Ben Gvir: Israel is an independent country not an American protectorate


Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir said, on Wednesday, that “the State of Israel is an independent state and not an American protectorate, and it represents a great interest for the United States in the Middle East”.

Ben Gvir, head of the far-right Jewish Power party, made these statements in an interview with Israeli public radio, in response to US President Joe Biden’s criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, on Tuesday, against the background of the controversial judicial reform plan.

Ben Gvir said, “Israel is a great interest for the United States in the Middle East… We’re the last obstacle in front of the jihadists… I think we bring Washington happiness with what we are doing”.

On Tuesday, the US President Joe Biden said: “Like many of Israel’s biggest supporters, I am deeply concerned that Israel cannot continue down this path”.

Biden indicated that he doesn’t intend to invite Netanyahu to visit Washington in the near future.

Ben Gvir admitted, during his statements in his radio interview, that the Israeli government coalition had to start dialogue with the opposition from the first moment of its pursuit of the plan to reform the judiciary, adding that “this was a mistake and we stopped it”.

He added, “Netanyahu told him that if he resigns, the government will collapse,” adding, “I don’t want to be a reason for the disintegration of the right-wing government,” referring to a previous threat to him to resign if he feels he has lost influence over the government.

On Tuesday evening, the first negotiating meeting at the home of President Isaac Herzog, between representatives of the government coalition and the opposition, ended without announcing that a settlement had been reached on the judicial reform plan.

On Monday, in the wake of mass demonstrations and widespread strikes that have been going on for 12 weeks, Netanyahu announced the suspension of the adoption of judicial reform laws to make room for dialogue with the opposition, but he said that he won’t give them up.

In his radio interview, Ben Gvir touched on the government’s approval of giving him what opponents say might be a private militia for the extremist minister, and said: “In a move to consolidate control, the Prime minister gave me the National Guard”.

On Monday, in the speech announcing the on hold of the plan to reform the judiciary, Netanyahu said that he gave the green light to Ben Gvir to form the National Guard forces that will be made up of volunteers, security personnel, and former soldiers, to confront the Palestinians.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Minister of Culture and Sports, Miki Zohar, accused the United States of drifting behind false news regarding the Judicial Reform Law, according to what was reported by The Jerusalem Post newspaper on Wednesday morning.

“It breaks my heart when I see the damage done to Israel by all the false news that has spread regarding our justifiable legal reform,” Zohar said.

Netanyahu responded on Twitter on the comments made by Joe Biden that he appreciated Biden’s support, however, Israel is a sovereign state that makes its decisions by the will of its people and not based on pressure from outside, in particular by Israel’s best friends.

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