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December 16, 2015 6:59 am

Israeli Education Minister Moves to Ban IDF Whistle-Blower Group From Schools

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett ordered his ministry to bar the Jerusalem-based nonprofit organization Breaking the Silence from entering the Israeli school system, Israel’s Channel 2 reported on Tuesday.

Bennett instructed Education Ministry Director General Michal Cohen and other education professionals to change the guidelines for so-called educational debate, in order to bar organizations that incite against IDF soldiers from engaging with students. Such organizations include Breaking the Silence, according to the report.

Bennett — who is also chairman of the nationalist Jewish Home Party — made the instructions a day after Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon of Likud said he would ban Breaking the Silence from all army activities.

Breaking the Silence, founded by former IDF soldiers and officers, gathers and publishes testimonies of soldiers who served in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — territories captured by Israel during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.
The government backlash against Breaking the Silence also came just after an IDF soldier was detained by British authorities for alleged war crimes, though he was shortly released.
According to Israeli daily Haaretz, Breaking the Silence responded with a statement:
Over 1,000 fighters who risked their lives defending the settlements and outposts in the territories received a clear message from [Ya’alon]  and Bennett – ‘You’re good only as cannon fodder, but after you’re done with the dirty work – shut your mouth.’ It’s time for education workers who care about Israeli democracy to raise their voice, at a time when Bennett is sacrificing the Israeli education system on the altar of the occupation and the settlements.
Another Likud MK, Yoav Kisch, proposed legislation on Tuesday aimed at prohibiting government ministries and the IDF from cooperating with certain foreign-funded NGOs. Kisch singled out Breaking the Silence on Monday in a Facebook post accusing NGOs of trying to harm Israel in international fora.

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