Ayman Odeh, head of the Joint Arab List.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The chairman of the Joint List, MK Ayman Odeh, announced via tweet on Saturday that his party will be boycotting US Vice President Mike Pence's speech in the Knesset on Monday.
"[Pence] is a dangerous man with a messianic vision, which includes the destruction of the entire region," Odeh wrote in Hebrew. "He is coming as an emissary of an even more dangerous man: a political pyromaniac, a racist and a misogynist who must be prevented from trailblazing into our region. The entire Joint List will be boycotting his speech in the plenum."
In December, members of the Arab opposition party voted to exempt themselves
from Pence's Knesset speech, effectively joining the Palestinian Authority in their boycott of Pence's visit to the region, in protest of Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Odeh's reference to Donald Trump in his tweet further suggests that the president's actions prompted the boycott.
Pence landed in Egypt on Saturday, the first stop on his four-day trip to the Middle East. He is expected to arrive in Israel on Sunday evening, and to give a speech in the Knesset on Monday. He'll be flying back to the US on Tuesday, where a government shutdown is currently in effect.
This is Pence's first time in Israel as vice president, in a visit that comes over six months after Trump toured the country in May 2017.