The chief executives of Israel's two largest banks on Friday called on the government to halt its highly disputed legislative push to overhaul the judiciary, and warned of economic fallout should they continue.
The drive by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing government to change the justice system has sparked unprecedented protests and warnings, including from the central bank governor, of damage to the economy.
The speeches by the CEOs of Bank Leumi LUMI.TA and Bank Hapoalim POLI.TA, recorded at a protest tent and carried by Israeli media, added further weight to the criticism just days before a key vote is scheduled in parliament.
"The investors we are speaking to in recent months are very concerned about the unilateral moves and their concern, and of course ours, from the divide in the nation, is causing them to stop investments and cause damage that could be irreversible and destructive to Israel's economy," said Leumi CEO Hanan Friedman.
Hapoalim CEO Dov Kotler said: "We call from here to the leaders of the state of Israel - stop, talk and reach agreements."
Voices for and against judicial reforms
Proponents of the judicial reforms say they would restore balance to the branches of government. Critics say they would remove vital checks and balances.
Lawmakers are scheduled to vote next week on a key bill that would block the Supreme Court from voiding decisions made by the government that it deems "unreasonable."