As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited his British counterpart, Rishi Sunak, in London, crowds gathered to protest plans to overhaul Israel’s judiciary. Hundreds of demonstrators, calling for the defence of Israeli democracy, shouted “shame” in Hebrew and waved signs as Netanyahu arrived at 10 Downing Street on Friday. The discussions focused on the war in Ukraine and concerns about Iran’s nuclear programme.
Netanyahu’s proposed judicial reforms, which would limit the Supreme Court’s powers to rule against the legislature and executive branch of government, have sparked mass protests in Israel and beyond.
Sunak raised the issue with Netanyahu during their meeting, emphasising “the importance of upholding the democratic values that underpin our relationship, including in the proposed judicial reforms in Israel”, according to an official statement. Sunak also expressed solidarity with Israel in the face of recent terrorist attacks while noting that certain actions risked undermining efforts towards a two-state solution with the Palestinians.
A spokesman for Sunak reiterated Britain’s support for a two-state solution and stated that Israel’s West Bank settlements were illegal and contrary to the cause of peace.