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Israelis and Jews protest against Netanyahu's visit to London

The scenes in London echoed those in Berlin last week

March 24, 2023 at 1:15 pm

Demonstrators gather near Downing Street ahead of the arrival of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 24, 2023 in London, England [Carl Court/Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was greeted with protests by hundreds of Israelis and Jews outside 10 Downing Street today, as intensifying anger over his judicial overhaul followed him to London, Reuters reports.

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 last week, where hundreds gathered at the Brandenburg Gate to protest against a planned judicial overhaul that has plunged Israel into crisis.

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.

Broadcasters had expected to be able to film the start of a meeting between Sunak and Netanyahu but that appeared to have been cancelled.

READ: Where have the defenders of Israeli democracy been hiding?

Outside Downing street protesters, surrounded by British police and restricted by metal barricades,waved Israeli flags and held signs saying “You can’t enjoy a weekend in London when you’re bringing down a democracy!”.

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 been expected to meet Britain’s interior minister Suella Braverman.