The Palestinian Authority flag flew in the Israeli Knesset on Wednesday as several senior PA representatives came to visit more than 30 Israeli ministers and MKs.
The visit was organized by the Knesset Lobby for the Promotion of a Solution to the Israeli-Arab Conflict, led by MK Hilik Bar, and by the OneVoice organization, a group that calls to end the “occupation” of Judea and Samaria and to create an Arab state in the area.
PA lawmaker Abdullah Abdullah told the MKs, “It’s moving to see our flags flying next to each other. That’s exactly how we need to be committed to negotiations… as two nations, equal to each other.”
“Our goal is to live as neighbors in two states west of the Jordan River,” he continued. “Neither of us is going to disappear from here, not to the desert or to the sea, so we need to work hard to end the conflict and end the occupation.”
Abdullah Abdullah invited MK Bar and the other Israeli representatives to visit the PA parliament in Ramallah. The invitation came from PA Chairman Abbas, he told them.
The Israeli representatives expressed interest in the offer, and MK Bar said he would work to make it happen.
Among the Israeli representatives present were deputy Minister Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid) and MKs Hilik Bar (Labor), Ronen Hoffman (Yesh Atid), Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor), Yitzchak Herzog (Labor), Meir Sheetrit (Hatnua), Zahava Galon (Meretz), Esawi Frij (Meretz), Elazar Stern (Hatnua), Michal Rozin (Meretz), Michal Biran (Labor), Avishai Braverman (Labor), Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid), Afou Agbaria (Hadash), Mohammed Barakeh (Hadash), Merav Michaeli (Labor), Mickey Rosenthal (Labor), Erel Margalit (Labor) and Dov Henin (Hadash). Approximately 35 MKs took part in total.
MK Bar argued that the 30-something participants “represent the overwhelming majority of Members of Knesset, who support the two-state solution.”
“We will keep working to remove the obstacles put up by extremists on both sides, and we will act on behalf of anything that will help move forward the peace process, the two-state solution and the end of the conflict,” he added.
MK Galon argued that the meeting proved there is no need to ask Israel’s citizens what they think of a peace agreement, if one is reached. “The impressive turnout of Members of Knesset here proves that there is no need for a referendum. The Knesset represents the nation, and the Knesset unequivocally supports the end of the conflict,” she argued.
MK Amir Peretz (Hatnua) said, “This is a decisive hour, because the failure of the diplomatic talks would have extremely serious consequences. That’s why I believe that the leaders who accepted the responsibility, who crossed the Rubicon of worry and fear and sat down to negotiate, understand that the alternatives are worse, for both sides.
“There are those who fear the price of peace. I believe that the price of peace is worth paying,” he concluded.