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Draft law to deny Sheikh Raed Salah access to Israeli academic institutions

February 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm

A member of the extreme right-wing Yisrael Beitenu Party is drafting a law to deny access to academic institutions for anyone “assisting ‘terrorist’ organisations”. The move is intended to prevent the leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah, from taking part in debates in Israel’s universities, and signals a shift even further to the right for Israel’s policies against its own Palestinian citizens.

Alex Miller MK announced that the draft law he calls “Raed Salah” will be put to the Israeli parliament on Sunday. According to the online version of the Hebrew newspaper, Maariv, Miller claims that the draft law will “prevent any persons assisting ‘terrorist’ organisations from entering educational establishments under the control of the Israeli government without the consent of the Minister of Education.”

Sheikh Raed Salah is currently in a British detention centre awaiting deportation following pressure from the Israel Lobby in the UK, which appears to have an inordinate degree of influence over the Home Secretary Theresa May. Alex Miller told the newspaper, “If Britain has deemed it necessary to prevent Raed Salah from entering its territory due to his extremist positions and fearing he could exploit academic and educational forums to promulgate his views, then there is no justification for Israel to allow him this.”

Commenting of the draft law, the spokesman for the Islamic Movement in Israel, Taufiq Muhammad, said: “This exclusionary Zionist mentality continues to give rise to dozens of discriminatory laws, of which this latest is one.” Mr Muhammad said that his organisation is not surprised that such a law could be proposed by the same people who lobbied the British government to arrest Sheikh Salah and deprive him of the opportunity to express his views on the discrimination faced by Palestinians in Israel. “They are well-aware of the veracity and legitimacy of what Sheikh Raed has to say,” he said, “which is why they don’t want it to be aired in public.” People like Alex Miller, he added, are afraid of the truth, and it is amazing that he sits as chairman of the commission on education in Israel.