that about 100 students in the West Bank will sit the exam this weekend.
“I’m happy to say that we have learned that this issue has now been resolved,” Nuland said.
Mahmoud Amara, a Palestinian principal of the Friends School, said the rare two-week delay affected his students’ ability to apply for American universities. He said US officials told them the delay was because the exams arrived during a series of Jewish holidays, when Israeli customs offices were closed.
So, despite the Harvard Crimson’s accusations that Palestinian students have been deliberately targeted, the SAT exams have not been cancelled and those students affected were the victims of something that most Israelis have experienced more than once – simple inefficient bureaucracy.
Those SAT exams were evidently delayed by two weeks. How long will it take the Harvard Crimson to publish a clarification?