WAS William Sahlespear anti-semitic. Nine girls at the Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls School in Stamford Hill, north London, refused to answer questions on Shakespeare because they believe he was anti-Semitic. As a result the school's ranking has fallen from first to 274th in this year's table measuring the progress of pupils between the ages of 11 and 14. Head teacher Rabbi Abraham Pinter says*: "I think this is very positive. I'm really proud that our kids are prepared to take the consequences of their convictions and I think it is something that needs to be encouraged." Says the Telegraph: "The view of Shakespeare as anti-Semitic stems from his portrayal of the money lender Shylock in The Merchant of Venice." Writes Daniel Hannan: It's a delicate question but, on balance, I'm with the pupils at Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls School.