A radical left-wing NGO that aims to disparage the Israeli army could soon be banned from entering Israeli schools.
The Knesset on Wednesday passed the first reading of a bill that would prevent “Breaking the Silence” from holding events at public schools.
The motion did not pass easily. After a fiery debate, just 51 out of 120 members of Knesset voted in favor. But only 17 voted against.
Members of the extreme leftist political party Meretz tried to disrupt the proceedings and had to be forcibly removed from the plenum.
Breaking the Silence has for years promoted bombshell allegations of aggressive and brutal behavior by Israeli soldiers toward Palestinian Arabs.
But the group has been accused of exaggerating and even fabricating such stories. And it’s refusal to reveal the identities of the supposedly disgruntled soldiers telling these tales has only fueled suspicions.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett (pictured) said the group’s only true goal is to poison Israeli society against the IDF.
During the debate over the new bill, Bennett stated:
“Breaking the Silence aims not only to poison the world against us, with their hatred of Israel, but also to poison our children and youth. They want to visit schools and poison the students with their ugly lies. Whoever poisons our youth and harms the IDF abrogates his rights to meet with Israel’s students.”
Bennett stressed that he and other supporters of the bill were not trying to silence anything. It has been widely noted that the IDF is already its own harshest critic, and any legitimate claims of abuse are vigorously investigated and, if necessary, prosecuted.
Rather, the bill seeks to bring greater unity.
“It is a law supporting true education, values, Zionism, and significant contributions to the IDF,” said Bennett. “Israeli schools will educate students to work together and not harm each other, to appreciate the good Israel’s soldiers do for us and not to try to hurt them.”
PHOTO: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90