Watch as Mike Pence speech to Kneset interrupted by angry Arab MPs
- Author: Adam Floyd Jan 24, 2018,
Jan 24, 2018, 11:17
Joint List Ayman Odeh leader confirmed on Saturday he meant to boycott US Vice President Mike Pence's speech at the Israeli parliament as part of the Middle East tour he kicked off in Cairo on Saturday. He has called Trump's Jerusalem declaration "a slap in the face".
Pence was originally supposed to arrive to the area in December, but the White House delayed his visit by a month as a result of the vote in Congress over the Republican tax plan.
Pence called on the Palestinians to "return to the table", and said the U.S. supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "if the parties agree".
Odeh had previously promised he would not attend, but then Pence's visit was postponed leading to speculation over whether fall-out over the Trump recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital was behind the rescheduling of the trip. Pence: "It is an honor for me to stand with you here today in Jerusalem - the capital of the State of Israel". The U.S. decision led to outrage across the occupied territories, as well as in neighboring countries.
"The United States alone would not make it [end the conflict]".
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Palestinians are already incensed by an earlier USA decision to cut aid to the United Nations agency providing assistance to Palestinian refugees.
Pence told the king that Washington was committed to preserving the status quo of holy sites in Jerusalem . Deputy Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, who is also a senior Hamas leader, Ahmed Bahr, said Pence's visit to Israel is not welcomed.
"And that United States embassy will open before the end of next year". They have rejected the US role in future peace talks.
Pence himself received a mixed reception in Israel.
With that in mind, Trump has made a decision to recognize reality, and in doing so force the Palestinians to confront it as well. Others offered a more suspicious reaction. So now let's talk about the reason that Pence is in Jerusalem.
"He loves the Jewish people because it has a goal in history, and he loves Israel because it serves temporarily as the home of the Jewish people before they convert to Christianity after Armageddon", Pinkas wrote for Yediot Aharonot. One Israeli has been killed in that time.
As expected, the beginning of Pence's speech was interrupted by members of the Joint List party, who were escorted from the Knesset plenum after brandishing signs criticizing Trump's policy vis-à-vis Jerusalem.
Speaking along with Abbas, Mogherini underscored that the EU had "already invested a great deal in the Palestinian state-building project and we are also looking at what options we have to strengthen our support from the European Union".