Plan to snub US vice-president in protest against Trump endorsing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
The US vice-president, Mike Pence, is to address Israeli politicians on Monday with a speech that an alliance of Arab-Israeli politicians has promised to boycott in protest against Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the country’s capital.
“[Pence] is a dangerous man with a messianic vision that includes the destruction of the entire region,” said Ayman Odeh, the chairman of the Joint Arab List, a grouping of four Arab-dominated parties that hold 13 of the Knesset’s 120 seats.
Jordan is the custodian of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in east Jerusalem that has been at the centre of Palestinian protests after Israel introduced controversial security measures at the site earlier this month.
Though the devices – including metal detectors and barriers – have been removed, tensions remain high. The compound, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount, is sacred for both sides and has long been a lightning rod for their rival religious and national narratives.
Jordan’s Hashemite monarchy has administered the site since 1924, paying for its upkeep and deriving part of its legitimacy from the role. Israel captured east Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 war, and annexed the area – a move that was never internationally recognised. But under fragile diplomatic arrangements, Jordancontinued as custodian, which was reaffirmed in its peace treaty with Israel in 1994.
Many of Jordan’s seven million citizens are of Palestinian origin. On Thursday, King Abdullah of Jordan urged Israel to “respect the historical and legal situation in the holy shrine to prevent the recurrence of these crises”.
Link : Arab-Israeli politicians to boycott Mike Pence’s speech to Knesset