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(4,104 posts)
Wed Jul 19, 2023, 03:12 AM Jul 2023

Biden warns 'special relationship' on the line in absence of consensus on overhaul

US president tells NY Times’s Tom Friedman that ‘vibrancy of Israel’s democracy’ is at heart of ties between the 2 countries, but threatened by unilateral moves to weaken judiciary

US President Joe Biden said that Israel’s leaders need to slow down their divisive overhaul of the judiciary and instead strive to achieve a broad consensus with opposition parties on the issue, reportedly warning that the “special relationship” between the two countries could sustain irreparable damage.

Biden made the comments to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, whom he sat down with in the White House Tuesday after meeting earlier in the day with President Isaac Herzog, who is visiting Washington.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and its allied far-right and ultra-Orthodox parties have been barreling ahead with their overhaul plan, which has been met with months of mass protests from critics who say it will weaken the court’s power to act as a check and balance against the Knesset, and dangerously erode Israel’s democratic foundations.

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Biden warns 'special relationship' on the line in absence of consensus on overhaul (Original Post) Israeli Jul 2023 OP
Biden in message to Netanyahu Stop legislation now Israeli Jul 2023 #1


(4,104 posts)
1. Biden in message to Netanyahu Stop legislation now
Wed Jul 19, 2023, 03:20 AM
Jul 2023
President summons Tom Friedman after his meeting with Herzog to send a clear message to the prime minister that ignoring his concerns and continuing legislation may cause irreparable harm to the special relations between the U.S. and Israel

Daniel Edelson, New York

U.S. President Joe Biden told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop his legislative push to overhaul the judiciary. "Stop now," Biden told the prime minister, according to a report in the New York Times.

In the report by Tom Freidman said he was summoned by Biden, to the White House following the president's meeting with President Issac Herzog, to ensure his position is clear to all Israelis. The president told Freidman he has respect for the ongoing protests in Israel, which he said shows its vibrant democracy, but also his desire that Netanyahu's coalition halts the push to pass legislation without national consensus, which would definitively weaken the Supreme Court's oversight over government decisions and appointments.

Freidman said in his report, published hours after the White House meeting with Herzog, that when the president asks Netanyahu the kind of questions that were asked in their Monday call, it is out of concern, and not a provocation. In their first conversation in four months, Netanyahu told the president he would complete legislation of the reasonability bill and would then try to reach a broad agreement for the rest of his judicial overhaul, over the Knesset's summer recess.

In his report, Freidman wrote that Biden said he can no longer remain silent. He is concerned about Israel's stability and its future, Friedman said. Biden who is openly supportive of Israel believes it is the most valuable U.S. ally in the Middle East but his message to the prime minister cannot be clearer: Stop now. Passing legislation without a broad agreement would fraction Israeli democracy and its relations with the U.S., perhaps irreparably.

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