LISTEN: Will Israel's Cyber Spies Let Bibi Use Coronavirus to Kill Democracy?

Israel, paralyzed by the global COVID-19 crisis and by permanent political crisis, has passed a series of worrying measures to stem the spread of the virus. LISTEN FREE.

Haaretz Weekly podcast.
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Netanyahu at a nightly coronavirus update briefing.
Netanyahu at a nightly coronavirus update briefing.Credit: Pool / Yedioth Ahronoth
Haaretz Weekly podcast.
Haaretz Weekly

Host Simon Spungin is still practicing social distancing, so he's alone in the studio again this week. But he's joined by phone by Yossi Melman, Anshel Pfeffer and Judy Maltz.

In the first part of the show, Yossi Melman explains how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu relied on a law from the time of the British Mandate to pass emergency measures to tackle the spread of the coronavirus. Yossi says that the Shin Bet now has legal access to information from the cellphone of every Israeli citizen - and that there's no parliamentary oversight.

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Will Israel's cyber spies let Bibi use coronavirus to kill democracy?Credit: Haaretz

Anshel Pfeffer, meanwhile, talks politics and explains why Benny Gantz is not yet prime minister and Netanyahu is not yet a former leader.

Finally, Judy Maltz describes the challenges of reporting while being under virtual curfew and wonders how Israelis and Jews abroad will be celebraing Passover this year.

Recommended reading:

Coronavirus 'Truce': The Guns Falling Silent Across the Middle East / Yossi Melman

Coronavirus Won’t Kill the anti-Netanyahu Bloc / Anshel Pfeffer

Coronavirus Crisis: In Touchy-feely Israel, Social Distancing Creates a Big Challenge / Judy Maltz

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