To urge compromise and “express worry” over his government’s proposed revamp of the country’s judicial system, which has triggered widespread protests throughout Israel, President Joe Biden called with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday.
In a call that a senior administration official described as open and helpful, Biden reaffirmed U.S. concerns about the proposal to weaken the judiciary’s separation from the country’s political system, according to the White House.
After rejecting a compromise provided by the nation’s symbolic leader last week, there was no obvious sign that Netanyahu was backing away from the decision.
Netanyahu promised on Sunday that the legislation reforms would be appropriately implemented while upholding the fundamental rights of every Israeli citizen.
The change, according to his government, which is the most right-wing in the nation’s history, is intended to address an imbalance that has given the courts excessive power and hindered parliament from enacting the will of the electorate.
Some opposed to it claim that it will topple Israel’s delicate system of checks and balances and cause the nation to become autocratic. As more than 700 elite officers from the Air Force, special forces, and Mossad said they would no longer volunteer for duty, opponents of the proposal staged disruptive protests and even included the nation’s military.
The discussion came after an Israeli and Palestinian official meeting on Sunday in Egypt, when they agreed to take steps to reduce tensions before a delicate holiday season.
The success of the conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, an Egyptian resort on the Red Sea, was lauded by the Biden administration.
According to a joint communique, the parties reaffirmed their commitment to de-escalate and stop additional violence.
Israeli and Palestinian delegates met in less than a month for the second session to stop a year-long escalation of bloodshed facilitated by regional allies Egypt, Jordan, and the United States. In the West Bank and east Jerusalem, Israeli fire has claimed the lives of more than 200 Palestinians and more than 40 Israelis and tourists.
Among them, it said, promise to halt unilateral acts. Israel vowed to put a stop to discussions about building new settlements for four months and to plans to recognize illegal settlement outposts for six months formally.
The statement stated that “the two sides agreed to develop a mechanism to curb and oppose violence, incitement, and inflammatory states and act.”
At a further meeting in Egypt the following month, the parties would provide an update on their progress.