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Israel Election: Bots and Digital Manipulation

by Oui Wed Jan 23rd, 2019 at 09:41:07 PM EST

Central Elections Committee set to scold Likud on digital manipulation | JPost |

The chairman of the Central Elections Committee, Supreme Court Justice Hanan Melcer, is expected to announce Thursday that he will force the Likud to sign a covenant promising to refrain from digital manipulation in the April 9 election, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Until now, every major party running - except Likud- has signed the covenant, which was drafted by Hebrew University lecturer Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, the head of the Media Reform Program at the Israel Democracy Institute.

She wrote the covenant in lieu of legislation, because Israel's Election Propaganda Law was passed in 1959, and because it has only been updated once since then to include television, makes no reference to the Internet. Efforts to update the law before the election failed after they were blocked by the Likud.

"I wrote the covenant so there would be rules for the Wild West despite the lack of legislation," she said. "We went to [the] parties to sign it, but the Likud didn't want to hear about it."

Continued below the fold ...

Melcer asked the Likud to sign it and, after the party refused, announced 10 days ago that he would announce a decision within a week and a half on whether to impose the covenant on all the parties.

On Wednesday night, a Likud spokesman said that Melcer had no authority to impose the covenant and that the law must be updated by the Knesset to reflect changing realities. The spokesman said the Likud would not engage in digital manipulation, such as the use of "bots" and other sophisticated social networking, to impact the election results.

Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Nadav Argaman caused a storm two weeks ago, when he warned that foreign countries were interfering in the election. Shwartz Altshuler confirmed that this was taking place, but said most of the election interference taking place by digital means was being done by Israeli parties, not foreign countries.

Russia on Shin Bet chief warning: We are not interfering in Israeli elections

No time like the present to update Israel's election laws

In November 2017, former Israeli Supreme Court judge Dorit Beinisch released a report detailing her findings during a two-and-a-half-year examination of Israel's Election Law. Beinisch, the first woman to serve as president of Israel's top court, had been appointed to head the investigation by President Reuven Rivlin and Salim Joubran, another ex-Supreme Court judge, in the summer of 2015. At the time, Joubran, who heads Israel's Central Elections Committee, described the Election Law, drafted back in 1959, and with few amendments since, as "outdated" and "archaic" because it did not address "today's most popular media tool, in general, and even more so during an election campaign - the Internet." Beinisch agreed, arguing that the Central Election Committee needed modern legal tools to address online meddling, and that election propaganda laws should be extended to the Internet.

These were not strictly theoretical concerns. To get a sense of what online election interference looks like in Israel, you only have to go back a few months to municipal elections held in October 2018. Just days before that vote, as the Times of Israel reported, Israel's cyber agency, the National Cyber Directorate, asked Facebook to remove thousands of fake profiles spreading false information about candidates.

According to the directorate's Erez Tidhar, Israel also requested Facebook delete "a lot of avatars (profiles on social media) created to try to change public opinion and to manipulate information." Those revelations followed various media reports earlier in 2018 investigating the role of online trolls in Israeli politics, as well as the proliferation of fake social media accounts - in the hundreds of thousands - controlled by political parties and municipalities.

Justice minister Shaked exults: High Court no longer a branch of left-wing Meretz party

    "The most important thing is the identity of the judges," she said. "I advanced people whose world outlook is more conservative... Most the country's citizens can see that for the first time there is an effective justice minister who implements the right-wing policies."

TDs back controversial occupied territories Bill as Independent Ministers abstain | The Irish Times |

Three Independent Alliance Ministers abstained in the vote on controversial legislation to ban the sale of goods imported from occupied territories, which passed second stage by 78 votes to 45.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross and Minsters of State Finian McGrath and John Halligan abstained. The fourth member of the alliance Minister of State Kevin 'Boxer' Moran voted with the Government.

Fianna Fáil say law to boycott goods from occupied territories 'the right thing to do' | Irish Independent |

A PROPOSED law that could see a boycott of goods originating from the Occupied Palestinian Territories should not be viewed as "radical" rather it should "be seen as the right thing to do".

That's according to Fianna Fáil foreign affairs spokesman Niall Collins, whose party is backing the Bill originally put forward by Independent Senator Frances Black.

It used its private members' time this afternoon for a debate on the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 which is due to be voted on tomorrow.

With all of the main opposition parties supporting the Bill, the government - which is opposing it - is likely to be defeated in the Dáil vote.

Mr Collins said that if it is passed it will "be sending a strong message that we condemn the occupation of territories which are deemed illegal under international law. "

He said the Bill applies to illegal occupations anywhere in the world, not just Israel and Palestine.

Bill banning Israeli settlement goods passes in Seanad

Reaction from the Jewish State of Israel ...

Irish bill to criminalize West Bank settlement activity advances | JPost |
Lieberman calls to shut down Israeli Embassy in Ireland over boycott bill | Ynet News |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 24th, 2019 at 03:53:44 PM EST

Facebook to bar anonymous Israel political ads, but only shortly before election | Times of Israel |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Jan 30th, 2019 at 08:32:25 PM EST
US security aid to Palestinians to end, envoys seek workaround | Ynet News |

... "The US administration was surprised by the Palestinian decision, and said it wanted to find a solution in order to continue aid to the Palestinian security services."

Such a solution may include finding alternative funds within the CIA budget or amending US legislation.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may also be disinclined to signal worries about the West Bank ahead of his bid to stay in office in an election in April as the Palestinians' goal of an independent state is rejected by many of his fellow Israeli rightists.

"Israel cannot save the failing leadership of the Palestinian Authority," Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told Reshet Channel 13 TV when asked about the cut in US funding.

"The most we can do is say to them, 'since this is our land, if you cannot govern, then we can."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Jan 30th, 2019 at 08:34:13 PM EST
Despite international disapproval, Lebanon forms government with Hezbollah | Ynet News |

Almost 9 months after the elections, Saad al-Hariri forms third government including 3 Hezbollah ministers despite US and European pressure, threats to withhold aid.

Rival political groups have been locked in disagreement over the make-up of a new government since May, after the country's first parliamentary elections in nine years.

The breakthrough comes after rival factions worked out a compromise allowing representation of Sunni lawmakers backed by the powerful Shiite group Hezbollah.

The government also sees an increase in the number of ministries affiliated with the powerful Shiite Hezbollah group, which is under tightening sanctions from the United States that labels the group a terrorist organization. The group made significant gains in last year's Parliament elections while Hariri's block lost a third of its seats.

The group now holds two ministries and a ministry of state, including for the first time the Ministry of Health, which has one of the country's largest budgets. The Finance Ministry remains in the hands of a Hezbollah ally, Ali Hassan Khalil.

For the first time, the Lebanese government includes four women ministers, doubling their representation, including the powerful Ministry of Interior in charge of internal security. Gebran Bassil, the son-in-law of the Lebanese President, remains foreign minister.

Hariri called the new government "a reflection of Lebanon's image in 2019."

In Lebanon: New Government, Old Politics | CFR - Nov. 2009 |

Related reading ...

Lebanon's Choice: Pro Colonial West or Shia Terror
Opening Salvo KSA Purge

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 31st, 2019 at 09:09:43 PM EST
UK's Haredi public vs. ministry -- we won't teach about LGBT community | Ynet News |

Britain's ultra-Orthodox educators and parents consider moving education underground or even leaving the country over law that demands all schools discuss 'the ways in which people can be different,' including LGBTQ community.

Under Britain's 2010 Equality Act, independent secondary schools will be obliged to teach about gender reassignment and sexual orientation. In primary schools, children should be "aware of the ways in which people can be different and be respectful of those differences". Schools that refrain from implementing this new policy received a shut-down warning from Ofsted.

Sex education rules could force Haredi Jews into home schooling | The Guardian |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 31st, 2019 at 10:35:28 PM EST
Here is Neturei Karta's detailed biography of de Haan. See if you can tell what is missing....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Feb 1st, 2019 at 08:18:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I presume no one was held accountable for the murder of Yaakov Yisrael Dahan. "He was a man who devoted all his energies and the best years of his life to saving the remnant of loyal Jews, and to promote peace with the veteran Arab residents of the Holy Land."

My diaries on Naturei Karta ...

Stop the Occupation and Neturei Karta Orthodox Jews
News on Settlement Building West Bank

A group of Jews from Neturei Karta demonstrated in The Hague at the Peace Palace to send a message about the decision of the Separation Wall crossing the Green Line on Palestinian Land. In a period the International Court of Justice made a decision where the "barrier" was declared illegal, State of Israel lost.

Ruling International Court of Justice in The Hague

Related eading ...

Exceptional Amnesia: A List of U.S. Actions Since WWII by BostonJoe @BooMan on July 10, 2006
The Rights Forum for Palestine - New Dutch Initiative
Israel takes part in international court debate for first time in decades

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 1st, 2019 at 10:48:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Since nobody has pointed out what is wrong with that biography, let me explain. The hint was that I responded to a post about Haredim not wanting to teach about LGBT. The Neturei Karta website has one of the most detailed and accurate biographies on the internet, but with one major and hilarious gap. They say
While training for the teaching profession, he began to attract attention in literary circles. Among the admirers of his poetry was a (non-Jewish) physician, Johanna van Marseveen, whom he subsequently married.
No mention of the fact that a lot of his poetry (and his novels) dealt with homosexuality. This got him into trouble, as the Dutch were not as tolerant as they are these days, but at least they didn't shoot him.

He continued to write poetry along these lines throughout his Zionist and anti-Zionist phases. Here is a sample, from Kwatrijnen


Wat wacht ik in dit avonduur,
De Stad beslopen door de slaap,
Gezeten bij de Tempelmuur;
God of de Marokkaanse Knaap?

"Moroccan" is presumably a reference to the fact that the Moroccan quarter (1193-1967) was adjacent to the Western Wall. There is a monument to him somewhere in Amsterdam, with the following poem by him
Die te Amsterdam vaak zei 'Jeruzalem'
En naar Jeruzalem gedreven kwam
Hij zegt met een mijmrende stem: 'Amsterdam, Amsterdam.
Neturei Karta doesn't mention this one either.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2019 at 12:59:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2019 at 06:50:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apple brings the hammer down on Google for app that broke its rules, just like it did with Facebook | CNBC |

Apple first pulled Facebook's enterprise certificates after a TechCrunch report revealed that the company had been secretly distributing a Facebook Research app to members of a program that allowed the firm to collect data on how they used their devices.

Google was operating a similar program called Screenwise Meter that also skirted Apple's rules. It apologized on Wednesday evening and called its action a "mistake." Both Facebook and Google have shut down the programs on iPhones.

UAE used cyber super-weapon to spy on iPhones of foes
Severe vulnerability in Apple FaceTime

<stupid people>

Facebook beats expectations - Q4 2018

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 31st, 2019 at 11:06:17 PM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 1st, 2019 at 11:12:21 AM EST
Breaking News Israel Election: Gantz's Blue and White Coalition


... strong representation former military officers and national security leadership ... a dent in standing of PM Netanyahu 😊

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 07:11:57 PM EST
Another election upset looming?

New Polls Put Gantz-Lapid ahead of Netanyahu

Three surveys show Blue and White surging ahead in April 9 election, with 35-36 seats to Likud's 26-33.

"Netanyahu's planned escape from corruption prosecution misfiring ... following UK's Brexit and PM May's miscalculation for an increased majority"

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 10:03:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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