Biden shakes hands Benjamin Netanyahu at New York hotel with hundreds of protesters outside
- President Joe Biden met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday
- At the top of the meeting, Biden said they planned to discuss some ‘hard issues’ that include ‘upholding democratic values’
- Outside hundreds of demonstrators had gathered to protest Netanyahu’s government’s proposed judicial reforms that would leave them unchecked
President Joe Biden shook hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York Wednesday, as hundreds of demonstators gathered outside protesting Netanyahu’s government’s proposed judicial overhaul.
The two leaders met on the sidelines of this week’s United Nations General Assembly in New York, with Netanyahu motorcading over to the president’s hotel, the Intercontinental Barclay.
Gathered just across Lexington Avenue were hundreds of Jewish-American protesters, waving Israeli flags and making a lot of noise as the controversial meeting took place.
In brief remarks at the top of the meeting, with reporters in the room, Biden indicated that he planned to bring up the judicial overhaul, which would strip Israel’s Supreme Court of much of its power, leaving Netanyahu’s right-wing government largely unchecked.
‘Today, we’re going to discuss some hard issues, that is upholding democratic values that lie at the heart of our partnership,’ Biden said. ‘Including the checks and balances in our systems and preserving the path to a negotiated two-state solution and ensuring that Iran never, never acquires a nuclear weapon.’
President Joe Biden shook hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York Wednesday, as hundreds of demonstators gathered outside protesting Netanyahu’s government’s proposed judicial overhaul
A sign with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s face that read ‘we will not serve a dictator’ was held by a demonstrator Wednesday as hundreds of Jewish-Americans protested the right-wing leader’s judicial overhaul as he was meeting with President Joe Biden
Hundreds of demonstrators stood across Lexington Avenue from the Intercontinental Barclay Hotel in Manhattan where President Joe Biden was meeting Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Biden called the U.S.’s commitment to Israel ‘ironclad’ and indicated that a White House meeting could happen before January.
‘I hope we will see each other in Washington by the end of the year,’ the president told Netanyahu.
‘You’ve heard me say many times that if there was no Israel, we’d have to invent one,’ the president said.
‘Even where we have some differences, my commitment to Israel, you know, is ironclad. I think without Israel, there’s not a Jew in the world who is secure. Israel is essential,’ Biden continued.
The president also brought up what’s being called a ‘mega-deal’ with Saudi Arabia, which is being currently negotiated and could lead to a normalization of relations between Saudi and Isreal.
‘If you and I 10 years ago were talkinga bout normalization with Saudi Arabia, I think we’d look at each other like, “who’s been drinking what?”‘ the president joked to Netanyahu.
When it was Netanyahu’s turn to speak he said that Israel shared a ‘commitment to democracy.’
Outside, one of Biden’s top union allies, Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, showed up to address the crowd.
‘To the Americans that are here, we as Americans must support the Israelis who are fighting for their democracy,’ Weingarten said. ‘As much as we’re fighting for freedom and justice in America. We must fight for freedom and justice and democracy for all in Israel.’
‘You are my heroes,’ the union leader told the crowd, adding that Biden and Netanyahu both needed to hear the protesters’ message.
As the meeting was ongoing, one female demonstrator told the crowd that Biden had brought up democratic issues.
‘In Joe we trust!’ she yelled.