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Another 110 Business Execs Join Appeal, Warning Netanyahu about Harm to Democracy

More than a hundred senior Israeli corporate executives and fund managers on Tuesday, December 20, joined an appeal initiated the previous week to warn Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu that his coalition’s desired policies are threatening Israel’s image of a stable democracy in the world.

One of the signatories, Elah Alkalay, chairperson of IBI Mutual Funds, which manages about NIS 10 billion ($2.9 billion) in assets, said that the main concern of the business sector is that the looming legislation could alter the country’s checks and balances and lead to a politicization of Israel’s judiciary system, and entrench its principles of democracy.

Netanyahu’s incoming coalition bloc plans to curtail the judiciary, make changes to quasi-constitutional Basic Laws and grant sweeping powers in the West Bank to far-right lawmakers.

“The main concern is that if the judicial system is politicized, we are regarded by the international community like countries such as Hungary or Poland or even Turkey where political needs preside over economic and judicial considerations impacting transparency, and predictability increasing the risk and the cost of doing business,” Alkalay said.

The appeal letter to Netanyahu was initiated by Erez Shachar, co-founder of Tel Aviv-based venture capital firm Qumra Capital, and signed by tech executives and serial entrepreneurs. Among the 110 signatories of the petition are Zvi Stepak, chairman of the Meitav Investment House and its CEO Ilan Raviv; Amit Mashiach, CEO at the McCann Israel advertising company; Israel Makov, former Teva CEO, and others. (TOI / VFI News)