Top U.S. official says Israel needs broad support for judicial overhaul

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby says Netanyahu's suspension of judicial overhaul positive; says friends do not always agree but can be candid with each other; Biden tells Democracy Summit that democracy means balance between the will of the majority and the protection of rights for all

(The White House)

U.S. National Security Council John Kirby on Wednesday said Israel's judicial overhaul legislation needs broad support.
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Speaking from the White House Kirby said the United States was heartened by Netanyahu's willingness to seek a broader consensus.
"Netanyahu in responding to the White House called to find a compromise," he said. "He said he knows how unshakable the friendship between the United States and Israel is and he talked about his great respect for President Biden...The great thing about a deep friendship is that you can be that candid with one another," he said.
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ארה"ב ג'ון קירבי
ארה"ב ג'ון קירבי
John Kirby
(Photo: Reuters)
"Israel is a sovereign state," he said in response to a question about some statements made by Israeli politicians condemning what they called an intervention in internal Israeli matters. "Our whole point is that we would like to see decisions made in better keeping with consensus, which is a key component of democracy and Israel is a democracy and one of the values we share," he said.
Administration officials have been at odds with Israel, considered a close ally, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to push forward a far-reaching judicial overhaul that the U.S. was worried will diminish Israel's democracy.
“Democracy means the will of the people as expressed by a majority, and it also means protection of civil rights and individual rights. It’s the balance between the two,” Biden said at the opening of his second democracy summit in Washington.
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נשיא ארה"ב ג'ו ביידן
נשיא ארה"ב ג'ו ביידן
Joe Biden
(Photo: EPA)
Kriby said the decision to temporarily halt the judicial legislation was the best way forward for Israel and all its citizens and that the U.S. support for Israeli security and democracy remained steadfast.
Earlier Vice President Kamala Harris also voiced her concerns over the latest events in Israel.
"We have a long and enduring relationship, the US and Israel, based on a number of factors that include an intertwined history, but also that relate to shared principles in terms of the importance of democracy, and we will continue to work on strengthening our relationship based on that-a commitment to democracies and of course, an intertwined and shared history," Harris said.
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