Hi-tech leaders joining protests against judicial reform, threaten industry will ‘flee abroad’

Leaders of billion-dollar hi-tech companies and venture capital funds pledge to participate in street protests, raise money for legal battle aimed at stopping proposed reforms to the judicial system.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

Leaders in Israel’s hi-tech industry have expressed their disapproval over the new government and potential reforms to the judicial system, signing an open letter claiming that the ruling coalition’s “destructive actions” could negatively impact Israel’s economy.

CEOs and founders of major companies in the hi-tech space have stated that they will attend street protests in Tel Aviv this upcoming Saturday evening, as well as raise funds for a legal fight aimed at stymying Justice Minister Yariv Levin’s changes to the judicial system.

In an open letter, the founders of prominent Israeli venture capital fund TLV Partners wrote that they had raised some $1 billion since 2016, and that funding had been reinvested into Israel’s economy.

“The large sums of capital invested in our industry are its sunshine and water. But no flower can bloom on rotten soil,” wrote TLV Partners executives Rona Segev, Shahar Tzafrir, Adi Yarel Toledano and Eitan Bek.

“We say these things with a heavy heart and great pain, and we hold hope that the destructive actions will be stopped before it’s too late.”

Framing the proposed changes, which would see the powers of Israel’s Supreme Court limited, as a catastrophe, the letter stated that “an unbalanced system is a dangerous system for everyone, both collectively and individually. It is dangerous for the majority and the minority. It is dangerous for the right and the left. And it is our duty to prevent it from happening.”

They added that “if Israel’s democracy is harmed, the hi-tech industry will wither or flee abroad.”

According to Hebrew-language news outlet Tech 12, a number of CEOs and founders of Israeli start-ups worth billions of dollars have publicly announced that they will participate in a special “Hi-tech protest,” which will be held near HaBima Square in Tel Aviv.

Among the high-tech leaders participating in the protest are Segev from TLV Partners, Micha Kaufman, the CEO of Fiverr, a publicly traded company with an estimated value of over $1 billion, and Eyal Waldman, the founder of Mellanox, which was acquired in 2020 for $7 billion.