LONDON: US President Joe Biden has described Israel’s government as having “some of the most extreme” members he has ever seen.
When asked by CNN why Benjamin Netanyahu had yet to visit the White House since his election victory last December, Biden said Israel’s prime minister had “problems in terms of his coalition.”
The US president also said the Palestinian Authority had “lost its credibility” and “created a vacuum for extremism among the Palestinians.”
Last month, the Biden administration warned that Israeli settlement expansion in the Occupied Territories was damaging the possibility of a two-state solution.
Biden told CNN: “So, it is not all Israel now in the West Bank, all Israel’s problem. But they are a part of the problem, particularly those individuals in the Cabinet who say, ‘We can settle anywhere we want; they have no right to be here.’
“We are talking with them regularly, trying to tamp down what is going on. Hopefully (Netanyahu) will continue to move toward moderation and change.”
In response to Biden’s comments, Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, thought of as the most hard-line member of Netanyahu’s government, denied that he is an extremist, saying the president “needs to realize that we (Israel) are no longer a star on the American flag.”