To the wave of warnings by various individuals and organizations of the possibly severe economic consequences of the judicial overhaul being advanced by the government has now been added an open letter by the Business Forum, which consists of senior people in Israeli companies.
In the letter distributed today the forum states: "We, the Business Forum, grew up with and were educated according to the fundamental ideas and principles of the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel and of the independence of the system of justice in the State of Israel. In all our businesses in industry and trade, real estate, hotels, banking and finance, men and women, secular and religious people, Arabs and Jews, people of the right, center and left, the entire political spectrum, work together in full harmony and with mutual respect.
"As business people and as managers of over 500,000 employees in the Israeli economy we are scrupulous about full equality of rights and respectful discourse in our companies, and wish to bring to the attention of the public that in talks we have held in the past few weeks and days with the president of the state and with members of Knesset from the coalition and the opposition, we made them aware of our economic assessment and the heavy fear of economic deterioration in the country as a result of continuation of the advancement of the legal reform in the form and the way that this has been done up to now."
"In our view," the letter continues, "as a result of the abovementioned reform all of Israel will be harmed economically, investment in Israel by local and foreign investors will cease, the depreciation of the shekel will worsen, Israel credit rating will decline, as a result of which interest rates in Israel will continue to rise rapidly, such that mortgage repayment will continue to rise, with the fear of damage to the public’s savings and pension funds.
"In our view, the result of all these events will be severe harm to the economic stability of the State of Israel, which unfortunately will bring in train mass layoffs and unemployment of tens of thousands of workers in all sectors of the local economy, who will find themselves without a decent source of livelihood.
"We call on the government to act responsibly, with moderation and prudence, as required by the circumstances that have been created, to halt immediately all the legislative proceedings that started the economic snowball rolling, and to re-examine, quietly, calmly, and in the customary ways, the processes and changes that need to be made with broad national consent, taking into account their wider impact on the economy, society, and national security of the State of Israel."
Members of the Business Forum are Value Base founders Victor Shamrich and Ido Neuberger; Melisron controlling shareholder and chairperson Liora Ofer; Mega Or controlling shareholder and chairperson Zahi Nahmias; FIMI Opportunity Funds senior partner and former Israel Discount Bank CEO Lilach Asher-Topilsky; Alony Hetz controlling shareholder and CEO Nathan Hetz; AFI Properties and Big Shopping Centers chairperson Eitan Bar Zeev; Fox-Wizel CEO and controlling shareholder Harel Wiesel; Brill Shoe Industries chairperson and Shachar Turgeman; Shufersal chairperson Itzhak Abercohen; Isrotel CEO Lior Raviv; Big Shopping Centers CEO Hay Galis; Discount Investment Corp. CEO Nataly Mishan-Zakai; Delek Automotive Systems controlling shareholder Gil Agmon; FIMI Opportunity Funds founder and CEO Ishay Davidi; Fattal Hotels founder and controlling shareholder David Fattal; and Alonyal (McDonald’s Israel) owner and chairperson Omri Padan.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 9, 2023.
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.