Big Shopping Centers (TASE: BIG) plans to shut all of its shopping centers this Tuesday. The company announced this morning that if the Knesset passes the bill to abolish the reasonableness test in judicial review of executive decisions in its current format tomorrow, all of its centers from Kiryat Shemona to Eilat will be closed, and that the company intends to take further measures as the legislation proceeds.
"The Big group announces that if the bill to abolish the reasonableness cause of action is passed at first reading on Monday on the Knesset in its current format, we will regard this as a serious step towards patently illegal, corrupt behavior by the government, and another step towards a dictatorship," Big stated. "Legislation such as this will represent a critical blow to business and economic certainty in Israel, and will directly and immediately endanger our existence as a leading company in Israel.
"In order to protest in an exceptional way and to prevent the passing of this corrupt legislation, we will participate in the day of strike action planned for Tuesday. Big centers from Kiryat Shemona to Eilat will be shut. When the country is shaking and being torn apart from within, we cannot sit on the fence, and when necessary, and as the legislation and the plundering of the public purse that we finance progress, we will escalate our measures."
Tomorrow (Monday) the Knesset plenum is due to vote at first hearing on a bill to restrict the application of the reasonableness test for decisions by the executive branch of government. The implication of the bill is that the Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice, will not be able to intervene in decisions by the government, by government ministers, or by other elected officials, that are unreasonable in the extreme.
Leaders of the anti-judicial overhaul protest movement have announced that, if the legislation is passed tomorrow, this Tuesday will be declared a day of resistance, with demonstrations and disruptions around the country. Among other things, a mass demonstration is planned for Ben Gurion Airport at 4 pm.
In March, Big Shopping Centers was one of the first companies to announce that it would shut down in response to the dismissal by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant after Gallant called for a delay to the judicial overhaul legislation to allow for talks between the government and the opposition. The dismissal sparked mass protests, and Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel) chairperson called a public sector strike. One after another, Israel companies announced that they were suspending business, on an unprecedented day of strikes. Netanyahu subsequently climbed down and Gallant remains in his post.
Last night, for the twenty seventh successive Saturday night, there were demonstrations around Israel against the judicial overhaul plan. Crowd Solutions, in an assessment carried out for Channel 13 television, put the crowd in Tel Aviv at 140,000. Demonstrators who attempted to block the Ayalon Highway were cleared by police using water cannon. Bereaved families of fallen IDF soldiers demonstrated opposite military headquarters in Tel Aviv with a display showing the soldiers’ names and the slogan "In Vain".
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 9, 2023.
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