Blinken will discuss judicial overhaul with Netanyahu next week, says US official

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, meets US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in his office in Jerusalem, May 25, 2021. (Haim Zach/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, meets US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in his office in Jerusalem, May 25, 2021. (Haim Zach/GPO)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken plans to discuss the controversial plans by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline government to overhaul the Israeli judiciary during his visit to Jerusalem next week.

“The secretary is going to have an opportunity to hear from a wide swath of Israelis, both inside and outside of government,” US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf says in a phone briefing with reporters previewing Blinken’s travels to Cairo, Jerusalem and Ramallah from Sunday to Tuesday.

“It’s clear that this issue of the judicial legislation packages is one that sparked intense debate within Israeli society… so [Blinken is] going to be interested to hear people’s views on this… both in and outside of government,” Leaf says.

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