President Joe Biden plans to welcome the new Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, to Washington soon to strengthen the bilateral relationship, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
“The president looks forward to hosting Prime Minister Bennett. We are working to set a date,” said Psaki at a press conference.
The spokeswoman made the announcement before Biden met at the White House with outgoing Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who will hand over power on July 9 to Isaac Herzog. In that sense, she stressed that Monday’s meeting is an opportunity to highlight the ties and alliances between the United States and Israel.
Meeting with Naftali Bennet
The information comes amid criticism of the Biden administration for its support for Israel. Democrats questioned the administration’s support during Hamas’s attacks on Israelis.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), for instance, criticized Biden’s pro-Israel statements, claiming that making such statements without taking into account Palestinians’ side of the story is “wrong”.
For his part, President Biden maintained that Israel has the right to defend itself against foreign attacks. “Israel has the right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your territory,” he said.