US President Barack Obama will not speak in the Knesset on his visit to Israel
later this month, a senior Knesset source said on Wednesday.
the source, requests for Obama to address the Israeli people in its
representative body were rejected, and the Knesset is not preparing for him to
give a speech in the plenum.
Obama plans to visit Israel on March
Last month, acting Knesset Speaker Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and MK Reuven
Rivlin (Likud Beytenu), the speaker of the 18th Knesset who is considered the
leading candidate for the 19th, asked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to
request that Obama address the plenum.
Former US presidents Jimmy Carter,
Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have addressed the Knesset in the
“The Israeli people certainly are thirsty to hear the president of
the US speak to it directly, and there is no better place for him to do it than
the Knesset,” Ben-Eliezer stated.
Rivlin also called for Obama to address
the Knesset. “All world leaders who visited Israel, including US presidents that
preceded [Obama] and [former] Egyptian president Anwar Sadat visited the
Knesset, out of understanding that it is the House of Representatives of the
nation of Israel and the source of the State of Israel’s power as a democratic
country,” Rivlin explained.
Rivlin added that the Knesset is an arena for
arguments and decisions, and the only place to present diplomatic plans with