During an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday, President Biden emphasized that he would hold off on extending an invitation to Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu until he resolves the challenges within his coalition government.
The President specifically referred to some of Netanyahu’s coalition partners as being the “most extreme members of Cabinet” he has encountered since his meeting with former Prime Minister Golda Meir in the early 1970s.
Biden promptly met with the prime ministers of the previous coalition government, even though it included an Islamist party that denies the State of Israel’s right to exist.
Biden further expressed opposition to members of Netanyahu’s cabinet who endorse the belief that Jews have the right to settle anywhere in historically Jewish areas. These territories are partially administered by the Palestinian Authority and remain a subject of intense dispute.
In the interview, Biden emphasized his support for Israel, attributing some of the regional problems to the leaders of the Palestinian Authority, whom he criticized for creating a breeding ground for extremism.
The President expressed hope that Netanyahu would steer his government away from the wishes of his coalition partners, possibly implying that the White House’s ties with Israel are contingent on the domestic policies of Israel.