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Denial of budgets and layoffs. A step forward in eradicating terrorism: a new bill

Tel Aviv University. Photo credit: David Shai, Wikipedia
The chairman of the coalition, Ofir Katz, submitted a bill today (Monday) "to remove terrorism from academia". According to the bill, an educational institution will be able to take strict measures against disgraceful statements.

In cooperation with the National Union of Male and Female Students, today (Monday) the chairman of the coalition, Ofir Katz, submitted a bill according to which an institution will be obliged to fire a lecturer, teaching staff or researcher, if he expresses himself or acts in the following ways:

  • Denying the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.
  • ⁠Incitement to terrorism.
  • Support for a terrorist organization, support for an armed struggle or an act of terrorism, of an enemy state, of a terrorist organization, or individuals against the State of Israel.

A lecturer who is fired as a result of one of these things will not be entitled to severance pay and support from the institution. In addition, an institution that does not fire a lecturer according to the provisions of this law, will be denied budgets by the Council for Higher Education.

The bill comes against the background of Dr. Anat Matar from Tel Aviv University, which caused a stir.
Anat wrote a eulogy for the terrorist Walid Daka who died in prison last month. Among her words, she wrote about him: “Beloved and a source of inspiration.” Another incident occurred when she wrote “This is what a disease looks like” on Israeli flags on campus. Another statement was made by Prof. Nadira Shalhoub-Kiborkian, a lecturer at the Hebrew University who said: “It is time to abolish Zionism”.
Prof. Shalhoub Kiborkian was questioned on suspicion of incitement, following a petition in which she accused Israel of committing genocide in Gaza. According to her “it’s time to abolish Zionism” and furthermore she even cast doubt on Hamas’ acts of rape on the seventh of October.

The signatures of representatives from the coalition and opposition factions were attached to the bill.
“The proposal comes in the wake of inflammatory statements from lecturers at the academy, which have increased since October 7, and sometimes receive backing from the institutions themselves,” the minister said.

In addition, he said: “We will not allow terrorism to take over academia in the State of Israel under the guise of ‘freedom of speech’. We will not allow the statements supporting terrorism, and the spirit behind activity against Israel, the time has come to fight terrorism in academia, and I am committed to it.”

The chairman of the National Union of Male and Female Students, Elhanan Fellheimer, said: “The time has come to remove terrorism from academics, we cannot allow this phenomenon to continue. We call on all members of the Knesset from all corners of the Knesset to express support for this bill, freedom of speech yes – incitement to terrorism unequivocally no.”

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