The Knesset building.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The Knesset plenum will have extra ushers on hand, standing between MKs and Vice President Mike Pence during his speech on Monday.
The Joint List has said it plans to boycott Pence’s address, but Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein decided to take precautions, in case they decide to wave signs or otherwise interrupt.
“There will be increased alertness in case the Arabs start a provocation,” a senior Knesset source said Sunday.
Edelstein posted a video message on Twitter on Sunday, saying he is “truly honored to welcome to the Knesset tomorrow a true friend of the State of Israel, Vice President of the United States Mike Pence and his wife Karen.
“I am absolutely sure that his speech before the plenary session will be very meaningful to the future relations between our countries and to the future of this area in general,” Edelstein added. “Welcome to Israel, welcome to Jerusalem, welcome to the Knesset Mr. Vice President.”
Pence is expected to address the Knesset at 2 p.m., after he is received by an honor guard and lays a wreath at the memorial to Israel’s fallen soldiers in the Knesset plaza.
The US Vice President’s Office requested that there be a teleprompter set up for him, a rare occurrence in the Knesset, and that there be warm lighting. He will also be bringing his own video cameras with him, in addition to the Knesset Channel’s cameras.
Pence and Edelstein will hold a meeting after the speech, and the vice president’s wife, Karen, will meet with the Knesset speaker’s wife, Irina Nevzlin.
Pence has a history with the Knesset – he is the founding co-chairman of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, a bipartisan Israel support group in the House of Representatives. Its Israeli counterpart, the Christian Allies Caucus, cultivates ties with Christian supporters of Israel in legislatures around the world.