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Israel restricts rights groups for calling it ‘apartheid’ regime

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Palestinian protesters take cover behind a garbage canister amid clashes with Israeli troops in the village of Kfar Qaddum near the Qadumim (Kedumim) settlement in the occupied West Bank, during a demonstration against the expropriation of land by Israel, on January 15, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Israel has barred rights groups from entering schools, fearing their influence on its education system, days after B’Tselem described Tel Aviv as an apartheid regime.

Israeli education minister Yoav Gallant issued the directive on Sunday after the Israeli advocacy group B’Tselem used the designation against the regime for the first time in its 31-year history.

Apartheid points to the extreme racist practices that used to be carried out against black people by South Africa’s former ruling system.

B’Tselem said as an “apartheid” entity, Israel systematically oppresses the Palestinians via military occupation and racist measures. The regime, it said, subjects Palestinians -- whether throughout the occupied territories or the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip - to “laws, practices, and organized violence to cement the supremacy of one group over another.”

Gallant said the rights groups have to be blocked out of schools as they “act in contradiction with the education system’s goals.”

He listed some of what he called undesirable activities by the groups, including “calling Israel false derogatory names,” “discouraging meaningful service” in the Israeli military, and opposing Israel as a “Jewish, Zionist, and democratic” entity.

Tel Aviv’s attempts at trying to establish itself as an entity exclusive to Jews and those who adhere to the radical ideology of Zionism are however in direct contrast with any “democratic” practice.

Israel claimed existence in 1948 after a Western-backed war against Palestinian and other regional territories.

It occupied more territories in another war in 1967. Ever since it has built numerous settlements and put the most aggressive restrictions on the movements of Palestinians in the occupied territories.

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