Biden urged Netanyahu to abandon the Judicial Reform
US President Joe Biden last night called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to abandon his plan to reform the judicial system, which has led to mass protests in Israel, Reuters reported.
On Monday, Netanyahu postponed the reform after large numbers of people took to the streets. The White House initially said Netanyahu should seek a compromise on the issue.
But the US president went further in response to a reporter's inquiry last night. "I hope he gives it up," Biden said, referring to a judicial reform proposal that would give the Israeli government more control over appointments to the country's Supreme Court. Biden also said he had no intention of inviting Netanyahu to the White House "in the near future."
Netanyahu quickly issued a statement in response. "Israel is a sovereign state that makes its decisions based on the will of its people, not based on pressure from abroad, including the best of friends," he said. Netanyahu said his administration sought to implement reforms "through broad consensus."
"I have known President Biden for more than 40 years and appreciate his long-standing commitment to Israel," Netanyahu said. He said the alliance between Israel and the United States is unbreakable "and always overcomes the occasional disagreement between us."
"My administration is committed to strengthening democracy by restoring the proper balance between the three branches of government, which we seek to achieve through broad consensus," Netanyahu said.
Speaking to reporters outside the White House, Biden also mentioned that he was concerned about the possibility of Russia sending tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus.
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