Yoaz Hendel
Yoaz HendelArutz Sheva

Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel explains in the Arutz Sheva studio the purpose of his activity to promote Israeli supervision of social networks and especially of the 'Facebook' network.

"When we get to networks there are two basic questions of transparency and responsibility. There is a very strong media body, a monopoly like Facebook, that sets the rules. Were you blocked? I want you to have a phone call where you can get an explanation. I want there to be transparency about the algorithm, I want someone to take responsibility for what is written," says Hendel.

He said, "Facebook is not a 'mail carrier'. Social networks are not just an empty platform, but one that has content editing and therefore needs to be properly addressed."

Hendel is not thrilled by the criticism of his activities in the field. "I hear a very superficial discourse from Netanyahu's supporters who are against regulation of the networks when only a few months ago they were in favor because Facebook blocked them. We face a great challenge. Most media conduct does not take place in the traditional media that is regulated but in social networks. There is no regulation on the Internet."

The minister looks at the discourse in the political system and finds it difficult to come to terms with it. "I saw a disgusting discourse in the previous government as well and I see it in this government as well. People with public responsibility should lead it differently. They will not find me standing on the Knesset podium, insulting and blaspheming. I think this is not how the State of Israel and its elected representatives should look. There should be a better precedent: Violent discourse calling for violence cannot exist in Israel and should be treated criminally. The disgusting discourse is still within the scope of freedom of expression.

Hendel was asked about the law promoted by his party's chairman, Minister Gideon Sa'ar, to prevent the prime minister from serving an indictment against him. "There should be a situation where a prime minister who enters office without an indictment will receive a maximum term of two terms in which he is not questioned on marginal matters, but he cannot enter the office with an indictment to serve as a city of refuge, even if he has plenty of supporters."

Regarding construction in Judea and Samaria, the Minister expresses optimism. "There will be construction in all parts of the Land of Israel. I personally as Minister of Communications am spreading fiber (cyber networks) everywhere - and the place where the most is deployed is in Judea and Samaria. Every part of the State of Israel is a sovereign part and that is the story. One should not treat Samaria, where my parents or my sister live, as a special needs class because there are a lot of registered voters there, but treat them like anywhere else in the country. The Galilee, the Negev, the Coastal Plain, are all parts of the state and resources must be invested in them. "

The Minister of Communications understands the complexity of the government but calls for not attaching too much importance to statements from the left. "I believe that the Evyatar agreement will be honored. Everyone has statements and directions and there is no doubt that there are disagreements on the political issues in this government. In the end, sovereignty is done in actions on the ground. Fiber, electricity, water, are the determining actions. "Once the residents of Judea and Samaria treat themselves as part of the State of Israel, so too will everyone else treat them as such."

To claims that he does not represent the right, he replies, "Netanyahu's supporters are not right-wing in my eyes. In the end, those who support those who voted in the disengagement, who released terrorists, who did nothing in the Negev and the Galilee - are not right-wing. If someone feels uncomfortable and pointed at me and thought I did not mean what I said - that is his problem. I promised to replace Netanyahu - and I replaced him. I am in favor of some governments and I have been in the previous one as well. Unfortunately, Netanyahu chose to dismantle it and now we are in another unity government that is good for the State of Israel."

How long will the government hold his opinion? "I have been going through a school of politics for the last three years. In the end, everyone has an interest that this government will hold, because it safeguards the interests of the state in the political-security field and in the economic field."