Israel bans groups calling the country an ‘apartheid state’ from lecturing at schools

Israel Education Minister Yoav Galant announced Sunday that he is banning groups that call Israel an “apartheid state” from lecturing in schools.

The ban is said to be in response to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. According to B’Tselem, Israel’s control over Palestinian territories is “inextricably bound up in human rights violations.” The group released a report on January 12, reporting that the state of Israel is pursuing a nondemocratic “apartheid regime” and “Jewish supremacy” in Palestinian and Israeli territories.

In a tweet on Sunday, Galant wrote that he instructed the Ministry of Education director-general to ban organizations that call Israel an “apartheid state” or that “despise” Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers from giving lectures in Israel schools. He went on to write that, under his leadership, the Ministry of Education promotes Zionist, Jewish, and democratic values. One of the ministry’s acts is “to encourage graduates of the education system to make significant enlistment in the IDF, which is Israel’s protective tool and a key condition for its existence.”

Despite the education minister’s announcement, B’Tselem gave a lecture on Monday at the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa. In a tweet, the organization wrote: “The lecture did take place and the Israeli government will have to contend with our existence until the apartheid regime ends.”