Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not attend the annual conference of the Jewish Federation of North America (JFNA) in Tel Aviv over the fear of protest, according to local media, Anadolu reports.
The daily Haaretz reported that Netanyahu will not attend the annual JFNA conference scheduled for April 23-26 for Israel’s Independence Day after the country’s judicial overhaul protesters called to hold demonstrations during the event.
Netanyahu will skip the conference for the first time during his tenure as the prime minister.
“Scheduling considerations and preparations for Memorial Day and Independence Day ceremonies” prompted the cancelation, and not the planned protests, the daily Times of Israel said, citing the Prime Minister’s Office.
– Postponed judicial regulation
On Saturday, thousands of Israelis demonstrated for the 16th consecutive week against Netanyahu’s plans for judicial reform, which have triggered mass protests across Israel over the past weeks.
The Israeli opposition views the judicial overhaul plans as an attempt to reduce the powers of the judicial authority in favor of the executive.
Netanyahu, however, insists that his judicial plans would enhance democracy and restore the balance among the legislative, executive, and judicial powers.
On March 27, Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, bowed to pressure and announced a temporary halt to the judicial overhaul plans.
Despite the postponement decision, the Netanyahu government said they would bring the controversial regulation back to the parliament at the beginning of May.