Biden Offers Support to Netanyahu to ‘Forge Compromise’ on Judicial Reform

Israelis wave the national flag during a protest against plans by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government to overhaul the judicial system outside the Knesset, Israel’s parliament in Jerusalem, Monday, Feb. 20, 2023InternationalIndiaAfricaWASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US President Joe Biden has talked to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the phone, offering support in resolving issues relating to the controversial judicial reform in Israel, the White House informs.”He [Biden] welcomed the March 19 meeting in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, between senior political and security officials from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Jordan, and the United States with an aim to reduce tensions. The President reinforced the need for all sides to take urgent, collaborative steps to enhance security coordination, condemn all acts of terrorism, and maintain the viability of a two-state solution,” the White House said in a Sunday statement after the talks.According to the release, Biden told Netanyahu that there should be a genuine checks and balances system in all “democratic societies” and major changes must be enacted with a broad base of popular support.”The President offered support for efforts underway to forge a compromise on proposed judicial reforms consistent with those core principles. The two leaders also discussed tensions and violence in the West Bank. Finally, President Biden reiterated his unwavering commitment to Israel’s security and the ongoing cooperation between our national security teams, including to counter all threats posed by Iran. Both leaders agreed to stay in regular contact over the coming weeks,” the White House said.Netanyahu’s office said after the Sunday call that the conversation focused on the “Iranian threat.””The Prime Minister told Joe Biden that Israel would continue to take action everywhere against terrorists and the architects of terrorism,” Netanyahu’s office said on social media, adding that, “Regarding the judicial reform, Prime Minister Netanyahu told President Biden that Israel was, and will remain, a strong and vibrant democracy.”Netanyahu also thanked Biden for his commitment to Israel’s security.Protests against the controversial judicial reform have been held in Israel for 11 straight weeks. Netanyahu urged the police and the prosecutor’s office on Friday to take strict measures in response to violence against state officials by opponents of the government’s judicial reform.Biden Offers Support to Netanyahu to 'Forge Compromise' on Judicial ReformWorldMass Protests amid Benjamin Netanyahu’s Visit to Berlin16 March, 14:31 GMTIn January, Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin rolled out a legal reform package that would limit the authority of the Supreme Court by giving the cabinet control over the selection of new judges, as well as allowing the Knesset to override the court’s rulings with an absolute majority. In mid-February, the Israeli parliament approved the first part of the legislation. The second half was approved by the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, at the beginning of March.The reform’s opponents argue it will undermine democracy in Israel and put the country on the verge of a social and constitutional crisis.


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