Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejects Biden’s suggestion he walk away from a judicial overhaul, saying the country resists ‘pressures from abroad’
- Netanyahu hit back against ‘pressures from abroad’ after Biden comments
- Biden said Israel ‘cannot continue down this road’
- Netanyahu announced pause to policy amid mass protests
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pointedly declaring he won’t submit to overseas ‘pressures’ after President Joe Biden said he hopes the embattled PM ‘walks away’ from a controversial judicial overhaul.
‘Israel is a sovereign country which makes its decisions by the will of its people and not based on pressures from abroad, including from the best of friends,’ Netanyahu tweeted, after Biden himself ventured to make comments on his sudden turnaround on the matter.
Biden said explicitly Tuesday that he wants Netanyahu to abandon the judicial overhaul that has prompted mass public demonstrations and a general strike in Israel. Netanyahu announced a pause on the plan Monday.
‘I hope he walks away from it,’ Biden said Tuesday, in one of several comments on the topic to reporters.
Isreal’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke out about ‘pressures from abroad’ after President Joe Biden said he hopes he ‘walks away’ from judicial reforms that led to massive street protests
The back-and-forth took place after thousands of Iraelis protested in the streets against the judicial overhaul. Some opponents accuse Netanyahu, who faces corruption charges, of using it to enhance his own power.
‘Like many strong supporters of Israel, I’m very concerned, and I’m concerned that they get this straight,’ Biden said. ‘They cannot continue down this road, and I’ve sort of made that clear. Hopefully the prime minister will act in a way that he can try to work out some genuine compromise, but that remains to be seen.’
U.S. ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides said Tuesday that Netanyahu would be invited to visit the White House ‘soon.’
But it may be that there are a few strings attached. The Times of Israel reported that the administration wants to see Israelis and Palestinians get through the holiday peacefully before nailing down the terms, and that it wouldn’t happen for ‘at least another month or two.’
President Joe Biden ventured into the Israeli political situation with comments Tuesday
Netanyahu on Tuesday called out ‘pressures from abroad’
Protesters took to the streets after Netanyahu fired Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who had criticized the judicial overhaul. Here an Israeli protester throws a placard showing Netanyahu to a bonfire on March 27, 2023 in Tel Aviv
Netanyahu’s government backed down Monday amid mass protests
And Biden contradicted the reports when asked if he was inviting Netanyahu and if he believed he would be coming to Washington. ‘Not in the near term,’ Biden responded.
Netanyahu announced the delay in a speech Monday night, but made no indication that the move was permanently dead.
He said he was ‘not willing to tear the nation in half,’ saying that ‘when there’s a possibility of avoiding fraternal war through dialogue, I, as prime minister, will take a time out for that dialogue.’
Netanyahu took part in a Summit for Democracy organized by the State Department Wednesday that included a string of virtual appearances.
He stressed that the alliance was ‘unshakeable’ even though ‘Israel and the United States have had their occasional differences.’
‘Nothing can change that,’ he said.
At the democracy summit, Netanyahu called the overhaul an effort to better balance branches of the Israeli with protections for civil liberties, after his opponents branded it a power play. He said negotiators would ‘try to achieve a broad national consensus to achieve both goals. And I believe this is possible. We’re now engaged in exactly this conversation,’ he said.
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