House Speaker Kevin McCarthy voiced support on Thursday for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he battles internal dissent over a proposed judicial reform and faces criticism from the Biden administration.
Netanyahu has attempted to introduce reforms to the Israeli judiciary, generating internal outcry and prompting President Joe Biden to personally encourage him to abandon such efforts. The effort is on hold until the legislature’s April session amid intense backlash.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu is an Israeli patriot, statesman, and most importantly, a great friend of the United States of America,” the House Speaker said, according to The Hill. “Free societies have vigorous and open debate. Israel is no exception. I support Prime Minister Netanyahu, and America’s support for Israel’s strong, vibrant democracy is unwavering.”
“Now is an important time for Americans to stand together in support of our long, mutually respectful, and important friendship with Israel,” he continued.
Earlier this week, Biden encouraged Netanyahu to abandon the reforms, saying he was “very concerned” and that he hoped Netanyahu could reach some compromise, per the outlet.
The proposed reforms would grant elected officials more power to select Supreme Court justices and allow the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, to override court decisions by a majority vote.
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