Israeli Policymaker resigns, cites economic danger

A member of the Monetary Committee of the Bank of Israel has resigned over the government’s plan to overhaul the judiciary system, according to reports. The proposed reforms, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says will rein in the Supreme Court but critics argue will undermine democracy, have sparked widespread protests in Israel. The Monetary Committee, which sets the central bank’s benchmark interest rate, has been raising rates to combat high inflation.

The member, Hazan, stated as part of her registration that the government’s plans “could hurt the independence of the judiciary and civil service and this will heavily damage Israel’s democracy and economy.”

The proposed reforms, which have yet to be written into law, would tighten political control over judicial appointments and limit the Supreme Court’s powers to overturn government decisions or Knesset laws. Critics argue that this risks undermining minority rights, could foster corruption and scare away investors. The resignation of Hazan from the Monetary Committee is a significant move, as the committee plays a crucial role in determining the country’s economic policy and monetary strategy. The resignation highlights the deep divisions within the country over the proposed reforms and the concerns about the potential impact on the independence of the judiciary and the economy.

Netanyahu, who is currently on trial for corruption charges which he denies, has dismissed the street protests as a refusal by leftists to accept the results of last November’s election, which produced one of the most right-wing governments in Israel’s history. However, the protests have been widely supported by citizens from all walks of life, who are concerned about the potential damage to the country’s democratic institutions and the rule of law.

The Bank of Israel has confirmed Hazan’s resignation, stating that the Monetary Committee would continue with just five members. Hazan has stated that he will now participate in public-political activity in order to fight against the proposed reforms. Justice Minister Yariv Levin has stated that the reforms are meant to restore balance between the judiciary, legislative and executive branches, however, the resignation of Hazan, and the widespread protests, indicate that the proposed reforms are not widely supported and may have significant negative consequences for the country’s democracy and economy.

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