i24 News – US President Joe Biden told Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a phone call on Sunday that he has never seen such high domestic anxiety over the political situation in Israel, according to media reports.
Two unnamed US sources told Axios that the president reiterated his concerns about the Netanyahu government’s judicial reform plan, as it was causing a level of national distress that he had never seen in previous years. The call was the first one between the two leaders. Prior to this, Washington said that it would not influence Israel’s domestic politics, although it made cautious comments about the possible consequences of the reform for Israeli democracy.
One of the sources also said that Biden urged Netanyahu to seek a broad consensus on the issue. The Israeli prime minister in turn assured that he was trying to resolve the crisis, adding that it required more time. An Israeli official told Axios that Netanyahu pointed out that he “doesn’t want to fix one imbalance by creating another imbalance.”
Although the sides didn’t officially confirm the details of the call, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby confirmed to Channel 13 that the purpose of Biden’s call with Netanyahu was to discuss judicial reform. On Monday, he also said that there were no plans to invite the prime minister to Washington, which some experts see as a sign of Biden’s frustration with Netanyahu’s handling the judicial overhaul crisis.
The prime minister on Sunday night met with coalition party leaders and announced that the main part of the vote on the judicial overhaul would be postponed until after Passover, to mid-April. However, one of the key parts of the reform that is set to change the mechanism of appointing judges will be voted on in the first week of April, despite mass protests in Israel and calls from the opposition to halt the vote.
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Author: i24 News
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