In a first organized public comment by senior Israeli businesspeople on the government’s planned changes in Israel’s judicial system, over fifty of them have signed a letter stating that "the emerging legal revolution is liable to lead to severe harm to the economy."
The letter, which warns of worsening divisions in the country and calls for dialogue and compromise, was sent this morning to President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President of the Supreme Court Esther Hayut, Speaker of the Knesset Amir Ohana, and Leader of the Opposition Yair Lapid.
Among the signatories are Eitan Bar Zeev and Hay Galis, chairperson and CEO of Big Shopping Centers Ltd.; Zvi Schwimmer, CEO of Electra Consumer Products; Harel Wizel, CEO of Fox Group; Café Café owner Ronen Nimni; Avi Edri, CEO of Cinema City; Tzomet Sefarim co-owner and CEO Avi Schumer; Renuar CEO Serge Derhy; Aroma Israel chairperson Yariv Shefa; Delta Israel CEO Anat Bogner; Pizza Hut Israel CEO Udi Shamai; Yifat Bracha-De Larena, CEO of Leia London; and the initiator of the letter, Shachar Turgeman, chairperson of Brill Shoe Industries.
"We have followed with great concern the development in the public arena and the widening division between different sections of the people," the letter states. The letter stresses that it is a non-political initiative subscribed to by people who voted for all the political parties in Israel. "We are proud Israelis, one human fabric that voted for all the parties in Israel. We, who represent one of the pillars of the Israeli economy, of course respect the decision of the electorate, but at the same time we are certain that in a democratic country people should listen to one another.
"The legal system can be fixed. Like any institution, it is not perfect, but we must not throw out the baby with the bathwater. In large part, Israel’s achievements are the outcome of the fact that it’s a democratic country with a balance between the branches of government and belief on the part of its citizens and of the world that we are country with the rule of law. The emerging legal revolution, in the way that it is being promoted, is leading to widening divisions among the people and is liable to lead to severe harm to the economy."
The businesspeople call for dialogue, and say that just as they negotiate in business order to reach common ground, they are sure that the public’s leaders are capable of reaching a compromise. "We love Israel and we love Israelis, and we are sure that it is possible to find the high road, the bridge between the different views. The consequences of lack of dialogue are liable to be fateful for our future in general and for the future of the Israeli economy in particular. We, senior executives in the private sector, call on you to show leadership, to open a dialogue, and thereby ensure that changes carried out will be carried out with broad agreement in order to avoid a split in the people."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 5, 2023.
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