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Jewish Federation leaders visit Israel to discuss judicial overhaul 

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JERUSALEM — A delegation of Jewish American leaders affiliated with the Jewish Federations of North America is visiting Israel to discuss the proposed judicial overhaul that has sparked fierce opposition from the Israeli public and Israeli and Jewish-American civic and business leaders. 

The delegation is expected to meet with elected officials from both sides of Israel’s political spectrum ahead of an anticipated compromise proposal by President Isaac Herzog, according to several sources who spoke to the Forward on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the topic.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is slated to fly to Berlin on Thursday, is not planning to meet with the group. The Americans’ trip comes ahead of JFNA annual General Assembly that will take place in Israel in late April to mark Israel’s 75th anniversary. Netanyahu and Herzog are both expected to speak at the gathering. 

On Tuesday evening, more than a dozen protesters braced the rain and gathered outside the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem after organizers were made aware the Federation delegation was staying there and meeting with Moshe Koppel, head of the Kohelet Forum. The group, which is backed by the Tikvah Fund, has provided government leaders with a roadmap for the judicial reforms Netanyahu’s government is pursuing.

The reform plan, supported by the far right-led coalition that brought Netanyahu a sixth term as prime minister in November, has outraged many Israelis, who fear it will demolish the government’s system of checks and balances, and diminish rights for more secular Israelis Jews, Palestinians and LGBTQ people. On Saturday, an estimated 500,000 Israelis protested the plan in the streets, and numerous American Jewish groups, some who are typically loathe to comment on Israeli politics, have warned the Israeli government to compromise on the judicial plan.

The post Jewish Federation leaders visit Israel to discuss judicial overhaul  appeared first on The Forward.

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