The United States needs to understand that Israel is an independent country and "not another star on the US flag," National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said on Wednesday morning in response to US President Joe Biden's comments on judicial reform.
On Tuesday night, the US president said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not be invited to the White House in the near future, and urged him to drop the judicial reform plan.
"Like many strong supporters of Israel, I am very concerned. I am concerned that they get this straight. They can not continue down this road. I have sort of made that clear," Biden said to reporters.
"It breaks my heart to see how much damage has been done to Israel from all the fake news that has been spread in connection to our justified legal reform."Culture and Sport Minister Miki Zohar
Speaking to Army Radio on Wednesday morning, Ben-Gvir criticized Biden's comments, saying that while Israel "appreciates the democratic regime there, it is precisely for this region that they need to understand that Israel is an independent country and no longer a star on the US flag."
He added that "it should be clear all over the world - the people here went to elections and they have their own desires."
Other coalition MKs were quick to criticize Biden's statement as well, with Culture and Sport Minister Miki Zohar tweeting: "It's sad that Biden has fallen for all the fake news."
"For decades, Israel was the USA's closest ally, and the most extremist government in the country's history has spoiled that in three months."Opposition leader Yair Lapid
He soon deleted the tweet, however, and followed up with a second tweet reading: "Out of respect for our important relationship with our greatest ally, the United States, I have deleted the tweet. It breaks my heart to see how much damage has been done to Israel from all the fake news that has been spread in connection to our justified legal reform."
Strained US-Israel ties on the horizon
Opposition MKs also responded to Biden's comments, aiming their criticism at the government rather than at the US.
Opposition leader Yair Lapid responded by saying: "For decades, Israel was the USA's closest ally, and the most extremist government in the country's history has spoiled that in three months."
Former defense minister and National Unity Party chair Benny Gantz called Biden's comments "an urgent wake-up call for the Israeli government."
"Damaging relations with the USA, our best friend and most important ally is a strategic attack," he continued. "The prime minister must guide his negotiating teams regarding the legal legislation, act quickly to correct the situation and preserve the Israeli democracy that is at the base of these values."
Former justice minister Gideon Sa'ar called Biden's statement "a painful testimony during the most critical period," and added that "never before has any government caused so much damage to the country in such a short amount of time."
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.