Arab MKs to boycott Pence's Knesset address

Arab Joint List announces its MKs will not attend US VP Mike Pence's speech at the Knesset in protest of Jerusalem recognition.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Ayman Odeh
Ayman Odeh
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

The Arab Joint List announced today that its MKs will boycott US Vice President Mike Pence’s speech in the Knesset this Monday in protest over President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Joint List leader Ayman Odeh said in a statement today that the members of his party would boycott Pence’s address “to send a clear message to the US administration and the world that there are citizens here who strongly oppose Trump’s declaration and to clarify that the US has lost its place as the exclusive mediator of negotiations.”

“West Jerusalem will be recognized as Israel’s capital by the whole world as soon as the government of Israel recognizes East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.”

On Saturday, an aide to Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas confirmed that Abbas will refuse to meet Pence later this month due to Washington's stance on Jerusalem.

"There will be no meeting with the vice president of America in Palestine," Abbas's diplomatic adviser Majdi al-Khaldi told AFP.

"The United States has crossed all the red lines with the Jerusalem decision," he stated.

Speaking in Istanbul at an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Wednesday, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas accused President Trump of “giving away” Jerusalem to the “Zionist movement” by recognizing the city as Israel’s capital. Israel’s seat of government, including the Knesset, the Supreme Court, and the Prime Minister’s Office, have been located in Jerusalem since Israel declared the city its capital in 1950.

Trump, Abbas claimed, had given the city away as a “gift” to the “Zionist movement, treating it as if he “were giving away an American city.”

Abbas added that the PA would no longer accept US involvement in the negotiating process.

The PA leader also warned that there could be "no peace or stability" in the region until Jerusalem is made the capital of a Palestinian state.

"Jerusalem is and will forever be the capital of the Palestinian state... There will be no peace, no stability without that," Abbas said.