Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich issued a joint statement on Saturday evening, asserting that the country’s economy remains “solid,” despite Moody’s recent downgrade of Israel’s credit outlook.
Moody’s lowered Israel’s economic outlook from positive to stable on Friday, citing concerns over the “deterioration of Israel’s governance” amid ongoing upheaval over the government’s controversial judicial reforms.
In the statement posted on Smotrich’s Twitter account, Netanyahu and Smotrich stated the current instability as “temporary.”
“The concern that Moody’s analysts raise about the public controversy and its effect on Israel’s political and economic stability is natural for those who do not know the strength of Israeli society,” the statement continued.
The judicial reforms have faced widespread public criticism, and the country’s stock exchange has declined since their introduction. Leading Israeli economists and entrepreneurs have warned that these reforms could harm the Israeli economy and deter foreign investment.
A recent survey conducted by Israeli NGO Start-Up Nation Central revealed that many hi-tech companies were already encountering difficulties in raising funds, and some Israeli firms have announced plans to withdraw capital from Israel in response to the government’s moves.
Last month, Netanyahu announced a pause in the legislation in response to widespread public criticism. Negotiations between the government and the opposition are taking place in an attempt to find a compromise.
Also on Saturday, Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid said on Twitter that the move of Moody’s is proof that the judicial reforms “endangers the livelihood of every Israeli citizen.”
“They should announce that they are stopping the legislative madness and are going to take care of the economy,” he added. ■