US President Barack Obama will face stiff opposition to his efforts to divide Jerusalem in two weeks’ time, when congressmen host an event, attended by Knesset members, to support keeping Israel’s capital united.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein told visiting Congressmen Gene Green (D-Texas) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) at the Knesset on Wednesday that he would send a delegation of seven MKs who are taking part in New York’s Celebrate Israel parade to attend the annual Jerusalem Day festivities in Congress.
The Congressional Israel Allies Caucus will host the event, which is set to be addressed by Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi, who may be appointed deputy foreign minister by then. Hanegbi said he was not aware of the visit to Washington, but Edelstein confirmed it.
Josh Reinstein, Knesset Christian Allies Caucus director, told Green and Blackburn: “While there are so many leaders around the world working feverishly to divide Jerusalem, the members of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus join together every year to celebrate its unity.”
“That’s why I’m so excited that such a large delegation of MKs will be joining you in this year’s celebration,” he added.
Green and Blackburn met Wednesday with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett as part of the second congressional delegation hosted in Jerusalem by the Israel Allies Foundation.
Many more such delegations are planned.
The delegation visited the Barkan Industrial Zone to learn how Israeli Jews and Arabs and Palestinians work together to improve the Israeli and Palestinian economies.
“All of us are frustrated with the peace process,” Green said in a meeting with Bayit Yehudi MK Ayelet Shaked. “If we had a solution, we would have gotten there. Until then, we need to make sure Israel is strong and do what we can to build peace, people to people.”