Top US Economists Warn Israel's Netanyahu Against Judicial Reform

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 09th February, 2023) More than 50 leading US economists warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday that his proposed judicial reform will have a detrimental impact on Israel's economy.

On January 4, Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin rolled out a legal reform package that would limit the authority of the Supreme Court by giving the cabinet control over the selection of new judges, as well as allowing the country's Parliament, the Knesset, to override the court's rulings with an absolute majority, among other points. The planned overhaul sparked public criticism and prompted a wave of protests. Many leading Israeli economists and entrepreneurs sharply opposed the reform, which, in their opinion, could lead to severe economic consequences and an outflow of foreign investment in the foreseeable future.

"A strong and independent judiciary is a critical part of a system of checks and balances. Undermining it would be detrimental not only to democracy but also to economic prosperity and growth," an open letter to Netanyahu, signed by 56 US economists, read.

Such a reform would adversely affect the Israeli economy by weakening the rule of law and thereby moving Israel in the direction of Hungary and Poland, the letter added.

Under the Israeli judicial system, the Supreme Court plays the role of a constitutional supervisory body, since there is no constitution and constitutional court in the country. Government decisions are largely controlled by the court, which can overturn them if necessary.