US Speaker of the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy offered his support to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he called a "great friend of the United States" in a statement published on Thursday evening.
"Netanyahu is an Israeli patriot, statesman, and most importantly, a great friend of the USA," McCarthy wrote in a tweet.
"Free societies have a vigorous and open debate. Israel is no exception," he added, referring to Netanyahu's government's proposed judicial reform which has drawn hundreds of thousands of Israelis to the streets in what are 13 consecutive weeks of protests.
"I support Netanyahu and America’s support for Israel’s strong, vibrant democracy is unwavering," McCarthy wrote.
Prime Minister Netanyahu is an Israeli patriot, statesman, and most importantly, a great friend of the USA.Free societies have vigorous and open debate. Israel is no exception.I support @netanyahu, and America’s support for Israel’s strong, vibrant democracy is unwavering.— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) March 30, 2023
Worst crisis in decades for American-Israeli relations
The Israeli political crisis has also sparked the worst crisis in American-Israeli relations in decades, as US President Joe Biden called on Netanyahu to halt the plan on Wednesday and said he would not host him in the White House at this time.
“I hope he [Netanyahu] walks away from it,” Biden told reporters as he issued his most clear objections to the plan to date and opened an intensely public dispute between the two leaders, who are also good friends.
When asked if he would invite Netanyahu to the White House, Biden quickly replied, “No, not in the near term.”