U.S. President Joe Biden said he hopes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “walks away from” plans to pursue reforms to the country’s judiciary.
“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,” Biden said.
“Hopefully the prime minister will act in a way that he can try to work out some genuine compromise. But that remains to be seen,” Biden said, adding that Netanyahu won’t be invited to visit the White House “in the near term.”
Netanyahu himself responded to Biden’s remarks, saying that he appreciates Biden’s “longstanding commitment to Israel.”
“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,” the prime minister said.
Netanyahu added that his administration is committed to strengthening democracy by restoring the proper balance between the three branches of government, which they are striving to achieve via a broad consensus.