Vice President Mike Pence’s speech to Israeli parliament Turned into chaos Monday after Arab lawmakers held up placards and got in a brawl with security staff in protesting the U.S.’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Footage showed Israeli security officers ripping the placards from the lawmakers’ hands before engaging in a tussle to get them out of the hall.
In his speech, Pence said America stood with Israel and that Trump had made history by moving the embassy, which would be moved before the end of 2019.
“Our president made his decision in the best interest of the United States,” he said. “We believe his decision is in the best interest of peace.”
Pence added that Trump said that if both sides agreed, then the U.S. would “support a two-state solution.”
Pence also called on Palestinians to return to negotiations despite their anger over Trump’s decision. Palestinian politicians said the U.S. could no longer be an honest broker in talks with Israelis.
The vice president expressed his honor at being in “Israel’s capital,” a move that continued Washington’s break with decades of policy toward the conflict.
Israel captured East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians seek as the capital of any future state, in the War of 1967. The city is home to some of the holiest shrines in Islam and Judaism.
Pence spoke to the Israeli parliament but not to all the country’s lawmakers. Arab politicians boycotted his address, citing the Trump administration’s decision to effectively recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“Pence pressed for the U.S. embassy to be moved to Jerusalem and indicated that discussions on it are off the table,” one lawmaker told reporters. “This administration is part of the problem and not part of the solution.”
Watch the video below via the Associated Press: