German ambassador’s attendance at Israeli courtroom listening to ignites diplomatic spat


The Israeli authorities has complained to Germany after the German ambassador attended a high-profile Supreme Courtroom listening to final week trying on the legality of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul, an Israeli diplomatic official mentioned Monday.

The grievance, despatched on the order of Israeli International Minister Eli Cohen, sparked a uncommon diplomatic spat between the 2 allies, with German leaders defending their ambassador in opposition to the criticism.

The Israeli official, talking on situation of anonymity as a result of he was discussing behind-the-scenes diplomacy, mentioned that Israel had relayed its “dismay” by way of diplomatic channels, together with the Israeli Embassy in Berlin.

“This was a call taken by the very best determine within the ministry,” he added. Cohen is a detailed ally of Netanyahu.

Final Tuesday’s listening to was the primary problem to Netanyahu’s contentious judicial overhaul, which has bitterly divided the Israeli public and put the nation on the point of a constitutional disaster.

Forward of the listening to, German Ambassador Steffen Seibert posted a video of himself on X, previously referred to as Twitter, contained in the courtroom below the heading: “The place to be this morning.” It included the Hebrew hashtag for Israel’s Supreme Courtroom.

“I believe one thing essential is going on right here for Israeli democracy,” he mentioned, talking in Hebrew. “We, as mates of Israel, are watching the Supreme Courtroom with nice curiosity and I needed to see for myself.” Seibert didn’t specific an opinion on the case within the video.

In New York, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz defended his authorities’s envoy in opposition to the Israeli criticism.

“The German ambassador is a really dedicated man with very clear rules. And I consider that everybody is aware of that — together with in Israel,” Scholz instructed journalists.

German International Minister Annalena Baerbock added that it’s the “on a regular basis enterprise of diplomats” to watch developments in overseas international locations. “It’s additionally regular to go to public hearings or public courtroom circumstances — it’s a part of his job,” she mentioned.

Scholz and Netanyahu are scheduled to satisfy Tuesday on the sidelines of the U.N. Normal Meeting in New York.

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