Nikki Haley Blasts Biden for Interfering in Israeli Politics

U.S. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) summit, focused on combating the anti-Israel boycott movement, Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
AP/Bebeto Matthews

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley blasted President Joe Biden Wednesday for interfering in Israeli domestic politics, saying the U.S. would never tolerate the same.

Haley was referring to Biden’s refusal to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House, as he invited both of Netanyahu’s predecessors, in protest at the Israeli government’s ongoing judicial reforms.

The Biden administration has backed the opposition’s protests against the reforms. Critics on the Israeli right note that Biden appears to be trying to oust Netanyahu at a delicate time, as Iran is nearing a nuclear weapon.

Israel’s judiciary, referred to as a “juristocracy” by critics, has assumed vast powers in recent decades, including not only the power to overturn legislation but also the power to control the appointment of judges to the bench.

Because most of the judges are left-wing, and from Israel’s secular, European elite, many Israelis on the right and from Middle Eastern or African backgrounds have come to resent the court’s interference in government.

Netanyahu ran on a promise to reform the judiciary, and some of his proposals parallel U.S. law. In some ways the U.S. has even stronger checks and balances: Congress can eliminate most federal courts, for example.

Biden himself considered sweeping judicial reforms to install a left-wing Supreme Court by “packing” the Court with new seats that would be filled by liberal nominees. His White House launched a commission on the topic.

Haley, widely viewed as a strong advocate for the U.S.-Israel relationship during her tenure at the U.S., is the first presidential contender to criticize Biden for his stance against Netanyahu and the Israeli judicial reforms.

Former President Donald Trump has been quiet about the issue. Though he was arguably the most pro-Israel president in U.S. history, he has criticized Netanyahu for acknowledging Biden’s victory in the 2022 election.

Florida Gov. Ron Desantis, another Republican contender, has yet to respond to Biden’s attacks on Israel, but is due to travel to the region next month.

Haley is therefore the first major contender to comment on the crisis.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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