Proposal to ban student activities incompatible with Israel’s Jewish character

MEMO | June 13, 2012

Hebrew media sources have revealed moves in the Israeli parliament (Knesset) to enact a law which will ban student activities and events which are “incompatible with the Jewish character of Israel” in universities and educational institutions within the country. A radio report on Tuesday said that about 30 Knesset members representing various parliamentary blocs have submitted the proposed draft bill.

Under the law, educational institutions within Israel would be committed to banning the establishment of any organisation, or the organisation of any events, which “deny the Jewish democratic character of Israel, incite racism or support the armed struggle against the state”.

Knesset legal adviser Eyal Lennon warned of the consequences of such a law, which he said would create substantial legal problems. He sees this as a freedom of speech issue and refused to support legislations which is intended to silence opinions, “even those that are unacceptable”.

The latest move follows attempts to ban educational institutions in the occupied Palestinian territories from commemorating the Nakba (1948 Catastrophe) on their campuses.

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