PM tells ABC News Biden invited him to White House, defends ‘minor’ judicial changes

After some lack of clarity on the matter, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says US President Joe Biden invited him to meet at the White House this fall.

Speaking to ABC News, Netanyahu says “President Biden in the last conversation we had invited me to the White House in the fall, I think it’s in September but we’ll finalize the date.”

Netanyahu’s office previously said the two were to meet in the US, but did not say under what circumstances, amid lingering tensions over his government’s judicial overhaul program. The White House has also not given clear details on the planned meeting as of yet. There has been speculation it could take place at the UN on the sidelines of the General Assembly meeting, with Biden ostensibly unwilling to give the Israeli leader the prize of a White House sit-down.

“I think our relations are very strong. I’m not just saying that. I think the cooperation on intelligence, on security, on strategic matters is as strong as it’s ever been. I can tell you that we’re working on things that I think will change history,” Netanyahu says.

“Specifically we’re trying to block Iran’s aggression but also advance peace with Saudi Arabia, which, in addition to the historic Abraham accords with four Arab countries, is changing the Middle East. And I think this will change the world, I think this will be a pivot of history.”

Asked about his government’s highly divisive efforts to limit the powers of the judiciary, Netanyahu argues that he is bringing Israel “back… in line to what is common to all democracies,” saying balance between the branches of government “has been taken off the rails in Israel in the last 20 years because we have the most activist judicial court on the planet.”

“I want to bring the pendulum to the middle, I don’t want to bring the pendulum to the other side,” he adds.

As for the newly passed law to prevent courts from striking down cabinet or ministerial decisions based on their being “unreasonable,” Netanyahu calls it “a minor correction.”

“It’s described as the end of Israeli democracy. I think that’s silly and when the dust settles everybody will see that.”

Most Popular