Daniel Albu

Iran: The Only Winner of Netanyahu’s Confrontation with Biden

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and US Vice-President Joe Biden speak in front of media prior to a meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016. The meeting comes less than a week after a diplomatic breakthrough between the U.S. and Iran that has put Israel's government on edge.(AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and then-US vice president Joe Biden speak in front of media prior to a meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on January 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won’t be invited to the White House in the “near term” US President Joe Biden told reporters on Tuesday, as he urged Israel to drop its judicial reform plan.

“I hope he [Netanyhau] walks away from it” Biden said as he issued his most clear objections to date over Israel’s judicial overhaul process. “Like many strong supporters of Israel, I am very concerned. I am concerned that they get this straight. They cannot continue down this road. I have sort of made that clear” Biden said. When asked if he would invite Netanyahu to the White House, Biden quickly replied, “no, not in the near term.”

According to Netanyahu’s statement, there is no room for the United States to intervene in Israel’s domestic affairs. “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,” he added.

In the following, members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition reacted furiously Wednesday morning to US President Joe Biden’s extraordinary criticism of Jerusalem’s plan to severely weaken the justice system, with one Knesset member from the premier’s ruling Likud party going so far as to claim that Israel was “probably more democratic” than America and accusing former US president Barack Obama of causing the death of Israeli soldiers during a 2014 operation in the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, opposition figures decried the government as “dangerous,” and a former Israeli envoy to Washington described the current crisis as perhaps the worst in bilateral relations in more than 30 years, adding that the Biden administration has “no trust” in the prime minister.

At the same time, Israel needs the support of the White House more than ever before to deal with Iran’s nuclear threat and the full-scale war campaign it has launched against Israel.

The stubbornness of Netanyahu and his Kahanist cabinet in resolutely advancing the reform process, in addition to causing deep wounds in the body of the Israeli nation, can also endanger the long-term strategic friendship with the White House.

If Netanyahu’s reforms are implemented, it will take at least several months to appease the White House and President Biden. Such a break will give Iran enough time to complete its nuclear program in the absence of the shadow United States punishment, and also to lunch its war campaign against Israel by strengthening its alliance with Putin’s Russia and de-escalating with Persian Gulf countries.

About the Author
Daniel Albu is a father, photographer and freelance journalist living and working in New York.
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