Israeli parliament votes to ban state and army critics from schools
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: July 29th, 2018
Israels parliament has passed a law that could ban groups critical of the armed forces or the state from entering schools and speaking to students. As an amendment to the countrys education act, the law grants extensive powers to Education Minister Naftali Bennett, the education minister and head of the religious-nationalist Jewish Home party. He can decide to ban groups, the bill states, if they actively promote legal or international political actions to be taken outside Israel against soldiers of the Israel Defence Forces ... or against the state of Israel. However, critics warn the law is so vague that it could apply to any person or body that criticises Israel to a foreign entity or government for example, an Israeli rights group that submits an unfavourable report to a UN agency. The legislation has been dubbed the Breaking the Silence bill, a reference to an anti-occupation Israeli human rights group run by military veterans that collects and publishes testimony on army abuses. Bennett has been deeply scathing of the organisation, accusing it of damaging Israels image abroad and putting soldiers and officials at risk of prosecution for alleged war crimes. Yehuda Shaul, one of the founders of Breaking the Silence, said the law was the broadest restriction on freedom of expression for political reasons ever put into Israeli law. He said its goal was to silence criticism of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
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