Two Knesset committees on Tuesday slowed the government’s push to legislate various coronavirus-era powers in order to make them permanent, despite an emphatic push for approval by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Monday’s cabinet meeting.Among the controversial powers are the reinstituting of Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) surveillance of coronavirus-infected citizens and switching over many court hearings for prisoners from in-person to videoconference. Regarding Shin Bet surveillance, the Knesset Intelligence Subcommittee did not even consider any immediate reinstatement of the program.Rather, chairman Zvi Hauser focused on getting a full view of the changing coronavirus picture as infection rates jump from under 2,000 cases to over 5,000 cases over the last three weeks.He also reviewed alternate options for the state to track coronavirus trends, such as the Health Ministry’s “Magen 2.”The chairman even noted that Shin Bet director Nadav Argaman is against his agency being involved in the coronavirus efforts because he wants to focus solely on combating terrorism.However, broadly speaking, Hauser appeared to favor reinstating the Shin Bet surveillance to avoid “a large loss of life or major harm to the economy” if the government felt the need to reinstitute a national or regional lockdowns.Instead, opposition MKs like Yisrael Beytenu MK Eli Avidar and Yesh Atid MK Orna Barbivai pressed hard to use alternatives to the Shin Bet.Avidar said, “you are rolling over” for the government, demanding that Hauser and the government “stop the threats. There is no plague right now! There are people who have been diagnosed with coronavirus. Don’t say sick people! Most are not all that sick.”The Yisrael Beytenu MK explained that if only around 5,000 people were infected with only 300 deaths out of a country of nearly 9 million people, then it was a gross exaggeration to say that coronavirus is out of control and requires extreme measures like Shin Bet surveillance.Likewise, Barbivai attacked the government’s instinct to jump back to the Shin Bet instead of pushing harder for an alternative.She and Abidar blamed the government for purposely failing to put all their energies into developing an alternative because of Netanyahu’s preference to employ the Shin Bet program.Intelligence Ministry official Ronen Herling said that Magen 2 got nowhere near a reach of 60% of the population required for properly tracking coronavirus trends. National Security Council technology official Rafi Meron said his office also backed the Shin Bet option. However, Avidar challenged their statisticsAvidar presented a study which said reaching anything above 10% of the population could make a large difference and noted that countries all over the world are using alternatives to the Shin Bet to combat coronavirus, some with success.Meanwhile, at the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, chairman Yakov Asher (UTJ) halted a bill designed to extend coronavirus-era rules for prisoners coming to court for a year.Asher said that the government, the courts and the Israel Prisons Service must try harder to find ways to elevate the percentage of prisoners that can be brought to court in-person.He said some balance could be found to comply with social distancing limits on how many people can be in a courtroom, while still not resorting to so many prisoners having hearings by videoconference.Yesh Atid MK Karin Elharar said that prisoners could not always hear during videoconferences and that the current bill overly empowered the Shin Bet to arbitrarily choose who would get to come to court and who would not.Other critics insisted that at most the current rules could be extended for a few months.A lawyer for the Justice Ministry said that there was no perfect solution and that it was impossible to comply with social distancing and bring all prisoners to court at the same time.She added that even as the law would last for a year, each announcement of emergency powers for prisoners would only last for 30 days at first.