By Muvija M LONDON (Reuters) -Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was greeted by shouts and whistles from hundreds of protesters outside 10 Downing Street on Friday, as intensifying anger over his judicial overhaul followed him to London. Netanyahu shook hands with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on the steps of Downing Street while nearby protesters […]
Israel’s Netanyahu met by protests on London visit
By Muvija M
LONDON (Reuters) -Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was greeted by shouts and whistles from hundreds of protesters outside 10 Downing Street on Friday, as intensifying anger over his judicial overhaul followed him to London.
Netanyahu shook hands with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on the steps of Downing Street while nearby protesters held up Israeli flags and shouted “Netanyahu go to jail, you can’t speak for Israel”.
The scenes in London echoed those in Berlin earlier this month, where hundreds gathered at the Brandenburg Gate to protest against a planned judicial overhaul that has plunged Israel into crisis.
“We’re here to protest against Netanyahu, to protest against his attacks on democracy,” said Amnon Cohn, who described himself as an Israeli living in London since 2005.
Netanyahu has faced weeks of mass protests after his religious-nationalist coalition pursued changes to the judiciary that would give the government sway in choosing judges and limit the Supreme Court’s power to strike down laws.
The move has caused alarm at home and abroad about the country’s democratic checks and balances.
Netanyahu’s meeting with Sunak lasted just an under an hour.
Broadcasters had expected to be able to film the start of the meeting between the two men but that appeared to have been cancelled.
Outside Downing Street protesters, surrounded by British police and restricted by metal barricades, waved signs saying “You can’t enjoy a weekend in London when you’re bringing down a democracy!”.
“We are more determined than Bibi is,” said Liron Rosiner Reshef, an Israeli-born protester in London using a popular nickname for Netanyahu.
“This is a war for human rights … This is a war for all Israelis to fight,” said Rosiner, who has lived in London for 13 years and hopes to one day return to Israel with her husband and three children.
British Jews and Israelis have taken part in several large demonstrations in London in recent weeks, gathering in Westminster for “Defend Israeli Democracy” events.
Netanyahu had also been expected to meet Britain’s interior minister Suella Braverman.
(Reporting by Muvija M, writing by Sarah Young; Editing by Kate Holton and Raissa Kasolowsky)
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