US Vice President Mike Pence delivered a speech before the Israeli Knesset that sparked outrage and resulted in many Arab MP’s being forced out of the session by security.
Palestinian MPs were removed by security after they protested Vice President Mike Pence's speech in the Knesset, Israel's Parliament pic.twitter.com/738R14mFai
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) January 22, 2018
The speech, which was rife with biblical references, stressed the “divine inception” of the Israeli state. Quoting Old Testament text, the US vice president said that God promised Israel that its descendants would be ‘as numerous as the stars in the sky.’
He went further, claiming a biblical birthright thrilling some MP’s while enraging others:
“Israel is like a tree that has grown deep roots in the soil of your forefathers, yet as it grows, it reaches ever closer to the heavens. And today and every day, the Jewish State of Israel, and all the Jewish people, bear witness to God’s faithfulness, as well as your own.
“It was the faith of the Jewish people that gathered the scattered fragments of a people and made them whole again; that took the language of the Bible and the landscape of the Psalms and made them live again. And it was faith that rebuilt the ruins of Jerusalem and made them strong again.
“The miracle of Israel is an inspiration to the world. And the United States of America is proud to stand with Israel and her people, as allies and cherished friends.
“And so we will ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem,’ that ‘those who love you be secure,’ that ‘there be peace within your walls, and security in your citadels.’
“With an unshakeable bond between our people, and our shared commitment to freedom, I say from my heart: May God bless the Jewish people, may God bless the State of Israel and all who call these lands their home, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.”
The speech sparked outrage among Arab MPs who held up placards that said, “Jerusalem is the Capital of Palestine”. The Arab lawmakers were immediately accosted and dragged out of the hall as their fellow lawmakers clapped and jeered.
This is the sign Joint (Arab) List MKs waved when Pence spoke. It is always against the rules to hold up signs in the Knesset, not just when there's a guest. pic.twitter.com/wJ8NV9YfWu
— Lahav Harkov (@LahavHarkov) January 22, 2018
Footage shows the moment the lawmakers from the Arab Joint List, the country’s third-largest party, stood up to protest the speech. Security guards immediately got involved, resulting in a scuffle between them and the politicians. The lawmakers were ultimately ejected from the building.
— RT (@RT_com) January 22, 2018
It comes less than two months after US President Donald Trump formally acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move which was hailed by the Israelis but criticized by other countries across the globe.
Throwback Thursday! When our incredible Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the UN that their vote was meaningless as the embassy was going to be moved to Jerusalem! pic.twitter.com/RKK7kKTPrN
— CUFI (@CUFI) January 19, 2018
Pence told Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu that the US embassy will be moved to Jerusalem in 2019, a move that has sparked international outrage and condemnation of the US declaration of Jerusalem being the capital of Israel. The UN responded to the US move with a statement that declared the US actions have “no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded “.
Jerusalem: US vetoes UN resolution rejecting Trump's declaration THE UNITED NATIONS HAS A DUTY TO THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE UN, NOT TO THE MADMAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE OR HIS HAND PICKED AMBASSADOR NIKKI HALEY. TRUMP IS A BULLY AND SHOULD BE REMOVED. https://t.co/Ps7IaRFZEo
— Sharon Eveland-Smith (@SmithEveland) January 15, 2018
(PC, Social Media)