America’s relationships with other countries, both adversaries and allies, have altered over the course of the Biden administration thus far, none for the better. Now another nation can be added to the list. President Biden was asked about the ongoing situation in Israel where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been in a battle to reform the judiciary in his country. Rather than keeping his nose out of Israel’s internal affairs, Biden appeared to pronounce his judgment about that country’s future, saying that Israel “cannot continue down this road.” Then, just to toss a little salt in the wound, when asked if he would be inviting Netanyahu to visit him at the White House, he said that would not be happening “in the near term.” Has anyone taken Biden aside yet to remind him that Israel has been one of America’s staunchest allies in the world? (Times of Israel)
US President Joe Biden issued his gravest warning yet over the judicial overhaul being advanced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, saying Tuesday that Israel “cannot continue down this road.”
“Like many strong supporters of Israel, I’m very concerned. And I’m concerned that they get this straight,” Biden told reporters before boarding Air Force One at the Raleigh-Durham airport. “They cannot continue down this road. And I’ve sort of made that clear.”
He also said emphatically that Netanyahu that would not be invited to the White House in the “near term.”
You can agree or disagree with the way Netanyahu has been handling his attempted reforms of Israel’s High Court of Justice or even the way that he fired his Defense Minister on Sunday night. But those are strictly internal matters for the Israeli people to sort out for themselves. It will likely come as no surprise that the media in Israel noticed the affront immediately.
Biden: “Like many strong supporters of Israel I’m very concerned. I’m concerned that they get this straight. They cannot continue down this road. Netanyahu won’t be invited to the White House in the near term” pic.twitter.com/YeuH6QbT3c
— Yosef Yisrael (@yosefyisrael25) March 28, 2023
And where did the idea about snubbing a White House visit for Netanyahu come from? You invite the tracksuit guy from Ukraine to come over for drinks but not the Prime Minister of Israel? To steal a quote from the Lord of the Rings, our list of allies grows thin. And it may be growing thinner.
This wasn’t some one-time gaffe on Biden’s part. In fact, he may not even have come up with the idea himself. This attitude toward Isreal seems embedded in his administration. On Monday, NSC spokesman John Kirby said that Netanyahu’s legislative effort regarding the judiciary ” flies in the face of the whole idea of checks and balances.” That’s pretty much an unsubtle way of calling the Israeli Prime Minister undemocratic.
As it turns out, this wasn’t even the first time in recent memory that this administration has torn into Israel. Last week, Israel’s Ambassador, Mike Herzog, was “summoned” to the State Department for what the Times of Israel described as a “private dressing-down” over the Knesset’s passing of a law allowing the resettlement of northern West Bank areas. That too is entirely Israel’s business.
Israeli Media has already begun describing “the ongoing deterioration of ties between Israel and the US.” What in the Sam Hill is going on at the White House these days? Is Joe Biden actively trying to drive all of our allies away and into the arms of our adversaries? I’m not sure he realizes how he is very likely emboldening Iran with these moves, possibly opening the door to some rash action against Israel if they don’t believe that the United States has their back any longer.
Our own Ambassador to Israel was pressed repeatedly by their press corps on the subject of a White House visit. Here’s how he flailed around and tried to find a way out of the question.
“I’m sure he’ll be coming relatively soon,” Nides told Israel’s Army Radio. “I assume after Passover, obviously no date has been set yet. There’s no question he will come and meet [US President Joe] Biden. They will see each other personally, I’m sure, quite soon. Without question, he’ll be coming to the White House as soon as their schedules can be coordinated.”
“As soon as their schedules can be coordinated?” Seriously? Biden’s schedule hasn’t been so full. He’s spent nearly a third of his presidency at his homes in Delaware. I’m pretty sure he could have squeezed in a dinner with Bibi if he had an interest in doing so.
Tom Nides may be “sure” that the invitation will be coming “relatively soon.” But it certainly doesn’t sound that way based on what Bide said himself or the comments of his staff. It sounds a lot more like Netanyahu is pretty much persona non grata in the Biden White House. Somebody needs to get a leash on this guy or we’ll have no allies left at all.