Israeli university presidents have issued a joint statement warning of a systematic suppression of free speech following a new coalition bill.

Photo credit: 123rf/Channel 2 News

The Council of Presidents of Israeli Universities has condemned the promotion of a bill that would prohibit university professors from expressing certain views in class.

As reported on Channel 2 News, a new amendment to the Higher Education Council Law, proposed by MK Oded Forer of Yisrael Beiteinu, says teachers in the Israeli academia should not express views that “incite hatred, contempt or disloyalty to the state, its government and its judiciary bodies, provoke anger or urge (students) to try and change a law using illegitimate means.”

“This bill is outrageous and has no place in a democratic country,” the council said in a statement. “The universities are among the most important institutions in Israel, and it is saddening that some politicians are trying to make headlines by using us as their punching bag.”

“As we’ve warned in the past, we are being led down a dangerous path,” they added. “Instead of destroying free speech little by little, why not just propose a law to cancel free speech in Israel entirely?”