Dozens of former Israeli economic ministry directors and officials issued a warning against the proposed judicial reforms in an open letter on Monday morning.
"There is a serious concern that the weakening of the judicial system will lead to long-term damage to the growth trajectory of the economy and the quality of life of the residents of Israel," said the former ministry directors, who included officials that worked in governments headed by Netanyahu.
The ex-officials warned that Israel's economic stability was in part due to the independence of the judiciary and civil servants, as it creates trust in the economic environment.
The officials argued in their letter that "research shows that damage to the quality of government institutions is almost irreversible. An institutional balance that supports growth is delicate, and a deviation from it may be long-term since harmful political and economic institutions tend to perpetuate themselves over many decades," said the officials.
The reforms would lower Israel's credit rating, the officials claimed, pointing to the lowering of the rating of the Polish government’s bonds by the rating agency S&P when Poland engaged in reforms of the constitutional court and public broadcasting.
The officials argued that the reforms would also create hesitancy in investing in Israeli hi-tech.
Netanyahu told senior business officers on Thursday that the opposite was true, and those that invested in Israel did so in spite of the judicial conditions. He gave the example of the development of natural gas fields, which he said he had to grapple over with the High Court of Justice.
Netanyahu says reforms would "jumpstart Israel's economy"
Netanyahu argued that the judicial reform -- which would change the selection process for judges, the role of government legal advisors, and other judicial power -- would "jumpstart the Israeli economy like a spring, by somewhere between 1-2% of the GDP."
In spite of Netanyahu's assurances, protesters from the hi-tech industry were set to continue their demonstrations against the reforms on Tuesday.
The Hi-Tech Workers Struggle said that they would hold demonstrations in Israel and around the world. This would include Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Haifa, Ra'anana, Netanya, Jerusalem, as well as Silicon Valley.
"Economists, senior executives, bank CEOs, fund managers and the governor of the Bank of Israel - all of these have already joined our truth alarm!" The group said in a message on Monday morning. "Regime change in Israel will not only harm our civil rights but will also cause tremendous economic damage that will directly harm each of us. The lowering of the credit rating, the flight of investors and capital from Israel - these threats are already waiting around the corner if we do not apply emergency braking!"
"Regime change in Israel will not only harm our civil rights but will also cause tremendous economic damage that will directly harm each of us. The lowering of the credit rating, the flight of investors and capital from Israel - these threats are already waiting around the corner if we do not apply emergency braking!"Israeli economic officials to Netanyahu
Other protests from different demographic groups in Israeli society were announced on Monday, with a women's demonstration announced on Monday for the coming Sunday.
"Women are the majority of the population. We have power. We can stand together and guarantee that what we have achieved so far, our rights, our equality, our place in society, and our presence in the public sphere will not be harmed. We must act now so that we can continue to turn to the justice system when they try to take it from us," said the organizers. "We call on all women, from the entire political spectrum, from all sectors, to join us. And for men too. It's all of us. This is a war for our future, as women, in the country."
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.