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Protests in New York as Netanyahu attends UN meet

September 19, 2023 at 1:18 pm

Message to protest Netanyahu, projected onto UN building in NYC on 17 September, 2023 [@Joyce_Karam/X]

Demonstrators gathered outside the New York hotel where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was staying to protest against the government’s judicial reforms, reported the Times of Israel.

They also plan to stage protests across the city today as the prime minister arrived in New York to participate in meetings with global leaders at the UN General Assembly.

Expat activists and members of the Jewish community in New York organised their protest before dawn as they assembled outside Netanyahu’s hotel in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

A subsequent demonstration was planned at the same hotel later in the morning, coinciding with Netanyahu’s departure for the UN meeting. A larger rally is due to take place at noon in Times Square.

READ: Mossad gives permission for staff to take part in anti-Netanyahu protests

This comes after protesters and opposition leaders criticised Netanyahu for accusing those in the protests against his judicial reform of “joining forces with the PLO and Iran” against Israel.

Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption charges he denies, says the judicial changes are meant to balance a Supreme Court that has become too interventionist.

His coalition started its judicial campaign in January, triggering unprecedented protests, spooking investors and sending the shekel down, as Western allies voiced concern for the health of Israel’s democracy.

Those opposed to the proposed legislation believe Netanyahu’s far-right coalition is carrying out a coup against the judiciary, ending checks and balances on ministers and helping him avoid trial.