The far-right Israeli minister was responding to US President Joe Biden’s extraordinary criticism of Tel Aviv’s plan to severely overhaul the justice system in the Zionist entity.
“While Israel appreciates the democratic regime there (in the US), 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,” Ben-Gvir told Israeli Army Radio on Wednesday morning.
“It should be clear all over the world – the people here went to elections and they have their own desires,” he added, as quoted by The Times of Israel.
Biden said on Tuesday that Israeli 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’m very concerned. I’m concerned that they get this straight. They cannot continue down this road. Netanyahu won’t be invited to the White House in the near term,” Biden was quoted as saying by US media.
Netanyahu Couldn’t Wait to Respond
For his part, Netanyahu decided not to wait until the morning to respond, releasing an English-language statement at nearly 1 a.m. (Al-Quds time).
“Israel is a sovereign country [that] makes its decisions by the will of its people and not based on pressures from abroad, including from the best of friends,” Netanyahu said, in a response that likely added more fuel to the fire.
Likud Reacts Furiously
Meanwhile, members of Netanyahu’s coalition reacted furiously on Wednesday morning to Biden’s remarks.
Likud MK Nissim Vaturi went so far as to claim that the Zionist regime was “probably more democratic” than America and accused former US president Barack Obama of causing the death of Israeli soldiers during a 2014 Israeli war on the Gaza Strip.
“If we need to protect ourselves, we will do so without the US if it doesn’t support us,” he told Israeli Radio 103FM.
Fellow Likud MK Dan Illouz said: “The repeated intervention of the US administration doesn’t indicate a relationship between friends and is unacceptable. Israel’s internal policies belong to Israel alone, and it must stay this way.”
“Netanyahu Gov’t Spoiled Relation with US”
On the other hand, Opposition Leader Yair Lapid tweeted Wednesday morning: “For decades, Israel was the closest ally of the US. The most extreme government in the history of the country spoiled this in three months.”
Benny Gantz, the leader of the opposition National Unity party, called Biden’s comments “an urgent wake-up call for the Israeli government,” adding: “Damage to our ties with the US, our closest friend and our most important ally, is a strategic blow.”
Labor party leader Merav Michaeli said that Biden had “said in his own way that Netanyahu is dangerous to Israel. This is the time to act to replace this dangerous government.”
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