As Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, met Rishi Sunak at Downing Street with protestors, there was a lot of anger over the domestic legal reform that critics claim will destabilize democracy.
Mr Netanyahu made a series of screams in Hebrew and hundreds of jeers in Whitehall. He then shook hands outside of Number 10.
One sign called Mr Netanyahu “dictator on run”, while others chanted: “Netanyahu, go to prison, you can’t talk for Israel.”
His controversial changes to Israel have sparked widespread protests in his homeland and threaten to overshadow the British visit.
To deal with the political crisis, he had delayed his departure for the UK.
Unrest erupted after Mr Netanyahu’s right wing nationalist coalition approved legislation to protect him from being deemed unfit for the rule.
Opponents claim the law was designed to protect leaders from corruption.
After a string of scandals involving wealthy associates Mr Netanyahu is being tried for fraud, breaching trust, and accepting bribes.
He denied any wrongdoing.
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The attorney-general of Israel has accused Netanyahu of violating the law by failing to disclose a conflict of interests.
Other reforms include giving Jerusalem government the power to choose judges and limiting the Supreme Court’s ability to repeal laws.
The plan’s supporters claim it will reduce judicial overreach, and restore balance between the different branches of government.
However, critics fear it will weaken the judiciary, compromise civil liberties, and harm the economy.
Mr Sunak raised the issue during his 45-minute meeting. They also discussed strengthening ties between their countries and discussing shared security challenges including Russia and Iran.
Downing Street issued the following statement: “The prime minister stressed that it was important to uphold the democratic values which underpin our relationship. This includes the proposed judicial reforms for Israel.”
Sharon Sochat, the protest organizer, said outside to Sky News that she was protesting the meeting. She also stated that he is being welcomed into the UK despite Israeli democracy being under attack at the moment.
“We won’t let this happen. We’re going to not let Netanyahu down our country.”
Gilad Mandelboim, another protester, said that Benjamin Netanyahu was wrong and that he is destroying Israel’s democracy.
Talli, an Israeli tech worker, claimed she was protesting Mr Netanyahu’s “judicial coup”.
She said, “He’s trying gain power while on trial, and he’s trying turn Israel into non-democratic countries.”
“We want Rishi Sunak, but also the international community leaders and leaders to put pressure on Netanyahu – financial deals or any other – to stop this coup.
“My family and friends live in Israel, and I worry about their future.”
“War for human rights”
Amnon Cohn stated: “We’re there to protest against Netanyahu and to protest his attacks against democracy.”
Liron Rosiner Reshef stated: “This war is for human rights… All Israelis should fight this war.