U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to express “concern” over his government’s planned overhaul of the country’s judicial system that has sparked widespread protests across Israel and to encourage compromise.
The White House said Joe Biden reiterated U.S. concerns about the measure to roll back the judiciary’s insulation from the country’s political system, in a call a senior administration official described as “candid and constructive.”
The official, who requested anonymity to discuss the leaders’ private call, said that Biden spoke to Netanyahu “as a friend of Israel in the hopes that there can be a compromise formula found.”
The White House in statement added that Biden “underscored his belief that democratic values have always been, and must remain, a hallmark of the U.S.-Israel relationship, that democratic societies are strengthened by genuine checks and balances, and that fundamental changes should be pursued with the broadest possible base of popular support.”
“The President offered support for efforts underway to forge a compromise on proposed judicial reforms consistent with those core principles,” the statement said.
Netanyahu told Biden that Israel will “remain, a strong and vibrant democracy,” according to the prime minister’s office.