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Netanyahu should receive White House invitation 'relatively soon' after Passover, says US Ambassador Tom Nides

The unusual delay of Netanyahu’s invite to Washington – more than three months after his re-election – signals the Biden administration’s dissatisfaction with his government

US President Joe Biden meets then-opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu at the Israeli President's Residence in Jerusalem, Jul. 14, 2022. (Photo: GPO)

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides predicted on Tuesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be invited to visit the White House “relatively soon.” 

“I assume after Passover, obviously no date has been set yet,” Nides told Israel’s Army Radio. 

The ambassador welcomed Netanyahu’s announcement of a pause in the judicial reform legislation that has been moving through the legislature, in order to engage in dialogue with the opposition. 

“As President Biden said before, we are in favor of dialogue and compromise,” Nides noted.

White House spokesman Karine Jean-Pierre on Monday also issued remarks following Netanyahu’s speech, saying, “We welcome this announcement as an opportunity to create additional time and space for compromise.”

“A compromise is precisely what we have been calling for. And we continue to strongly urge Israeli leaders to find a compromise as soon as possible,” Jean-Pierre said.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that, in the 48 hours preceding Netanyahu’s announcement, Biden and his advisors “bombarded the Israeli government with warnings that the country’s image as the sole democracy in the Middle East was at stake.” 

The Times report noted that the absence of a set date for Netanyahu to meet with Biden means it might not happen. The White House has not extended an invitation to Netanyahu in the three months since his re-election, unprecedented for Israel’s prime ministers after they have entered office.

An unnamed U.S. official quoted by The Times of Israel said that, besides negotiations over Israel’s judicial reform, the Biden administration wants to see calm between Israel and Palestinians during Passover and Ramadan before scheduling a visit for Netanyahu to visit Washington. 

This could take “at least another month or two,” the official said. 

Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.

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