Edelstein Calls for All MKs to Attend Pence Speech

YERUSHALAYIM -
Chairman of the Israeli parliament Yuli Edelstein. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein has called on all members of Israel’s parliamentary body to be present at U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s address in the plenum on Thursday.

Edelstein couched his appeal in terms of how it would look if there were empty seats or walkouts when Pence speaks.

“The presence of all Knesset members in this meeting is extremely important,” Edelstein said.

“Those who are absent will damage the Knesset’s image, express contempt for Israel’s interests and, no less serious, will disappoint those who sent them to this house — the citizens of Israel.”

“On Thursday, they will be looking to see if we are honoring our role and fill the plenum or have to again witness the shameful images of the empty plenary,” Edelstein says.

The statement comes after the Joint (Arab) List announced last week that it plans to boycott Pence’s speech.

Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh said the snub is meant “to relay a clear message to the government in the U.S. and the world that there are citizens here who firmly oppose Trump’s declaration and to clarify that the U.S. lost its role as sole mediator in negotiations.”

“West Jerusalem will be recognized by the world as the capital of Israel right after the Israeli government recognizes east Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state,” Odeh added.

No immediate response to Edelstein from Joint List was reported on Monday.