Education Minister Yoav Galant is banning groups that call Israel an “apartheid state” from lecturing at schools — a move that targets one of the country’s leading human rights groups after it commenced labeling equally Israel and its control of the Palestinian territories as a single “apartheid” system. The explosive term, long seen as taboo and mostly used by the country’s toughest critics, is fervently rejected by Israel’s leaders and many ordinary Israelis. In a report released last week, the rights group B’Tselem said that while Palestinians live under diverse forms of Israeli control, they have fewer rights than Jews. B’Tselem said it would not be deterred by the minister’s announcement.
“B’Tselem is determined to keep with its mission of documenting reality, analyzing it, and making our findings publicly known to the Israeli public, and worldwide,” it said in a statement. Israel passed a law in 2018 preventing lectures or activities in schools by groups that support legal action being taken against Israeli soldiers abroad. The law was apparently drafted in response to the work of Breaking the Silence, a whistleblower group for former Israeli soldiers. It was not clear if Galant’s decree was rooted in the 2018 law.
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