Israel ‘is not another star on the American flag’: Ben-Gvir blasts Biden

“It should be clear to the entire world – the people here voted in an election, and they have their priorities,” said Ben-Gvir.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Following statements by President Joe Biden criticizing potential reforms to Israel’s judicial system, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said that the U.S. must understand that Israel is a sovereign state, with its own political interests and priorities, and not beholden to the American agenda.

Speaking about legislation that aims to overhaul Israel’s courts, Biden said he disapproves of the plan and that Netanyahu would not be invited to the White House in the foreseeable future.

“Like many strong supporters of Israel, I am very concerned. I am concerned that they get this straight. They can not continue down this road. I have sort of made that clear,” Biden said during a media conference.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the president’s advice, saying, “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,” declared Netanyahu.

Echoing Netanyahu, Ben-Gvir responded to Biden’s comments in an interview with Army Radio, stressing that while Israel treasures its relationship with the U.S., the Israeli government must put the needs of its constituents above all else.

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“While we appreciate [U.S.] democracy, they need to understand that Israel is an independent country and not another star on the American flag,” Ben-Gvir said.

“It should be clear to the entire world – the people here voted in an election, and they have their priorities.”

Education Minister Yoav Kisch expressed similar sentiments in an interview with radio station Kan Reshet Bet.

“With all respect to the president of the USA, he can state his position on any issue related to Israel,” Kitsch said. “But… Israel is a sovereign country, and our decisions are made here. American criticism can happen, but the decisions are ours.”

Opposition lawmakers seized on Biden’s remarks as an opportunity to blast the current coalition headed by Netanyahu, claiming that the government had done serious damage to Israel’s diplomatic standing.

“For decades, Israel was the USA’s closest ally, and the most extremist government in the country’s history has spoiled that in three months,” Opposition Leader Yair Lapid wrote on Twitter.

Benny Gantz, head of the National Unity party, said Biden’s remarks should serve as an urgent “wake-up call” to the government.