Nakba Day protest at Tel Aviv University.
(photo credit: BEN HARTMAN)
Anti-Israel activity on Israeli campuses may be brought to an end if two bills by MK Alex Miller (Yisrael Beytenu) pass.
After the Knesset’s summer recess ends in late October, Miller plans to submit a bill to prevent universities from hosting activities by “extremist organizations” and to resubmit his “Raad Salah Bill” from 2011, named for the Islamic Movement’s northern branch leader, which would bar anyone convicted of aiding terrorism from speaking on campuses.
According to Miller, the bills would help universities to prevent harmful activities on their campuses.
“The situation in which extremist factors cynically take advantage of Israeli democracy and academia has crossed every line,” Miller said. “Citizens of Israel do not need to fund the activities of organizations that incite against Israel in institutes of higher education.”
Miller called to “uproot the shameful phenomenon as soon as possible.”
The new version of the “Raad Salah Bill” states that anyone convicted of aiding terrorists is barred from speaking at any educational institution without special permission from the education minister in consultation with the justice minister. The bill would carry a penalty of 18 months in prison.
The legislation’s explanatory section states that people “cynically use the platform of educational institutions to delegitimize the State of Israel and its basic values as a Jewish and democratic state, which endangers the country and society.”
Miller posits in the bill’s text that speeches by such people have led to outbursts of violence and that enemies of the state should not be allowed to influence the future leaders of Israel.
The second proposal would prohibit colleges and universities from allowing activity on their campuses that rejects Israel as a Jewish and democratic state; incites to racism, violence or terrorism; supports armed conflict or terrorism by an enemy state or terrorist organization against Israel; marks Israel’s Independence Day as a day of mourning; or destroys or physically degrades the Israeli flag.
The chairman of the Council for Higher Education would decide on sanctions for an institution that defied the law, the bill states.
Miller passed a related law in the previous Knesset, nicknamed the “Nakba Law,” as it requires the state to fine local authorities and other state-funded bodies for holding events marking Israeli Independence Day as the “Nakba” (“catastrophe” in Arabic) or for supporting armed resistance or racism against Israel. It also bans desecration of the state flag or national symbols.