A new bill that will be submitted to the Knesset in the coming days will prevent persons who were convicted of helping terrorist groups to lecture in supervised academic institutions, such as schools and universities, so that they are not able to incite students.
The bill was initiated by MK Alex Miller (Yisrael Beiteinu), who chairs the Knesset's Education Committee, following a lecture by Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, at Tel Aviv University.
Salah, who spoke at the university last Monday, called during his lecture for liberation of Jerusalem from Israeli authority, and criticized United States President Barack Obama’s call for a Palestinian Authority state on 1949 armistice lines with land swaps, saying that such land swaps mean an expulsion of Arabs.
Salah had also been scheduled to appear at Haifa University, but that appearance was cancelled because the university was concerned that it would cause friction between Jewish and Arab students.
Salah was among 14 senior members of the Islamic Movement who were arrested in 2003 for providing aid to the Hamas terrorist group. He also took part in last year’s IHH freedom flotilla, during which activists on the Mavi Marmara physically assaulted IDF soldiers who boarded the ship, after it refused to change course and insisted on breaking the naval blockade on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Salah, who had been aboard the Mavi Marmara, was arrested after the flotilla incident and was later released. He claimed in court that the soldiers who boarded the ship had attempted to assassinate him.
He was also convicted in 2009 of rioting and of assaulting a police officer during Muslim riots in 2007, protesting Israeli construction in Jerusalem's Old City. He was sentenced to five months in prison and began serving that term last July.
MK Miller explained to Arutz Sheva’s Hebrew website Wednesday that under the law he is proposing, approval by the Minister of Education and consultation with the Minister of Justice would be required before any person convicted of helping a terror organization would be allowed to appear in an educational institution.
He added that anyone who breaks the law and appears in an educational institution without approval would be jailed for a period of one year to 18 months.
Miller’s committee held a discussion earlier in the week over Salah’s appearance at Tel Aviv University. During the meeting, Miller scolded the representatives of the university, saying that “The purpose of Salah’s public appearances is to deepen the conflict, incite young people against Israel and enlist them to an armed struggle against it.”
Miller added that “Such a person should not be welcomed at academic institutions and the university should have made a decision that sent a clear message that a person convicted of helping terrorist groups is not welcome there.”