Netanyahu rejects Biden criticism, says Israel follows will of its people, not US pressure

“Prime Minister Netanyahu will likely take a visit at some point. But there’s nothing currently planned.”

By World Israel News and JNS

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected US President Joe Biden’s criticism of Israel’s pending judicial reform legislation, which was temporarily put on hold as Israeli leaders seek to find a compromise.

“I have known President Biden for over 40 years, and I appreciate his longstanding commitment to Israel. The alliance between Israel and the United States is unbreakable and always overcomes the occasional disagreements between us,” Netanyahu said.

“My administration is committed to strengthening democracy by restoring the proper balance between the three branches of government, which we are striving to achieve via a broad consensus.”

“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.

Biden expressed strong concern that Israel “gets this straight,” referring to Netanyahu’s planned judicial overhaul. “They cannot continue down this road. And I’ve sort of made that clear,” said Biden.

“Hopefully the prime minister will act in a way that he can try and work out some genuine compromise, but that remains to be seen.” the president said.

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He said that Netanyahu will not be invited to the White House in the “near term.”

Olivia Dalton, White House principal deputy press secretary, confirmed that there is no plan for Netanyahu to visit Washington.

“Israeli leaders have a long history, tradition of visiting Washington, and Prime Minister Netanyahu will likely take a visit at some point. But there’s nothing currently planned,” said Dalton, according to a White House transcript.

In response to another question, the White House spokeswoman said, “We welcomed the decision to delay the implementation of the judicial reform plan. We thought that gives important space and time for compromise and dialogue. And as we’ve said all along, we believe that’s incredibly important.”

“They know our strong views about the importance of democracy to the U.S.-Israeli partnership. They know where we stand on this issue,” she added.