Hundreds of Tech Workers Rally in Tel Aviv and other Areas for Second Week
On Tuesday, hundreds of workers from the tech sector conducted a one-hour strike for the second week in a row, as they marched in Tel Aviv and 15 other locations.
Some of the other locations included Haifa, Jerusalem and Netanya and the workers were protesting the drastic overhaul of the judicial system that has been planned by the new government.
The protestors were gathered at a variety of locations in Tel Aviv and a number of people were carrying Israeli flags.
These locations included the University of Haifa, the Airport City business park, a high-tech complex in Herzliya and Tel Aviv’s Sarona complex.
In last week’s protests, the protestors had been holding up signs in Hebrew that focused on democracy and freedom, but in this protest, they also had signs in English.
These signs were about saving the nation and demands for checks and balances. There was also a brief clash between the police and the protestors during the strike.
This was because they had moved from the Sarona complex in Tel Aviv to the busy Kaplan Street and had blocked the traffic briefly.
There has been a lot of criticism directed towards the planned overhaul, even from people who have been calling for judicial reforms for a long time.
This has resulted in weekly demonstrations and protests and different professionals, companies, officials and organizations have also submitted public petitions.
Concerns about the judicial reforms have also been expressed by Israeli moneymakers, companies as well as business organizations because it threatens democracy and would have a negative impact on the local tech industry.
Most people are concerned that there would be uncertainty due to the weakening of the judiciary and this would reduce the possibility of foreign companies investing into local ones.
This would mean that local and international businesses may have to leave the country and setup their business elsewhere.
While the tech community was protesting and holding the strike, Dorit Beinisch, the former president of the Supreme Court, spoke in Tel Aviv about the consequences of the judicial shakeup.
She said that a democratic state requires an independent judiciary and they were standing up for it. Beinisch said that Israel share a number of values with democratic countries.
But, she added that the legal system has been developed differently. She said that the only institution they had for protecting democracy was the Supreme Court.
If the judicial reforms are passed, it would mean that judges would be pressured to obtain political favor in order to get promoted. She said that they would not be able to protect any values and objectives in this way.
Investor jitters have also been growing because of the judicial changes and this pushed down Israeli stock indices on Sunday by over 2% and there was also a drop in government bond prices.
Likewise, there was also a 2.9% decline in the Israeli Shekel against the US dollar in the last week of January.