Israeli Knesset advances bill to ban Palestinian flags from campuses
A government-backed bill to ban the Palestinian flag from universities has passed the first stage of voting in the Knesset.
The Israeli Knesset approved, a proposal backed by the far-right Netanyahu government that aims to ban Palestinian flags on university campuses. The proposal received support from 52 Knesset members and was opposed by 30.
The legislative proposal has passed its preliminary reading and will require another three rounds of voting to be implemented, The Times of Israel said.
The proposal was suspended by the government panel responsible for it, after being condemned by universities and rights groups while being opposed by the Israeli attorney general.
On Wednesday the bill was introduced by Otzma Yehudit party member Limor Son Har-Melech in Knesset and it also bans the raising of the flags of Resistance groups on campuses.
If put into law without any editing, the bill will suspend students who raise "prohibited flags" for 30 days and if the offense is repeated they would be prohibited from continuing their higher education studies for the next 5 years.
The bill's provision states that "higher education institutions will be required to expel students affiliated with armed organizations or convicted of terrorist acts." Additionally, these students will be "prevented from obtaining degrees in Israel or recognized foreign degrees for ten years."
It's worth noting that between June and July 2022, the Knesset preliminarily a similar bill that bans the raising of Palestinian flags in institutions funded by the Israeli occupation government, including universities.
Amnesty International condemned the Israeli occupation's decision to impose further restrictions on raising the Palestinian flag in public places, stating that it is a "shameful attempt to legitimize racism."
This statement came after the Israeli "Minister of National Security," Itamar Ben-Gvir, requested the Israeli police remove any Palestinian flag from public spaces, claiming that displaying the Palestinian flag is a "terror-supporting act."