Netanyahu-Biden Meeting Set for UN General Assembly Amidst Tensions

The anticipated meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Joe Biden is scheduled to take place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on September 21, as reported by the Times of Israel.

Details about whether the two leaders will also convene at the White House in Washington D.C., which is more typical for official state visits between the leaders of long-standing allies, remain uncertain.

While both the prime minister’s office and the White House have declined to comment on the report, they had previously confirmed plans for a meeting last month, albeit without specifying a time and location.

The Biden administration’s delay in extending an official invitation to Netanyahu, which took over seven months, was seen by many as a snub and a diplomatic affront to the Israeli premier.

Netanyahu faced repeated criticism from Biden and his administration over the Israeli government’s judicial reform. White House spokesperson John Kirby, while confirming the invitation, emphasized that concerns about judicial reform and extremist elements in the Israeli government persisted.

In July, Biden described Netanyahu’s cabinet as “one of the most extreme” he had ever witnessed in Israel. Additionally, the administration expressed apprehension regarding Israel’s policies toward Palestinians and actions taken in the West Bank that contravene the two-state solution.

Meanwhile, Yair Lapid, the opposition leader and chair of the Yesh Atid party, is slated to visit Washington D.C. next week, where he is expected to hold meetings with senior officials at the White House and the U.S. State Department.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog had previously met with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House on July 18.