(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein plans to tell his counterparts from around the world that Israel has a right to defend itself at a conference of parliamentary speakers in Oslo this week.
On Sunday, Edelstein flew to Prague to meet with his Czech counterparts Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament Jan Hamáček and Senate President Milan Štěch, as well as Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek, before heading to the event in Oslo.
Edelstein is expected to meet with parliamentary speakers from Germany, Norway, Ireland, Montenegro and Azerbaijan at the conference, and plans to emphasize that Israel will defend itself as longs as its citizens’ lives are in danger.
“This is an opportunity to explain the importance of [Operation Protective Edge] and, no less important than that, is the need to fight dangers that await Israel like boycotts and manifestations of anti-Semitism,” Edelstein said Sunday.
The Knesset Speaker added that he will demand his colleagues continue supporting Israel and “stand on the side of morality and justice in the war against anti-Israel and global terrorism.”
On Thursday, the Knesset delegation to the Council of Europe, led by MK Ronen Hoffman (Yesh Atid) fulfilled a similar goal.
Hoffman spoke out against “experts” who spoke to the Council of Europe’s Ministerial Committee who said Israel is responsible for starting Operation Protective Edge and called to isolate and boycott Israel.
“Stop this hypocrisy and self-righteousness,” Hoffman said. “International organizations, including the UN Security Council, are betraying their jobs and missions by continuing to legitimize terrorist organizations like Hamas and Islamic State.”
Hoffman pointed out that, rather than investigate Hamas’s murderous terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and use of Palestinian civilians as human shields, or look into Islamic State’s mass murders in Syria and Iraq, the UN is investigating Israel, a democratic country exercising its legitimate right to self-defense against terrorism.
“This is absurd,” the Yesh Atid MK declared.
Hoffman also called the appointment of Prof. William Schabas to lead the UN investigation ridiculous, saying his opinions are “biased and prejudiced against Israel” and that the events of Operation Protective Edge will not be seriously researched.
“The time has come for international organizations to put an end to their hypocrisy and recognize that terrorist organizations should be investigated for brutally trampling all of the values that these organizations represent.”