The full Knesset approved the first reading of a law banning left-wing NGO "Breaking the Silence" from entering Israeli schools.
The law was approved after a fiery debate, with 51 voting in favor of the law and 17 voting against it. Meretz party MKs attempted to disrupt the session and had to be removed.
The new law gives Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) the authority to ban individuals or organizations who are not part of the educational system from holding activities in Israeli schools if those activities are meant to impart values opposed to those of the Israeli educational system, or are intended to harm the IDF.
Bennett advanced the law saying, "Breaking the Silence aims not only to poison the world against us, with their hatred of Israel, but also to poison our children and youth. They want to visit schools and poison the students with their ugly lies. Whoever poisons our youth and harms the IDF abrogates his rights to meet with Israel's students."
"The law we are passing today is not a law opposing something, but a law supporting something. It is a law supporting the State of Israel and supporting the IDF. It is a law supporting true education, values, Zionism, and significant contributions to the IDF.
"This is a law for a simpler Israel. It's a Zionist law which protects Israel and the IDF, and is not willing to make peace the way we made peace in the days of the Second Temple, when people (extremists who harmed their own and brought about the Temple's destruction, ed.) burned storehouses and homes.
"We learned our lesson, and we will not allow anyone to destroy our homes again. Israeli schools will educate students to work together and not harm each other, to appreciate the good Israel's soldiers do for us and not to try to hurt them," Bennett concluded.
MK Shuli Mualem (Jewish Home) said, "Breaking the Silence harms the IDF and then reaps the fruits of the hate it spreads. They receive support from various international organizations, including the BDS movement. They shamelessly slander Israel and aid Hamas in de-legitimizing our country. We have no choice but to prevent Breaking the Silence and similar organizations from entering Israeli schools."
MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) slammed the law and attacked Bennett, saying, "With Bennett around, anyone who dares to criticize the occupation and the complicated situation in the settlements is labeled illegal. Our Education Minister wants to raise a generation which listens to only one voice - his own."
MK Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid), who signed the law, said, "I will not allow anyone to harm IDF soldiers. These children will in the future serve in the IDF, and they don't have to hear false accounts and lies, or see fabricated pictures whose only purpose is to convince them that the IDF is a cruel and occupying army and that Israel is always to blame.
"This factory of lies has Israeli partners as well," Lapid said. "Time after time we see Breaking the Silence telling lies, but their supporters - including those in the Knesset - don't care. In their eyes, Israel is always guilty."
"Public forums are always open to the lies perpetuated by Breaking the Silence, but the State of Israel is allowed to forbid them from entering schools. It's logical. It's normal. It's not the end of democracy or even close to it," he concluded.
Zionist extra-parliamentary organization Im Tirtzu's CEO Matan Peleg welcomed the preliminary passing of the bill to ban Breaking the Silence from schools.
"Passing this bill into law will enable Israeli democracy to defend itself against those seeking to harm it from within. A politically charged propaganda organization like Breaking the Silence has no business in our schools. Lies have no educational value, especially when they are funded by foreign governments," he said.