Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen rebuked US Vice President Kamala Harris yesterday for publicly criticizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial reform plan.
The incident highlighted the tensions between US President Joe Biden’s administration and Netanyahu’s new government – the most right-wing and extreme in Israel’s history – over the planned judicial reform.
Speaking during an event at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, the day before yesterday, Harris said that shared values are “the cornerstone of relations between the United States and Israel,” and that democracies are “built on strong institutions, checks and balances, and I would add: an independent judiciary.”
“I can tell you that if you ask her what bothers her about reform, she won’t be able to tell you,” Israel’s foreign minister told Kan public radio, adding that he believed Harris had not seen the bills in question.
Biden has publicly expressed concern about the Netanyahu government’s plan for what he called judicial reform, sparking weekly popular protests, even after the proposal was put on hold.
Amid the tensions, Biden has not offered Netanyahu a regular invitation to the White House since his election in 2022. The US ambassador to Israel, Tom Nedis, responded to Eli Cohen, saying that Harris said things the administration says at every opportunity regarding common values and policies, stressing that she is an “ardent supporter.” to Israel,” according to the Kan radio station.