World Bulletin / News Desk
By a vote of 43 to 24, the controversial bill -- introduced by Education Minister Naftali Bennett and right-wing MP Shuli Mualem-Refaeli -- was approved in its second and third readings at a late Monday Knesset session.
Known as the “Breaking the Silence” law, the legislation prohibits activists from left-wings groups devoted to documenting Israeli army violations from entering Israeli schools or talking with Israeli students.
The law will reportedly also apply to anyone who pursues activities abroad in support of organizations that “delegitimize” the Israeli State.
Breaking the Silence, an Israeli peace NGO (after which the law was named), blasted the legislation, saying: “The education minister is so afraid of Breaking the Silence that he passed a law to silence all critics of the occupation.”
In a statement, the NGO added: “Bennett wants to teach kids in schools that it’s justified to shoot at eight-year-old Palestinian children while it’s forbidden to evacuate [Israeli] settlers [from stolen Palestinian land].”
Established in 2004, Breaking the Silence collects and shares testimony from former Israeli soldiers with a view to exposing Israeli army violations against Palestinians in the occupied territories.