Amb Freidman: Biden Sends Wrong Message on Israel

By Nicole Wells, NEWSMAX    |   Friday, 16 June 2023 

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told Newsmax on Friday that in refusing to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Joe Biden is signaling to the rest of the world that “Israel is just not that important.”

“The prime minister is the democratically elected leader of Israel,” Friedman said during an appearance on Newsmax’s “The Record With Greta Van Susteren.” “Israel is the most important ally of America in the Middle East, maybe in the entire world. He’s really one of the best known leaders in the world today.

“He’s been a great friend of America his whole life. And President Biden, while he’s invited Naftali Bennett, who was the prior prime minister, to visit the White House, refuses to invite Netanyahu.

“It’s not the discourtesy that bothers me so much. Netanyahu’s a big boy; he can handle that. It’s the message, which Biden is sending to the world at this critical time. When he’s speaking with Iran and he’s negotiating with Russia, China … to send this message that there’s daylight between America and Israel is dangerous and very counterproductive.”

Discussing Iran’s uranium enrichment program and how the United States is trying to negotiate a new deal with Tehran, Friedman said, “Israel is the most directly impacted by that; they’re the closest enemy of Iran.

“They’re constantly being threatened by Iran,” he said. “They’re deeply interested in the outcome of these discussions. But Biden is signaling to Iran that Israel is just not that important by his refusal to meet with Bibi, and it sends a very dangerous signal that Iran can somehow negotiate in a way that doesn’t take into account Israel’s concerns. It doesn’t foretell a good outcome.”

Biden’s comment that he has no plans to host Netanyahu was seen as criticism of a controversial push by Netanyahu’s government to assert greater control over the Israeli Supreme Court.

“I should also say that the internal Israel politics about judicial reform, frankly, they are none of our business,” Friedman said. “They will ultimately reach some compromise. Israel, to its credit, actually listened to the voices of hundreds of thousands of protesters and took this agenda and moved it back to the drawing board, because they were concerned about the will of the people.

“Very few countries in the world are that democratic that they listen so carefully to the will of the people.

“You have people in America that are pushing to pack the Supreme Court, which is far more damaging to America and far more likely to politicize the judiciary in America than anything Israel is doing. You don’t see Israelis — or you don’t see Netanyahu — criticizing that because it’s none of Israel’s business.

“So this is really an intrusion into Israel’s internal policies, and it’s far too patronizing and paternalistic for America to get this deep into Israel’s internal affairs.”

June 17, 2023 | Comments »

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