Mar 15, 2023 - World

Bibi expected to face criticism in Germany over judicial overhaul plan

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Alessandra Benedetti - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

German Chancellor Olaf Scholtz during his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday is expected to express concerns about the Israeli government’s plan to weaken the Supreme Court, two German officials told me.

Why it matters: Germany is concerned Israel's judicial overhaul plan could have negative implications for the two countries' bilateral relationship, a German official told Axios. Because Germany is Israel's second most important ally after the U.S., any damage to the Israeli-German relationship could have wider implications for Israel’s standing in Europe.

The big picture: Scholtz hasn’t spoken in public about the Israeli government’s judicial overhaul plan.

  • Israeli and German officials said he would likely address the issue in his press conference with Netanyahu after their meeting on Thursday.

Driving the news: Netanyahu is expected to depart Israel to Berlin on Wednesday. Anti-government protesters have gathered in the area of the airport in an attempt to block the prime minister from reaching the plane.

  • His flight was delayed for several hours because he stayed in the Knesset for negotiations over a possible compromise on the government's judicial overhaul plan.
  • A protest against the overhaul plan is expected to take place in Germany as well, near Netanyahu's hotel in the German capital.

What to watch: Israel’s President Isaac Herzog is expected in the coming days to present a compromise formula in an attempt to stop the current legislation and reach a broad consensus on judicial reform.

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