Israeli high-tech companies protest Netanyahu government’s judicial reforms

A dozen Israeli high-tech companies went on ‘warning strike’ Tuesday, in protest of planned judicial reforms.

By World Israel News Staff

Israeli high-tech companies held a one-hour-long work stoppage Tuesday, dubbed a “warning strike” in protest of the Netanyahu government’s plans to reform the Israeli judiciary system.

A dozen ten high-tech companies tooke part in the strike, which began at 11:00 a.m. at the Sarona Complex in Tel Aviv.

The companies which have signed onto the strike include Natural Intelligence, Hello Heart, Active Implants, AlgoSec, Piggy, Cheetah Technologies, Track160, Lemonade, Wiz, Redis, HoneyBook, Forter.

Organizers emphasized that participation in the protest would be voluntary, writing in a letter to the employees of the twelve companies involved: “We assume that you are aware of the public discourse about the legal reform and the protest it has provoked.”

“We have employees with diverse opinions and we always include and respect every person regardless of who they are. This coming Tuesday at 11:00 there will be a one-hour strike at the Sharona Complex, that will also be joined by high-tech employees. We as a company will allow employees who want to take part to demonstrate – each and every one according to their conscience and opinion.”

Tuesday’s protest follows large-scale demonstrations in Tel Aviv against the judicial reform plan.

Executives from a number of high-tech and venture capital firms called on their employees last week to join Saturday night’s protest.

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

“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.”

The reform plan, drafted by Justice Minister Yariv Levin, would enable the Knesset to veto Supreme Court rulings which strike down Knesset laws, as well as empower government ministers to select their own legal advisers – rather than rely on those appointed by the Justice Ministry.

The reforms would also bar judiciary’s use of the “reasonableness standard” to strike down government decisions.

Supporters of the reforms say the plan would restore the balance of powers between the Israeli judiciary and the executive and legislative branches.

But critics have claimed the changes will cripple the Israeli court system, leave civil liberties unprotected, and enable Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to overrule the courts in his ongoing trial.