This past Tuesday, President Joe Biden chose to snub Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when questioned about if he would invite him to the White House.
When Biden spoke about Netanyahu, who represents the political Right for Israel, and their efforts at reforming Israel’s one-sided judiciary by getting Israel to more clearly mirror the United States, explained the developments in Israel were actually quite concerning to him. When a reporter asked him if he would be calling Netanyahu to the White House, Biden fired back, “No. Not in the near-term.”
Here’s video of Biden: “Like many strong supporters of Israel I'm very concerned, and I'm concerned that they get this straight. They cannot continue down this road… Hopefully the PM will act in a way that he can try to work out some genuine compromise.” pic.twitter.com/I29Z54VsZn
— Jacob N. Kornbluh (@jacobkornbluh) March 28, 2023
This past Tuesday, Netanyahu made it entirely clear that he would not take lightly any bullying done by President Biden or anyone else, tweeting, “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.”
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.
— Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) March 28, 2023
“We’re not interfering,” Biden answered. “They know my position. They know America’s position. They know the American Jewish position,” as reported in a story from The Jerusalem Post.
Most religious Jews living in America, unlike their non-religious co-religionists, are almost always right-leaning politically and support the right-wing effort to reform Israel’s judiciary.
Miki Zohar, the Israeli Culture and Sports Minister, explained via a tweet, “It breaks my heart to see how much damage has been done to Israel from all the fake news that has been spread in connection with our justified legal reform.”
U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides quickly stepped forward to try and defend the President, saying, “I would bet you the prime minister has been to Washington more than any single foreign leader combined. He probably knows the White House better than I do. He has no lack of invitations to the White House. He and Joe Biden go back close to 40 years. I have no doubt they will spend time together.”
Despite the fact that Biden quickly called Brazilian left-wing president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the wake of his victory this past October, when Netanyahu ended up winning his election as prime minister in November, Biden took his time for a few days prior to congratulate him.
The hostility shown by Biden to a number of Israeli politicians on the Right goes as far back as 1982. Then working as a senator, Biden slammed his desk while attending a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting as a means to warn Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to stop setting new Jewish settlements inside of Samaria and Judea.
“Don’t threaten us with cutting off your aid. It will not work. I am not a Jew with trembling knees. I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history,” Begin told Biden. “Nobody came to our aid when we were dying in the gas chambers and ovens. Nobody came to our aid when we were striving to create our country. We paid for it.”