LONDON: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stressed the importance of upholding democratic values when he received Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu for talks on Friday, referring to a move to overhaul Israel’s judiciary that has stirred mass protests.

Netanyahu has faced weeks of uproar over his religious-nationalist coalition’s pursuit of changes to the judiciary that would give the government sway in choosing judges and limit the Supreme Court’s power to strike down laws.

He was greeted by hundreds of protesters when he arrived to see Sunak at 10 Downing Street on Friday, with demonstrators holding up Israeli flags and shouting chants, such as “Boosha!”, which means “for shame!” in Hebrew, and “Netanyahu go to jail, you can’t speak for Israel!”

British Jews and Israelis have taken part in several large demonstrations in London in recent weeks, gathering in Westminster for “Defend Israeli Democracy” events.

The scenes in London echoed those in Berlin earlier this month in which hundreds gathered at the Brandenburg Gate to protest against the planned overhaul of Israel’s judiciary.

“The Prime Minister stressed the importance of upholding the democratic values that underpin our relationship, including in the proposed judicial reforms in Israel,” a spokesperson for Sunak said.

Readouts of the meeting from both sides said the men also discussed strengthening the relationship between Britain and Israel, and the security and defence challenges they share, including the threat posed by Iran.

Netanyahu invited Sunak for an official visit to Israel, the Israeli statement said.

Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Time for dialogue
Updated 24 Jun, 2024

Time for dialogue

If the PML-N and PTI remain mired in mutual acrimony, an ever-widening gap will continue to allow non-political forces to assert themselves.
Property taxes
24 Jun, 2024

Property taxes

ACCORDING to reports in the local media, along with the higher taxes imposed on real estate in the recent budget, ...
Fierce heat
24 Jun, 2024

Fierce heat

CLIMATE change is unfolding as predicted by experts: savage heat, melting glaciers, extreme rainfall, drought, ...
China’s concerns
23 Jun, 2024

China’s concerns

Pakistan has no option but to neutralise militant threat to Chinese projects, as well as address its business and political stability concerns.
War drums
23 Jun, 2024

War drums

If it is foolish enough to launch another war in Lebanon, Tel Aviv will be solely responsible for setting the Middle East on fire.
Balochistan budget
23 Jun, 2024

Balochistan budget

BALOCHISTAN’S Rs955.6bn budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 makes many pledges to the poor citizens of Pakistan’s...