Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Knesset
The Knesset Health Committee, chaired by MK Idit Silman (L) votes to approve the ‘WhatsApp’ Bill, June 26, 2022.

The Knesset Health Committee, chaired by MK Idit Silman (kind of from Yemina – DI), on Sunday approved for second and third readings in the plenum the Prohibition on Publication of Information on Casualties Act of 2022, sponsored by MKs Yitzhak Pindrus (United Torah Judaism), Mossi Raz, Michael Rozin, Gaby Lasky, and Ali Salalha (Meretz), Ibtisam Mara’ana (Labor), and Alon Tal (Blue&White).

The bill imposes financial compensation for the disclosure of information—whether true or false—and dissemination of identifying details about casualties or fatalities before an official notification has been delivered to the families by the designated authority. Compensation may be as high as NIS 10,000 ($3,000) and allows the family members of the person whose name was used to sue for that amount.

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The bill, originally dubbed “the WhatsApp law,” was submitted by Meretz back in 2018, but has been lingering without a plenum vote because of the country’s political upheaval. The jury is out at this point on whether or not the bill would get a chance to pass by the Knesset before its dissolution.

For the record, once an authorized version of the information was disseminated, media outlets, as well as various online groups, are free to run it.

Committee Chair MK Silman said: “The goal of the bill we approved today for second and third readings is to prevent and reduce the anguish that is caused, regrettably, to bereaved families due to the publication of the names of casualties in an irresponsible manner. This is our ethical and moral obligation to the harmed individuals and their families.”​

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.