General Strike Threatened Next Monday Over Judicial Reforms

By Hamodia Staff

Former IDF chief of staff and defense minister Moshe Yaalon, at a press conference to announce a general strike next Monday. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM — The specter of a general strike over proposed judicial reforms came closer to reality on Tuesday as protest organizers threatened to shut down the economy next Monday.

Former IDF chief of staff and defense minister Moshe Yaalon, who has emerged as a prominent figure in the protests, warned of the opposition’s resolve.

“The State of Israel is in a leadership and political crisis, the likes of which we have not known since the declaration of independence,” Yaalon at a press conference on Tuesday.

“The government is criminal and illegal. A black flag flies above it,” Yaalon declared. “We will do everything so that Israel doesn’t become a dictatorship.”

The plan is for participants to march to Yerushalayim for a mass demonstration against the government in front of the Knesset.

Yaalon specifically called on labor and other organizations to allow their workers to take time off to join in the strike.

Alongside Yaalon at the press conference were a number of lawyers, economists and activists.

Meanwhile, Israeli cybersecurity firm Wiz announced its decision to pull tens of millions of dollars out of Israeli banks, a source close to the company said on Tuesday.

The source, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said Wiz, which has a value of some $6 billion, has concerns about growing uncertainty in the Israeli market in light of the proposed changes to the judicial system.

The company will keep its operations in Israel.

Wiz declined to comment on the transfer of money out of Israel, which was initially reported by Channel 12 news.

At a meeting of the Knesset Finance Committee on Monday, Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron was asked by chairman Rabbi Moshe Gafni why he, as a non-political official, felt compelled to enter into the charged debate and join critics of the government.

“There’s a political debate in Israeli society, a debate that divides the country into extremely antagonistic camps,” Rabbi Gafni said. “Here, half the population thinks that reform is necessary. I too think that the Court is too powerful. You are the governor of the Bank of Israel, and suddenly I hear you talk about the judicial reform being liable to harm the economy. Why do you have to express a view on this matter? Do you think that the governor of the Bank of Israel should express a view when half the residents of the State of Israel think otherwise?”

In reply, Yaron read from a prepared statement: “The country’s credit rating is determined in accordance with a broad range of criteria and reflects the country’s ability to repay its debt. Many studies have shown that strong, independent institutions are a vital component for the maintenance of a developed, prosperous economy. Accordingly, the credit rating agencies examine these areas as well. It is therefore important to ensure that these characteristics will continue to be preserved in any process that is introduced.”

Yaron said that Israel’s economy is currently strong, with high credit ratings, but that a rash program of institutional change could imperil it.

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