Will Human Rights offices organize protests in Israel against Knesset passed law?
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s parliament passed a law on Tuesday that could see groups critical of government policies toward the Palestinians banned from entering Israeli schools and speaking with pupils.
Critics of the law, which passed with 43 votes in favour and 24 against in the 120-seat Knesset, said it was a blow to core democratic values like free speech and part of the Israeli government’s effort to delegitimize rights groups and NGOs.
The amendment to the education act grants new powers to Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the religious-nationalist Jewish Home party, to order schools to bar certain groups from giving lectures to students.
The legislation has been dubbed the “Breaking the Silence” law, a reference to the Israeli group of that name which collects and publishes testimony from Israeli veterans about the military’s treatment of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and during conflicts with militants in Gaza.
Bennett has been critical of the organisation along with other right-wing politicians who accuse the group of damaging Israel’s image abroad and putting soldiers and officials at risk of prosecution for alleged war crimes.