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Former Israeli PM urges global leaders to refuse meetings with Netanyahu

Former Israeli PM urges global leaders to refuse meetings with Netanyahu

Tel Aviv: When Israel's current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is considering tightening his grip on the country's judicial system through legislation, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert urged global leaders not to meet with him.

The call for refusing a meeting with the Israeli prime minister came from Olmert in the wake of Netanyahu’s scheduled meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets once again to protest against Netanyahu's proposed plan to tighten his grip on the country's judicial system.

“I urge the leaders of the friendly countries to the state of Israel to refrain from meeting with the Israeli prime minister,” Olmert said.

Olmert intensified his attack on Netanyahu's far-right coalition, an alliance of ultra-Orthodox and ultranationalist parties which he termed as anti-Israel. The parties with which Netanyahu has formed an alliance are against Palestinian independence and support settlement construction in Palestinian-owned territories.

The current minister for national security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, is infamous for his ultra-anti-Palestinian stance and offensive remarks. He has been prosecuted in the past for inciting racism and supporting a terror group.

Netanyahu's finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, recently called for a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank to be 'erased,' though he later apologized after an international uproar over the comments.

While those opposing Netanyahu’s plan say that the legislation will empower his parliamentary coalition over Israel’s Supreme Court in matters related to the appointment of judges, Netanyahu says the plan will correct an imbalance that he says has given the courts too much sway in how Israel is governed.

Critics also say that the plan would help Netanyahu to evade the corruption charges for which he is facing trials in court.

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