Biden and Herzog meeting at the White House (Reuters)
US President Joe Biden told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their phone call yesterday (Sunday) that in the decades he has been involved in relations with Israel he has never seen such levels of anxiety in the Israeli public about the political situation in the country and this is one of the reasons he is concerned about the government's plan To weaken the judicial system, according to two American sources who were updated on the details of the conversation.
A particularly unusual conversation with Netanyahu.
President of the United States Joe Biden (Photo: Reuters)
why is it important:
Biden's conversation with Netanyahu was particularly unusual because its main purpose was to discuss the legislation that the government is promoting on the subject of the judicial system - an internal political issue in Israel.
This was the first time that Biden raised the issue directly with Netanyahu.
The fact that Biden decided to do this and the detailed announcement from the White House about the content of the conversation shows how concerned the American administration is about the political happenings in Israel.
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Need time and breathing space.
Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Reuters)
Behind the Scenes:
The sources said that after Biden urged Netanyahu during the conversation to strive for a compromise regarding the government's plan regarding the justice system and to try to achieve a broad consensus on the matter, the head of government replied that he was trying to find a solution to the crisis, but emphasized that he needed time and breathing space to do so.
The White House and the Prime Minister's office refused to comment on the matter.
Netanyahu told Biden that he wants to avoid a situation where the imbalance on one side in the justice system will be solved by creating an imbalance on the other side.
Biden "has not seen such levels of anxiety in the Israeli public."
Demonstration against the legal revolution (Photo: Reuven Castro)
between the lines:
Even before the conversation took place, the White House planned to hold a media briefing about its content.
A few minutes after Biden and Netanyahu finished talking, a senior official in the US administration said in a conference call with reporters that the conversation was "honest and direct" - diplomatic terms that usually describe a conversation in which difficult disagreements emerged.
Deliberately, the White House announcement regarding the conversation was also very detailed and included a message from Biden to Netanyahu according to which the relationship between the US and Israel must continue to be based on democratic values such as checks and balances between the various authorities.
The White House announcement was very different from the announcement published by the Prime Minister's Office, which emphasized other elements of the conversation such as the attack in Hawara, the Iranian issue or the Abraham Accords.
The mention in the announcement of the Netanyahu office to the issue of the legal plan was very limited.
Shortly after the conversation with Biden, Netanyahu convened the heads of the coalition to discuss with them the further steps of the legislation.
At the end of that session, the announcement was made that the government would focus until the end of the Knesset session on passing legislation that would give the coalition an automatic majority in the process of appointing judges to the Supreme Court and would also allow it to appoint the next president of the Supreme Court.
The American government has not yet responded to the coalition's new plan, but it seems that in light of the fact that it was rejected by the opposition and by the protest organizations and does not receive a broad consensus, the move will not calm the worries in the White House about the upcoming legislation.
The legal revolution