Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed concern over the widespread use of social media to interfere with upcoming Israeli elections and called for the establishment of an independent watchdog to prevent the practice.
Netanyahu said on Sunday that he had ordered the appointment of an outside watchdog to oversee the “unprecedented” viral interference with upcoming elections.
“This phenomenon is unprecedented,” he told Israel Radio.
“The Prime Minister has instructed his cabinet to establish an independent panel, which will have to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
Netanyahu’s announcement came after the head of the electoral commission, Yoram Cohen, wrote to a member of the ruling Labor Party in an attempt to quell concerns over the election-related manipulation.
Cohen, who is also an attorney, said that the manipulation was happening on a wide scale, and he urged the party to remove from the party’s platform the “pro-Zionist” party Likud.
“We will do everything to prevent this phenomenon from happening again,” Cohen wrote in an email to Cohen’s former deputy, Yair Lapid, and to Lapid’s former parliamentary colleague, Yitzhak Herzog.
“The prime minister has instructed the government to establish a commission to monitor the situation and to ensure that the misuse of social networks is not repeated,” Cohen said.
“I am convinced that such a commission will be formed by the government and will ensure that there is a strict line between political manipulation and election meddling.”
In the past, Netanyahu has made similar remarks about the possibility of widespread interference.
“It will be a matter of days before this will be the norm,” he said in an interview with Israel Radio in November 2015.
“It will happen to the right, it will happen on the left, it’ll happen on both sides, it won’t be an accident,” he added.
In the election year that is set to be held in April 2019, the parties vying for the presidency of Israel will face off against the other parties that are also vying for a seat on the country’s lower house of parliament.
While the prime minister is unlikely to directly comment on the election situation, he has also called for a boycott of the election, which is scheduled to take place April 21, and a ban on any political activity that may contribute to voter confusion and confusion.
Netanyahu also told the public on Sunday to “avoid using the Internet in the streets” and urged citizens to avoid “instilling illusions about the future of Israel.”
“It’s a good idea to go out and enjoy the day, not to put up with this kind of nonsense,” he warned.
“In the end, we will have the right to decide who lives and who dies.
Now we need to achieve something else, so we have to act.””
For the past year, we have been able to achieve a very good result.
Now we need to achieve something else, so we have to act.”