Knesset ratifies Breaking the Silence law banning group from schools

July 17, 2018 by TPS
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The Knesset ratified the so-called “Breaking the Silence Law” overnight between Monday and Tuesday, giving Education Minister Naftali Bennett the authority to prevent organisations that “act against the IDF” from addressing school groups or entering state-funded schools.

Naftali Bennett Photo: David Michael Cohen/TPS

The law also instructs state schools to encourage students to enlist in “meaningful” IDF or civilian national service including combat, cyber, combat-support or search-and-rescue units, amongst others.

Education Minister Bennett praised the vote, saying it is necessary to shield Israeli students from ideas that challenge Israel’s legitimacy.

“A reality in which organisations that undermine the legitimacy of the State of Israel and spread lies about IDF troops will (ultimately) seep down into (the minds of) Israeli students – that ends today. Breaking the Silence long ago crossed the line of legitimate debate when they decided to defame the State of Israel on the international stage. As long as they operate abroad against the State of Israel and the IDF, I will not allow their activities inside the education system,” Bennett said.

“Feel free to operate in the privacy of your own homes. But the education system, which is responsible for crafting future generations, will not give expression to voices like these,” he added.

MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli added “today we put an end to a situation in which Breaking the Silence activists, and others like them, can come into our schools in order to incite against IDF soldiers and officers. The school system is supposed to transmit the values of loving others and the country, and of performing meaningful (military or civilian) national service. Anyone who acts against these basic values will no longer be allowed into Israeli schools.

“Even more, this law is a public stamp of immorality for Breaking the Silence and its activists,” said Moalem-Refaeli.

Predictably, Breaking the Silence were quick to respond, blasting the law as the latest installation in a series of illiberal laws promoted by the current government.

“After trying to enforce religious practice in the public sphere, now we’ve got the silencing (of opposing voices): Education Minister Naftali Bennett is so afraid of Breaking the Silence that he forced through this ‘law to silence the occupation,’”, adding that Bennett wants to set up “illegal settlements” in Israeli classrooms in order to get his message across.

“(Bennett expressed that message in the media): It is justified to shoot eight-year-old Palestinian children, but settlers must not be removed from their homes… This attempt to shut Breaking the Silence up will not work. It will not hide the occupation, but it does prove just how shaky Bennett and co. are about their own ideology. The time has come Bennett and co. to internalise that as long as there is an occupation there will also be soldiers to break their silence and will publicise what we have been doing in the territories for the past 51 years.

“Want to shut us up? End the occupation,” the group said in a statement.



3 Responses to “Knesset ratifies Breaking the Silence law banning group from schools”
  1. Liat Kirby says:

    Already we have the ABC reporting this news as if it’s some kind of proof of lessening of democracy. They really do have an agenda against Israel. The question must be asked, would the Australian government allow the same sort of entry into Australian schools of a group condemning the Australian Defence Forces via anonymous informers? The answer is a resounding NO. There just might be a few world news items around more significant than this one. But not for the ABC.

  2. Hymie Glass says:

    What “occupation” is BTS talking about? Is it the Chinese occupation of Tibet; the Russian occupation of Crimea; the Turkish occupation of half of Cyprus; the occupation by Iran, Turkey and Syria of Kurdish lands; the occupation by the Sinhalese of Tamil Eelam? No, of course not – real atrocities are committed by those occupying powers but the world and BTS is silent.
    The useful idiots like BTS are only interested in undermining the most moral military in the world – the IDF.
    Which other army sends text message warnings to their deadly foes (Hamas operatives) BEFORE firing missiles to destroy their apartment buildings – which contain an arsenal to be used Israeli civilians)? Its only the IDF who send out these warnings – not any other army in the world, especially when confronted with a war-like situation against enemies who lust for their annihilation. Jewish conscience and military restraint are clearly exhibited by the IDF. They should be praised by all Jews for the protection they deliver to the Israeli people. Its an act of treachery, especially in times of war, to undermine the IDF. The Knesset has done the right thing in barring BTS’ access to school children.

  3. Tom. Moss says:

    About time these”traitors” were exposed for what they are.
    Freedom of speech is one thing,but internal erosion is another

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