In 2021, Israel had a new prime minister for the first time in more than ten years. However, the experiment was short-lived. Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu regained presidential power in December 2022.
The prime minister started reforming the government right away. One of the initiatives, which is particularly contentious, involves the courts. Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden disagree about the judiciary reform. The PM recently disclosed that China is courting him.
On Tuesday, June 27, Netanyahu met in Tel Aviv with a group from the US Congress. The meeting’s prime minister thanked the US for its support and provided an update to the Americans on the country’s security situation in the Middle East. He also revealed to them that he had received an official invitation from China to pay a state visit.
According to the Associated Press, Netanyahu’s office stated that the “projected visit” would be his fourth as prime minister to the communist country. Furthermore, his team stressed that the Biden Administration is not surprised by this. The PM informed the US president of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s invitation in May, the article claims.
China has been making great efforts to increase its sway over the Middle East. Mahmoud Abbas, the president of Palestine, was hosted by Xi earlier in June. Ebrahim Raisi, the president of Iran, and the Chinese president spoke in February. China and Saudi Arabia have also grown close relations. It’s a tale that resembles Xi’s growth of power in Central and South America or other parts of the world. However, the potential meeting with Israel would occur at a precarious moment for Biden and Netanyahu.
An initiative to reform the Israeli judicial system gained traction at the start of the year. As residents urged the government to abandon the idea, there were widespread demonstrations that shook the Jewish state. Critics claimed that by making the High Court of Justice ineffective, it would erode the nation’s democracy.
The White House started putting pressure on Netanyahu to halt the reform of the judiciary. The contentious plan’s ally, according to President Joe Biden, “cannot continue down this road.” Biden spoke out against it. He expressed being “very concerned” about the proposal. The West Bank has likewise been actively colonized by Netanyahu’s administration.
Given that Biden has not yet extended a state visit invitation to Netanyahu, the invitation from China is noteworthy. These meetings between the allies are typically routine and uncontentious. The fact that China’s government sent out the invitation first demonstrates how tense the situation is at the time.