2024 US presidential candidate Ron DeSantis will tour Japan, South Korea, Israel and the UK.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” appearance Sunday that he plans to meet with Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, a 2024 U.S. presidential candidate, when he visits Israel this week.
DeSantis travels to Japan, Korea, Israel and Great Britain. The trip to Israel coincides with protests against Prime Minister Netanyahu’s plan to strengthen control of the Supreme Court. When asked by CBS if he would meet DeSantis, Netanyahu said, “Of course I will meet with everybody.” Why not? I will meet with Republican governors and Democratic governors,” he said.
DeSantis’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Previous President Donald Trump, a conservative who started his re-appointment crusade in November 2022, last week won supports of a few conservative legislators in Florida. DeSantis, who has not yet announced his candidacy, has been dealt a blow by the endorsements.
During a visit to Jerusalem in 2019, DeSantis met with Netanyahu and referred to Florida as “the most pro-Israel state in the nation.”
Following strikes and large-scale demonstrations last month, Netanyahu put on hold his plans for judicial reform. The plans would allow parliament to overrule many Supreme Court decisions and give the government effective control over the appointment of judges.
Netanyahu responded that there was a “broad consensus” to reform the Israeli judicial system when he was asked on CBS why he would not withdraw the planned reforms.
He stated, “I’ve actually said that I will not accept a blanket ability of the parliament to override judicial decisions made by the Supreme Court, just as we don’t accept that the Supreme Court can override any decision made by the parliament or the government.”
Netanyahu Dismissed Biden’s Pressure
After US President Joe Biden urged him to scrap the judicial overhaul plan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that he would not bow to “pressures from abroad.” This was the latest indication of tension between the two allies.
In light of the crisis brought on by the judicial plan, which has sparked mass protests that have lasted for weeks throughout Israel, Biden stated to reporters that he was “very concerned” about Israel.
“I’m very worried, like a lot of strong Israel supporters. The fact that they get this straight makes me stressed. They can’t go down this path any longer. I’ve kind of made that understood,” Biden said.
He went on to say, “I hope he walks away from it,” referring to Netanyahu.
When pressed on the subject, the US president responded bluntly with “no” and stated that Netanyahu would not be invited to the White House “in the near term.”
Netanyahu shot back on Twitter saying that “Israel is a sovereign country which settles on its choices by the desire of its kin and not in view of tensions from abroad, including from the best of companions.”
He said in a series of tweets that he was beginning a process of “strengthening democracy by restoring the proper balance between the three branches of government,” and that he appreciated Biden’s “longstanding commitment to Israel.”
In a progression of tweets, he expressed that while he values Biden’s “longstanding obligation to Israel” he was leaving on a course of “reinforcing a majority rules system by reestablishing the legitimate harmony between the three branches of government”.