U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that democratic values were a hallmark of U.S.-Israeli ties and said he supported finding a compromise over a highly-contested judicial overhaul.
Since being reelected late last year to head one of the most right-wing coalitions in Israel's history, Netanyahu has been pursuing changes to the judiciary that would give his government greater sway on selecting judges and limit the power of the Supreme Court to strike down legislation.
The plan has stirred concern for Israel's democratic health at home and abroad.
Biden "underscored his belief that democratic values have always been, and must remain, a hallmark of the U.S.-Israel relationship," the White House said in a readout of the call.
Biden spoke of the need for checks and balances and for seeking broad support when making fundamental changes.
"The president offered support for efforts underway to forge a compromise on proposed judicial reforms consistent with those core principles," the White House said.
Netanyahu's office said he told Biden "that Israel was, and will remain, a strong and vibrant democracy."