Gallant: Groups that call Israel ‘apartheid state’ barred from schools

The decision was made a day before a planned online lecture by B’Tselem’s director-general Hagai El-Ad at Hebrew Reali School in Haifa.

Yoav Gallant (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)
Yoav Gallant
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)
In the wake of B’Tselem labeling Israel an apartheid state, Education Minister Yoav Gallant on Sunday banned groups that call Israel false derogatory nicknames from entering schools in the country.
The decision was made a day before a planned online lecture by B’Tselem’s director-general Hagai El-Ad at Hebrew Reali School in Haifa.
“The Education Ministry under my leadership has engraved on its banner the promotion of Zionist, Jewish and democratic values, and it acts accordingly, among other things to encourage graduates of the education system to have a meaningful service in the IDF, which is Israel’s protective tool and a key condition for its existence,” Gallant wrote to members of his ministry. “We will not allow organizations that call the State of Israel an apartheid state to lecture to students who are about to be drafted into the IDF.”
Last week, B’Tselem called Israel an apartheid state, the first time it has done so in its 31-year history. In response to its statement, the left-wing Israeli NGO was accused of being antisemitic.
“Israel is not a democracy that has a temporary occupation attached to it; it is one regime from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and we must look at the full picture and see it for what it is: apartheid,” El-Ad said in explaining the policy change.
“The fundamental tenets of Israel’s regime, although already implemented for many years, have recently grown more explicit,” he added.
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.