Breaking the Silence to appear at Jerusalem school, despite gov't efforts

The presentation is not for students and the school is not directly sponsoring the event, Shiloh told the Post.

January 22, 2019 13:59
1 minute read.
A speaker talks during a "Breaking The Silence" event, at Tel Aviv University, January 17, 2016

A speaker talks during a "Breaking The Silence" event, at Tel Aviv University, January 17, 2016. (photo credit: KOBI RICHTER/TPS)


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Breaking the Silence, an Israeli NGO critical of the IDF, will make a presentation for parents at Beit Hasefer HaNisui (the Experimental School) on Hillel Street in Jerusalem next week.

The event, sponsored by the school’s parents association, will take place on Sunday, January 27, at 8 p.m. in the school library, according to an email sent by the principal of the middle school, Gil Shiloh, obtained by The Jerusalem Post. The event will include a presentation with Q&A.

The presentation is not for students and the school is not directly sponsoring the event, Shiloh told the Post.

“The parents organized an evening for parents and it is not connected to me or the school,” said Shiloh, who noted he would “turn over the keys of the school” to parent association head Ola Savchuk because “she is doing it in the school, but it is not a school event.”

He continued, “I stand with what the Education Ministry says.”

Savchuk said she was not interested in interviewing with the Post.

In July 2018, the government passed the “Breaking the Silence” Law by a majority of 43 to 23. The law bars activists who slander Israel and the IDF in international forums from entering school premises. It also applies to anyone who acts abroad in support of institutions that delegitimize Israel.

However, the law is still in the process of ratification by the Justice Ministry and therefore cannot yet be enforced by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who was one of its sponsors.

Matan Peleg, CEO of the organization Im Tirzu, nonetheless called on Bennett to act.

“The fact that schools still invite Breaking the Silence to speak, even after the passing of the law, shows just how much the education system needs fixing and a strong leadership,” said Peleg. “Im Tirtzu will continue to stand alongside the students, parents and educators who wish to preserve the truth and Israel’s Zionist identity.”

It is still unclear if an event on school grounds that does not target students would be considered breaking the new law and would be “an interesting test case,” according to related sources.

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