The Wall Street Journal, in an editorial published Friday morning, sharply criticized U.S. President Joe Biden and his administration for their critical stance toward Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the fact that Biden has so far refrained from inviting the Israeli leader for the traditional visit to the White House.
“Why does President Biden go out of his way to snub, criticize and give marching orders to the government of Israel? At least rhetorically, the President and his Administration treat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his governing coalition worse than they do the ruling mullahs in Iran,” the editorial opens.
The Wall Street Journal is known as a politically right-leaning newspaper, and it often criticizes Biden and his administration. The editorial comes just days after a column by Thomas Friedman, a senior commentator for the New York Times - a newspaper that tends to lean left politically - in which he assessed that the Biden administration is now "reassessing" its policy toward Israel, although the White House denied this.
The Wall Street Journal editorial mentioned Biden's recent criticism of Netanyahu's coalition partners, although it did not mention his claim that it is the “most extreme government” he has seen, nor the critical statements made by outgoing U.S. Ambassador Tom Nides. "Each gibe makes headlines in Israel," the newspaper notes, and highlights that Biden has remained critical of Netanyahu even when he announced a halt to judicial reform legislation in March following massive street protests.
The article argues that the criticism from Washington is causing Israelis to feel that the United States is siding with the opposition in Israel. “This is no way to treat a democratic ally and no way to pursue U.S. interests while Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud Party is in power, as it has been for most of the past 25 years.”
Regarding the judicial revolution itself, the article states: “Whether Israel’s proposed reforms would rein in its high court’s unusual powers, in the absence of a constitution, or tip the balance too far toward British-style parliamentary supremacy, is for Israelis to debate. Which they do, noisily, without Mr. Biden’s commentary.”
Furthermore, the author contends that Biden's policy undermines the goal of restraining Iran. “While Mr. Biden undermines the Netanyahu government, Hamas and other Iranian proxies are gaining power in the West Bank, activating another front against Israel. The new wave of terrorism against Jewish civilians will set back the Palestinian cause but advance Iran’s.”
The newspaper also expresses disappointment with the lack of progress regarding normalization efforts with Saudi Arabia, although some may argue that this is due to the right-wing government of Netanyahu facing difficulties.
According to the article, the reason is Biden's critical policy toward Saudi Arabia. The editorial asserts that his "hostility" toward Riyadh has "driven" it to sign the agreement, facilitated by China, to renew relations with Iran, in an effort to minimize the perceived threat from Iran. “Normalization with Israel may have to wait for a U.S. President interested in rallying a coalition to contain Tehran.”