At his official house in London, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak received Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday as demonstrators yelled, “Shame! protested in Hebrew against the Israeli prime minister’s right-wing policies and court reform proposals.
As he came for discussions anticipated to center on worries about Iran’s nuclear program, Netanyahu had to pass past hundreds of demonstrators carrying banners and waving Israeli flags while also asking for the defense of Israeli democracy.
“We are Jews and Israelis who reside in the UK., a dictatorship in Israel by orchestrating a judicial coup,” said one poster. “We are protesting against Prime Minister Netanyahu.
While Israeli demonstrators stopped roads and engaged in physical altercations with police over his right-wing government’s intentions to restructure the judicial system, Netanyahu arrived in London.
The measures have sparked the largest demonstrations in the nation’s history and uncommon opposition from all sectors of Israeli society, including military reservists, veterans of the navy, high-tech entrepreneurs, and former officials.
With Netanyahu’s ideas, the Supreme Court would be weakened by limiting judicial scrutiny of legislation, his administration would have more control over judge selections, and Parliament could overrule court rulings with a simple majority vote.
With recent remarks by a government minister’s denial of the Palestinian people’s existence and their right to self-determination, the Israeli government has come under fire for its rigid stance against Palestinians.
Little information about Sunak’s discussions with Netanyahu has been made public by the British government, and neither leader has been invited to a news conference.
According to Netanyahu’s office, the discussions with Sunak and other British officials would focus on Iran’s quickly developing nuclear program, Israel’s longtime foe.
According to a statement from his office, “At the focus of their meeting will be… the need to establish a cohesive international front against Iran to stop the nuclear program.”
Hours after his coalition passed a measure making it more difficult to remove him from office, Netanyahu, facing a corruption prosecution, resolutely vowed to continue the judicial reform as thousands marched to the streets across Israel on Thursday.
Rights organizations and Palestinians claim that Israel’s democratic ideals have been tarnished for a long time by the nation’s 55-year occupation of territories that the Palestinians want for an independent state and the treatment of Palestinian Israeli citizens, who experience discrimination in many areas.
Netanyahu delayed leaving for London until 4 a.m. to address the political problem on Friday.
דמוקרטיה בלונדון – בשירה גדולה pic.twitter.com/VkUaRfCM6R
— לירי בורק שביט (@lirishavit) March 24, 2023