Israel's Judicial Proposals Prompt Startups to Relocate -Govt Agency

The government's plan to overhaul the judicial system is harming investor confidence and pushing high-tech firms to relocate abroad, Israel's state-backed agency that supports high-tech companies said on Monday, Reuters reported. A survey by the Israel Innovation Authority found 80% of startups established so far this year were opened outside Israel and that companies also intend to register their future intellectual property overseas - which would result in a severe blow to Israel's tax coffers. Israel's high-tech sector employs 10% of the country's workforce accounting for around 15% of economic output, more than half of exports and a quarter of tax income. Proposals by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hard-right coalition to give the government greater say in the selection of judges while limiting the Supreme Court's power to strike down legislation have worried current and potential investors. Opponents say the proposals would remove vital checks and balances, threaten minority rights and undermine Israel's democratic foundations. Final approval of the government's bitterly disputed judicial overhaul package has been delayed after widespread protests to try and find a compromise between proponents and opponents. Read more.