In the shadow of the coronavirus crisis confining populations across the world to their homes, governments have taken a number of steps that have impinged on individuals’ rights in an effort to contain the virus, prompting criticism charging unjustified, undemocratic power grabs. As CAMERA has previously reported, The New York Times, in particular, along with The Los Angeles Times, identify Israel as a prime example of a country where an “autocratic,” “authoritarian” leader allegedly engaged in an undemocratic “coup d’état,” or “coronavirus coup.” To substantiate the unfounded charge, media outlets have falsely claimed that Israel has shut down its courts.
Haaretz‘s English edition this weekend took this specious narrative to a new level, introducing an entirely false new charge: that Israel is limiting Internet use. The May 9 column by contributor Eva Illouz, who holds the Rose Isaac Chair in Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is also a senior research fellow at the Van Leer Institute, alleges (“Religion Can No Longer Claim Moral Superiority, and Six Other Lessons From the Coronavirus Crisis,” print edition, May 8, page 5)
Illiberal democracies like Israel, Poland, Turkey and Hungary handled the coronavirus crisis like a Reichstag-on-fire moment, as an opportunity to suspend civil liberties, close the parliament and the courts, and curtail free use of the internet.
Data compiled from the Israeli Internet eXchange (IIX), managed by ISOC-IL, indicates that Israeli internet traffic to local websites has increased by 25% in the past two weeks.
The Israeli Internet eXchange (IIX), connects all ISPs in Israel. Israeli ISPs are currently connecting to the IIX at rates of up to 100 gigabits per second. Estimating that the volume of online traffic will increase in the near future, ISOC-IL’s board, has accepted the recommendation of its CEO, to allow Israeli ISPs to increase their bandwidth connection to the IIX at no additional cost during the state of emergency announced amid the spread of Coronavirus.
Illiberal democracies like Israel, Poland, Turkey and Hungary dealt with the coronavirus crisis like the burning of the Reichstag in Germany 1933 — an opportunity to suspend civil rights and to ignore the authority of the parliament and the courts.
Justice Minister Amit Ohana signed regulations Thursday extending emergency measures that shut down the country’s courts for another week.The courts will reopen on May 17 to give the legal system time to prepare to return to normal activities, according to a statement from Ohana. Ohana froze the courts’ activities in March, but said urgent cases would still be heard. (Emphasis added.)
4:55 P.M. [Thursday, May 7] Israeli justice minister extends emergency closure of courts for another week
Justice Minister Amir Ohana has signed regulations extending emergency measures freezing the activity of the country’s courts for another week. The courts will reopen on May 17 to give the legal system time to prepare for a return to normal activity, according to a statement from Ohana. Ohana froze the courts’ activities in March, but said urgent cases would still be heard. (Haaretz)
An earlier version of this story stated incorrectly that Israel had shut down the courts in response to coronavirus. This has been corrected. Court activities have been curtailed but not suspended.