17 leading law firms warn judicial overhaul will harm Israeli democracy, image, economy

In the latest public petition lambasting the new government’s plan to overhaul the judiciary, 17 of Israel’s leading law firms warn that the plan won’t fix the situation and instead will “harm the way Israel is perceived around the world as a democracy,” as well as the country’s economy.

“We want to warn against harming the resilience and independence of the justice system and the system of checks and balances at the basis of the democratic regime we are so proud of, alongside the State of Israel being a Jewish state,” it says.

The firms say it is “not an issue of right or left,” adding that collectively, they employ some 3,500 legal staff “from all across the political spectrum.”

Earlier today, the CEO of Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest bank, published a Facebook post against the plan, saying that while he agrees changes are needed, he is in favor of “an evolution, not a revolution.”

Dov Kotler says he takes pride in the diversity of the bank’s staff, appearing to take a stand against the government’s plan to alter the anti-discrimination law to allow businesses to discriminate based on religious belief. Many Israeli companies have spoken out, saying they won’t discriminate or work with a business that does so.

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