Businessmen leave Israel fearing judicial reform

Businessmen leave Israel fearing judicial reform

Netanyahu met with members of the sector yesterday at his party’s headquarters, the Likud, to worry about the impact this initiative could have on the national economy.

According to Channel 12, Bank Hapoalim chief executive Dov Kotler said during the meeting that the capital flight had already started in the last few days.

“It’s not dramatic yet, but we fear this is the beginning of the trend,” he said.

His counterpart at Discount Bank, Uri Levin, said concerns about such a project were impossible to ignore and urged caution.

Citizens are ready to fight against this initiative, we must stop this madness and start talking, said businessman Chemi Peres, son of former Prime Minister Shimon Peres.

In response, Netanyahu argued that excessive judicial oversight stifled economic growth.

Channel 12 and the news portal Ynet, citing unidentified sources, stressed that the head of government was surprised and concerned by the wave of condemnation of the reform from many circles in the country.

We are very concerned about what is happening, said Zvika Williger, owner of food importer Willi-food.

To date, more than 300 economists have signed a letter opposing the executive’s proposal, including Nobel laureate Eric Maskin.

“Reforming the judicial system endangers the Israeli economy and may lead to a decline in Israel’s creditworthiness, investor flight and brain drain,” the letter warns.

The project includes the so-called “nullification clause,” which would allow the Knesset (parliament) to re-enact laws that the Supreme Court has declared void.

According to the idea, 61 of the 120 members of the Chamber could revoke an opinion from the Supreme Court. The far-right coalition in power controls 64 seats.

The reform also envisages adding two more politicians to the committee that selects the judges, which is also made up of judges.