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To appease Biden, Israel’s Netanyahu floats judicial compromise, Saudi progress

With his trip to the United States just around the corner, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is willing to do almost anything, including halting the judicial overhaul, to get a photo op with President Joe Biden.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaves 10 Downing Street after meeting Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, London, March 24, 2023.

TEL AVIV — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been signaling in recent days that he is ready to back away from parts of the controversial  judicial overhaul plan, in hopes that such a step, combined with progress toward normalizing relations with Saudi Arabia, will guarantee a meeting with US President Joe Biden, preferably at the White House, political sources in Israel have said. 

Relations have been strained between the Netanyahu government and the Biden administration ever since Netanyahu returned to power in December and formed a government with a far-right coalition. Netanyahu cannot or will not rid himself of those ministers or curb their racist/anti-Palestinian statements, but he is hoping to curry favor with the White House by halting the judicial overhaul.

Compromise or deception?

Monday night’s primetime news shows carried an unexpected report that a compromise was in the works freezing and diluting the government-led judicial overhaul. The proposed blueprint was said to be the result of prolonged secret negotiations between a key aide to President Isaac Herzog — Ovad Yehezkel — and representatives of Netanyahu, Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and attorney Michael Ravillo. 

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