Biden and Herzog to Discuss Israel's Integration and Democratic Values at White House
On Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with Israeli President Isaac Herzog at the White House. The primary focus of their discussion, as stated by the White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre, will be Israel's regional integration and Russia's military ties with Iran. During the meeting, President Biden will emphasize the significance of shared democratic values and explore opportunities to promote equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and security for both Palestinians and Israelis.
The visit of President Herzog, who primarily holds a ceremonial role, coincides with the 75th anniversary of Israel's founding in 1948. As a distinguished honor, President Herzog has been invited to address a joint meeting of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
This visit follows a period of heightened violence in the occupied West Bank, which has drawn criticism from the Biden administration due to renewed Jewish settlement construction under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's religious-nationalist government. Despite winning a record sixth term in November, Netanyahu has not yet been received at the White House.
In a recent CNN interview, President Biden declined to comment on whether an invitation would be extended to Netanyahu. He mentioned that Netanyahu is dealing with challenges within his coalition, describing his government as one of the most extremist cabinets he has encountered. These remarks prompted a response from Israel's hard-right security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, who questioned the characterization of extremism and urged President Biden to acknowledge that Israel's standing is no longer dependent on the United States.