New Israeli law bans groups critical of the military from schools


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Knesset passed legislation that would ban organizations critical of the Israeli military from entering schools.

The law, which appears aimed at the Breaking the Silence NGO, passed early Tuesday morning on second and third readings by a vote of 43-24.

Breaking the Silence brings former Israeli soldiers to schools and other venues inside and outside of Israel to talk about their personal experiences involving alleged abuses of Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the right-wing Jewish Home party, and party member Shuli Moalem-Refaeli sponsored the legislation.

“Organizations that undermine Israel’s legitimacy and slander IDF soldiers will no longer be able to gain access to Israeli students,” Bennett said in a statement. “Breaking the Silence long ago crossed the boundaries of legitimate discourse when they started libeling Israel in the international arena. As long as they operate against Israel and the IDF abroad, I will not let them in the education system.”

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