US President Joe Biden hopes the Israeli government will drop controversial judicial reforms that sparked mass protests. He denied reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would visit Washington “in the near term”.
President of the USA Joe Biden – when asked by journalists on the tarmac in Raleigh, North Carolina – he referred to the issue of the Israeli government’s postponement of judicial reform, which led to mass protests and a general strike in Israel.
– Like many of Israel’s strong supporters, I am concerned. I hope they explain it. They can’t go on this way. I made that clear. I hope that the Prime Minister will try to work out some real compromise, but it remains to be seen, he said.
Netanyahu Won’t Visit Washington ‘Immediately’
Biden added that he hoped the Israeli government would “walk away” from the proposed changes. At the same time, he denied reports that Prime Minister Netanyahu would visit Washington “in the near future”.
Biden also admitted that while he had not spoken to Netanyahu since last Sunday, he had conveyed his remarks to the Israeli government through the ambassador in Jerusalem.
Referring to accusations – expressed, among others, by Netanyahu himself – that his statements constitute interference in Israeli affairs, Biden replied: “We do not interfere. They know my position. They know the position of America and they know the position of American Jews.”
Commenting on Biden’s words, Netanyahu said on Tuesday that he appreciated the president’s commitment USA in favor of his country, but ruled that “Israel is a sovereign state that makes decisions based on the will of its people and not pressure from outside, including from best friends.”
Main photo source: ABIR SULTAN/PAP/EPA