Tel Aviv / PNN /
Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's path of extremism and xenophobia has come under fire from the head of spy agency Shin Bet and triggered new protests inside Israel and abroad.
Netanyahu was greeted by shouts and whistles from hundreds of protesters outside 10 Downing Street on Friday, as intensifying anger over his judicial overhaul followed him to London.
He shook hands with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on the steps of Downing Street while nearby protesters, surrounded by British police and restricted by metal barricades, shouted "Netanyahu go to jail."
The scenes in London echoed those in Berlin earlier this month, where hundreds gathered at the Brandenburg Gate to protest against a planned judicial overhaul that has plunged Israel into crisis.
In the occupied territories, head of the Israeli opposition Yair Lapid said in a statement that Netanyahu continued to spread “disgraceful lies”.
“In just three months this regime drove and dismantled Israel. The economic and security damage is fatal, the rift in Israel is getting worse,” Lapid said.
Chairman of the Israel Beitenu party Avigdor Lieberman said in a tweet, "Netanyahu, who behaves like a rabbit in front of Nasrallah and Yahya Sanwar, is eroding the deterrence capacity of Israel and precisely towards his friends in Likud, he behaves like a lion,” pointing to Hezbollah and Hamas leaders.
He called on the chief of staff and the head of Shin Bet to “tell the truth and the whole truth,” referring to Netanyahu’s fraud scandals.
According to a report on Channel 12 News on Thursday, Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar told Netanyahu during a meeting that the convergence of threats is bringing Israel closer to “danger zone.”
Tens of thousands of soldiers refuse to serve
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Israeli army reservists signed the Brothers in Arms public letter, stating that they will suspend presenting themselves for duty if the regime goes through with its judicial overhaul.
"The protest of the reservists is calling on anyone who volunteers for reserve duty to sign the letter of intent to drop reserve duty. Those who signed include pilots, intelligence officials, elite combat units, artillery units, tank units and others - tens of thousands have signed!” reservist Eyal Nave told the Jerusalem Post.
If the regime continues its plans, Nave stated, “We will continue to do everything,” including mass protests and rallying more reservists to sign the protest letter.
The so-called reforms serve as the centerpiece of the policies of the Netanyahu-led regime, which he put together late last year by wooing ultra-orthodox and hard-right parties.
The change hat have already received first-reading endorsement from Knesset (the Israeli regime's parliament), seek to enfeeble the regime's supreme court by robbing it of the power to strike down either the cabinet or the legislature's decisions.
Another element of the reforms would give the 120-member parliament the power to overrule the court's decisions with a simple majority of 61 votes.
The reforms would also empower the Knesset to amend the so-called Basic Laws -- the regime's quasi-constitution -- in any way it sees fit.
Observers say the changes can potentially enable the Knesset to annul a set of corruption charges that Netanyahu is being tried on. The prime minister is being sued for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.