John Kirby
John KirbyREUTERS/Jim Bourg

White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby on Friday rejected assertions that US President Joe Biden is calling for new elections in Israel, even after he backed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s call for Israel to replace its government.

Asked by a reporter whether Biden wants to see new elections in Israel and for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to no longer be in power, Kirby replied, “That’s going to be up to the Israeli people to decide.”

To the question of what Biden found good about Senator Schumer’s speech, Kirby responded, “The President spoke about with which Leader Schumer made that speech. And the President said that he knows that those remarks, they resonate with many Americans out there.”

Kirby also clarified, “For our part, we are going to keep supporting Israel in their fight against Hamas.”

Earlier on Friday, Biden indicated he supported remarks made by Schumer a day earlier, when he called for new elections in Israel and criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"He made a good speech," Biden said in Oval Office when asked by reporters asked about Schumer's remarks.

"He expressed serious concerns, shared not only by him but by many Americans," Biden continued, adding that his staff were notified about the speech in advance by Schumer.

Schumer caused a firestorm on Thursday when he said that Netanyahu "has lost his way." He further called the Prime Minister an "obstacle to peace."

“The Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel," he said. "The Israeli people are being stifled right now by a governing vision that is stuck in the past.”

The Likud Party strongly condemned Schumer's speech, saying, "Israel is not a banana republic but an independent and proud democracy that elected Prime Minister Netanyahu. Prime Minister Netanyahu leads a determined policy that is supported by a huge majority of the people."

"Contrary to Schumer's remarks, the Israeli public supports a complete victory over Hamas, rejects any international dictate to establish a Palestinian terrorist state, and opposes the return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza. We expect Senator Schumer to respect the elected government of Israel and not undermine it. This is always true, all the more so in times of war," the Likud stated.

Following the uproar, Schumer sought to clarify his remarks.

“The US cannot dictate the outcome of an election. That is for the Israeli public to decide,” he wrote in a post on social media.

“As a democracy, Israel has the right to choose its own leaders. But the important thing is that Israelis are given a choice. There needs to be a fresh debate about the future,” he added.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)