The latest pro-Israel stalwart to express concern about the potential dangers of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposed court changes is billionaire media tycoon, philanthropist, and former Mayor of New York Mike Bloomberg.
“Close allies connected by shared principles rise together in times of need — not merely to support each other but to underscore the inviolable commitments we have to protect those values,” Bloomberg wrote Sunday in a New York Times op-ed. And for that reason, I’m once more standing.
The most recent prominent Jewish figure who was frequently at the forefront of defending Israel is Bloomberg, who served three terms as mayor of New York and briefly ran as a Democrat for president in 2020.
Bloomberg claims that Netanyahu’s reforms, which would gut the independence of the judiciary, are endangering the nation.
Others have included former director of the Anti-Defamation League Abraham Foxman, constitutional lawyer Alan Dershowitz, and Times columnist Bret Stephens.
In 2014, while serving as mayor of New York, Bloomberg disobeyed a Federal Aviation Administration order not to go to Israel during that country’s war with Hamas that summer.
He also noted his charitable activities in Israel, naming a medical facility for his mother. He visited Israel in 2014 to receive the inaugural Genesis Prize, called the “Jewish Nobel.”
Bloomberg, who amassed his fortune through his financial news and data company, claimed that Netanyahu’s proposed reforms would damage the economy he had managed to liberalize during his previous stints as prime minister.
The economic loss may make the cost being paid by the United Kingdom for Brexit appear like bubkes, a Yiddish term denoting “nothing,” according to Bloomberg.
“Unless he changes course, Mr. Netanyahu risks throwing all that success — and his hard-earned legacy — away,” Bloomberg reported.
To oppose the judicial legislation and protect themselves from its possible dangers, some Israeli corporations shifted their money into foreign accounts, the shekel’s value has dropped substantially, and foreign investors have warned against investing in Israeli companies.
Bloomberg noted the protection that Israel’s courts offered women and minorities, including Arab and Gay Israelis, and said he could see why businesses were leaving Israel.
He said that some people have already started withdrawing money from the nation and rethinking their ambitions for future development.
“As the proprietor of a multinational corporation, I don’t blame them. Businesses and investors value solid and independent judicial systems because they safeguard them from government overreach, crime, and corruption.
Furthermore, crucially, they protect the personal freedoms and liberties that are most important to their employees.