On CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he plans to meet with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis when the expected 2024 presidential candidate visits Israel this week. Netanyahu is a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump; DeSantis announced he is traveling abroad on a global trade mission in Israel, Japan, South Korea, Israel and the United Kingdom. DeSantis will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and other government officials in Japan, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo in South Korea and Foreign Minister of the United Kingdom, James Cleverly.
Asked by host Margaret Brennan whether he would meet with DeSantis, Netanyahu replied: “Of course, I’ll meet with everyone. Why not? I’ll meet with Republican governors and Democratic governors. I’m not avoiding the question. And actually, I’m, I’m rushing right into it. I’d meet with every American representative, governor, senator, members of Congress. And I think it’s- it’s my job. And I think it’s important for Israel’s bipartisan support in the United States. I make a point of it.” DeSantis met with Netanyahu during a visit to Jerusalem in 2019, calling Florida “the most pro-Israel state in the nation.”
DeSantis’ visit to Israel coincides with protests over Netanyahu’s plans to tighten controls on the country’s Supreme Court. Netanyahu’s plans for judicial reform were paused last month after strikes and mass demonstrations. The proposals would give the government effective control over appointment of Supreme Court judges and allow parliament to overrule many decisions of the court. When asked why he would not withdraw the planned reforms, Netanyahu said there was a “broad consensus” to fix the Israeli judicial system: “I’ve actually said that I will not accept a blanket ability of the parliament to overcome judicial Supreme Court decisions, just as we don’t accept that the Supreme Court can abrogate any decision by the parliament or the government.”
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