1678551285 origin 1

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu visits Berlin

origin 1Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak during a press conference after their meeting at Palazzo Chigi. Roberto Monaldo/LaPresse via ZUMA Press/dpa

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to pay an official visit to Berlin next week and meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Israeli media reported.

Netanyahu is expected to stay from Wednesday to Friday, although there has been no official confirmation of the trip from the German side.

The German government recently criticized Netanyahu’s right-wing religious government over its proposed law to reform the judiciary.

Under the proposal, parliament will be able to overturn Supreme Court decisions by simple majority. Politicians also need to have more influence in appointing judges.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Friday he was concerned about the “restructuring of the rule of law” and was counting on the “wise and balanced voice” of his Israeli counterpart and friend Isaac Herzog.

Herzog spoke publicly for the first time on Thursday evening against the weakening of the justice system.

“It is wrong, it is repressive and it undermines our democratic foundations,” the Israeli president said, adding that he was able to reach an agreement with supporters and opponents of the reform on most of the disputed areas.

Herzog did not reveal what exactly the trade-off might be to replace the previous plans. However, he warned that the government and the opposition would drag Israel into the abyss if they put their political interests above the welfare of the country and its citizens.

There is fierce resistance to judicial reform in Israel, where tens of thousands of people have repeatedly taken to the streets to protest the weakening of the judicial system.

The reform moves could also work in Netanyahu’s favor in the context of his involvement in a lengthy corruption trial, and have a disastrous effect on the Israeli economy, critics warn.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu met with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in Rome on Friday. His departure from Israel was postponed on Thursday amid protests against his government’s efforts to limit the judiciary.

origin 1Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni (R) welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Palazzo Chigi ahead of their talks. Roberto Monaldo/LaPresse via ZUMA Press/dpa