‘Coordination, stoking the fire’ – Biden in cahoots with left-wing lawmakers, says minister

Coalition lawmaker says the Biden administration is coordinating with Lapid, Barak to rile up demonstrators against judicial overhaul.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli said the timing of the ongoing protests following the advancement of a bill ending the “reasonability clause” and a recent statement from President Joe Biden expressing concern over judicial reform was not a coincidence.

In recent months, Chikli has raised questions around NGOs organizing anti-government protests, noting that many of them receive generous funding from the U.S.

“Every time they want to stoke the fire, all of a sudden there’s a comment from the direction of the [U.S.] president,” Chikli told Radio Kol Barama on Tuesday morning.

“I think these comments are prompted and timed by [Yair] Lapid and [Ehud] Barak and their people who are friends with these officials [in the Biden administration]. There is a certain amount of coordination between Biden’s people and Lapid and Ehud Barak; there is a certain amount of synchronization.”

Chikli has repeatedly spoken out about the Biden administration’s interference regarding Israeli domestic policy, including the judicial overhaul, and said that Washington should “mind its own business.”

Last month, Chikli called out Barak, who once served as prime minister, for his vehement opposition to the judicial overhaul.

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Referencing Barak’s ties to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, Chikli questioned why the former premier has not been forced by the media to “explain himself” regarding his relationship with the convicted sex offender.

Despite Barak’s connections to Epstein, and concerns over his separate dealings with another prominent businessman who was convicted of financial wrongdoing, the ex-prime minister has remained one of the leading voices of the Israeli Left.

Lapid, who briefly served as interim prime minister in 2022, has close ties with several major players in the Democratic party.

Hebrew-language media reports indicated that Lapid met with Histadrut head Arnon Bar-David in January 2023 to discuss calling a general strike, should judicial overhaul advance.

Two months later, in March 2023, the Histadrut did call an unprecedented – and likely illegal – strike that crippled the functioning of the country and forced a halt to the legislation.