President, ministers flooded with calls after activists have posted their phone numbers

The telephones of Israeli politicians from across the political spectrum fell behind the weekend after a list of their private numbers was published online.

President Reuven Rivlin, Ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked and opposition leader Tzipi Livni were among those whose numbers were on the list, who quickly spread across the country via WhatsApp.

Barak Cohen, the lawyer and political activist who compiled the list, explained in a Facebook post that he believed that his actions were a "public service" and urged his followers to distribute the figures "so that every citizen can benefit "from accessible communication with their [public] servants. "

Cohen's post is an example of doxxing, the practice of publishing people's personal data, such as addresses and telephone numbers, on the Internet, often because of bullying. In his case, Cohen insisted on making the elected representatives more accessible to their constituents.

However, not everyone on the list appreciated the public service.

Likud MK Sharren Haskel attends a debate of the Knesset Health Committee on a reform to facilitate access to medical cannabis, January 9, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel / FLASH90)

Likud MK Sharren Haskel said that while always tried to be open and welcoming to the public, after the leak and the "Immense amount of trolls" caused them no longer to answer calls from unknown numbers.

"Thanks to the bastards," she concluded.

Tzipi Livni noted that the number that was posted as hers was actually someone else's, who went through a family drama and requested that people not bother her.

Ears Hazan, a brand Likud MK known for stunts like the breaking of the diplomatic protocol to make a selfie with the American president Donald Tr ump, had a different view. In a tweet he wrote that he wanted to thank Cohen.

"Thanks to him, I had the privilege of rediscovering how much love and sympathy I have from Dan to Eilat [i.e., from the north to the south of the country] and gathering a huge crowd of supporters who have joined my path," he wrote, while he " thousands "thanked him with encouraging words.

"I am here for you, feel free to call."

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