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Israeli PM plans to meet with Florida's DeSantis during Israel trip

April 24, 2023 at 11:45 am

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on April 21, 2023 in National Harbor, Maryland [Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to meet with Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis when the expected 2024 presidential candidate visits Israel this week, Netanyahu said on CBS News‘ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

DeSantis is traveling abroad to Japan, South Korea, Israel and the United Kingdom. The visit to Israel coincides with protests over Netanyahu’s plans to tighten controls on the country’s Supreme Court.

Netanyahu, asked by CBS whether he would meet with DeSantis, replied: “Of course, I’ll meet with everyone. Why not? I’ll meet with Republican governors and Democratic governors.”

DeSantis’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Former President Donald Trump, a Republican who began his re-election campaign in November 2022, last week won endorsements of several Republican lawmakers in Florida. The endorsements are a blow to DeSantis, who has not yet declared his candidacy.

READ: Netanyahu cancels Tel Aviv Jewish conference appearance amid protests

DeSantis met with Netanyahu during a visit to Jerusalem in 2019, calling Florida “the most pro-Israel state in the nation.”

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 on CBS 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,” he said.