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A major Israeli shopping center chain has announced it will shut down its sites in the coming days amid growing resistance to the hardline government’s plans to resume work on a hotly contested judicial reform.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s alliance with far-right and ultra-religious parties led to an overhaul that would weaken the powers of the Israeli Supreme Court. on the ice in march Weeks of mass protests escalated into strikes that temporarily brought parts of the Israeli economy to a halt.
But after three months of compromise negotiations ended without agreement, the government back to the project. Congress is set to vote on Monday on one of the key factors preventing the Supreme Court from using the “reasonableness” standard to override government decisions.
Big shopping center with 24 sites around it Israelsaid it would see the bill as “another step toward dictatorship” if it passed the first of three mandatory readings in parliament on Monday, as part of a broader protest organized by opponents of justice. said it would close the mall on Tuesday. overhaul.
“Such a law would seriously harm Israel’s business and economic certainty and directly and immediately jeopardize our existence as a leading Israeli company,” the company said in a statement. .
“We cannot afford to sit on the fence when the country is rocking and being torn apart from within. As the legislation progresses and the looting of public money we fund, if necessary, We will step up our measures.”
The announcement prompted an angry response from Israeli Ultranationalist National Security Minister Itamar Ben Guvir, who said he would boycott the mall chain and insisted the bill would go ahead as planned on Monday.
“Businessmen who interfere in politics and boycott half of the population deserve condemnation from all political stances.” he wrote on Twitter.
A group of companies and start-ups in Israel’s important high-tech industries, including software group Wix. Vocal Opponents of Judicial Reformsaid it will jointly direct purchases to Big’s shopping centers.
Government officials say the review is necessary to curb the powers of judicial authorities they claim have used unofficial powers to pursue partisan left-wing policies. there is
But critics, including former security and central bank chiefs, as well as many tech and bank executives, said the proposal was a politically motivated power grab. weaken important checks on the governmentpaving the way for the emasculation of minority rights and damaging the economy.
Disputes over the government’s plans sparked the largest wave of protests in Israel’s history, with hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets every week to protest since the overhaul was announced in January.
More than 150,000 people took part in the latest protests against the plan on Saturday night in Israel’s liberal seaside metropolis of Tel Aviv, with thousands in other cities across the country. .
Protest organizers said there would be chaos across the country on Tuesday, including at Ben Gurion International Airport. The Histadrut union, which played a key role in the March general strike, has yet to indicate whether it will join the protests.