Over 1,000 Israeli writers urge Germany, Britain to cancel Netanyahu’s visit

Call comes amid protests against government plans for judicial overhaul

17:17 - 14/03/2023 Tuesday
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Hundreds of Israeli writers, authors and academics on Tuesday called on Germany and Britain to rescind their invitations to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and cancel his scheduled visit to the two European countries.

"In view of Benjamin Netanyahu's dangerous and destructive leadership, and in light of the opposition of many Israeli citizens to the legislative moves and the dismantling of state institutions in his hands, we ask Germany and the United Kingdom to inform the accused Netanyahu of the immediate cancellation of his planned political visits to you,” read a letter signed by around 1,000 Israeli writers and academics.

"The State of Israel is now in the most acute crisis, the worst in its history, in an accelerated and dangerous process of turning [Israel] from a prosperous democracy into a theocratic dictatorship," it said.

Netanyahu is scheduled to meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Thursday before heading to London.

Israeli public broadcaster KAN said protesters have called for blocking Netanyahu’s way to Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv ahead of his trip to Germany.

For more than two months, Israel has seen mass protests against government plans for judicial reform.

Proposed by Justice Minister Yariv Levin, the reform, if enacted, would be the most radical change ever in the system of government in Israel.

The planned change would severely limit the power of the Supreme Court of Justice, give the government the power to choose judges, and end the appointment of legal advisers to ministries by the attorney general.

However, Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, insists that his judicial plan would enhance democracy.

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