The less formal one-on-one comes amid a push by thousands of Israeli academics and artists for Biden and the secretary general of the UN to shun Natanyahu amid his controversial judicial overhaul.
But Biden also faces cross-currents at home, where Republicans including former President Donald Trump have accused him of allowing distance to grow between the historic allies amid ongoing tension points and Netanyahu’s coalition with right-wing parties.
The decision to meet Netanyahu on the sidelines of the UN – where traditionally the president meets multiple leaders – follows an internal debate and a pressure campaign by the Israelis, Axios reported.
But the White House has told Netanyahu he’ll get a White House meeting later this year, the Times of Israel reported.
Biden has stated Netanyahu, who came back to power nine months ago, is heading an ‘extreme’ Israeli government.
Officials said Netanyahu pushed through Israeli’s ambassador to Washington Micahel Herzog for the meeting, and sought a confab inside the Oval Office, where the men have met previously, according to the report.
The meeting isn’t officially confirmed for the UNGA meetings next week.
With no White House meeting on his agenda, Netanyahu is set to fly to Silicon Valley in California in advance of his trip to New York.
Israel’s Supreme Court this week heard its first challenge to Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul, which critics say would weaken the high court and diminishes checks on Netanyahu’s executive power.