Iran’s denial of the Holocaust and cartoon exhibits mock the Holocaust, have yet to be publicly condemned by anyone. The big money that is flowing into Iran is worrying, because some of it may reach Hezbollah and Hamas, who will use it against Israel.

Knesset Speaker Edelstein and delegation visit UK


Copyright: The Knesset

(Communicated by the Knesset Spokesperson)

Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, who is on an official visit to London along with MKs Hilik Bar (Zionist Camp), Yoav Kisch (Likud) and Revital Swid (Zionist Camp), met on Wednesday (2 March 2016) with his host, House of Commons Speaker MP John Simon Bercow.

In response to Bercow’s question regarding Iran, Edelstein argued that it will be very difficult to supervise the implementation of the nuclear deal between the world powers and Tehran. The Knesset Speaker noted the conventional threat posed by Iran, "which is based on terror funds that [are flowing into Iran] as a result of the resumption of ties with the world after the sanctions have been lifted." Addressing the stalled Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Edelstein said even the optimists in Israel are aware of the difficulty involved in resuming the peace talks. "The Palestinians are continuing with their unilateral measures to receive international recognition, and they do not feel a need to sit with us at the negotiating table," he said.

Edelstein also spoke at the UK Parliament on Wednesday before 40 MPs and dozens of guests. In his speech, Edelstein thanked the British legislature for inviting him to speak despite protests by anti-Israel organizations. In his speech, the Knesset Speaker addressed the Palestinian issue and admitted that peace does not appear to be on the horizon, and that in the current situation only cooperation between people, such as joint industrial zones, can advance peace.

Edelstein also addressed the slogans that were projected late Tuesday night by anti-Israel activists on a wall of the Palace of Westminster, which houses the UK Parliament. "Apparently, the BDS movement is good at screening images, but they are very bad at helping the Palestinians," he said. Members of the movement, Edelstein argued, are actually the real enemies of the Palestinians. "Because of such groups, factories are being transferred to the Negev," he told the British MPs. "Some 800 Palestinian families are out of work today because a factory was forced to move its operations to the Negev."

Turning his attention to the terror wave in Israel, the Knesset Speaker slammed the Palestinian incitement on television and the social networks. "A 13-year-old boy watches a clip on how to murder Jews, goes to the kitchen, grabs a knife and goes out to murder Jews. This is shocking, and we must act against the incitement in every possible way."

Knesset Speaker Edelstein and delegation visit UK

Edelstein at UK Parliament library examining documents declaring end of British Mandate and recognition of Israel
Copyright: The Knesset

On Tuesday the Knesset members met with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond. During the meeting, Edelstein and Hammond discussed, among other things, the Palestinian issue, the situation in Gaza, and Iran. The Knesset Speaker expressed his gratitude for Britain’s friendship, calling it one of Israel’s closest allies in Europe and the entire world. In this regard, he mentioned the UK’s opposition to boycotts against Israel. Those who call to ban goods that are produced in Judea and Samaria, Edelstein told Hammond, are actually hurting the Palestinians who work at Israeli factories.

Hammond addressed the settlement issue and argued that Israel was violating international law. In response, the Knesset Speaker said, "Eleven years ago we left Gaza while evacuating thousands from their homes, and what we got was not peace, but terror." The situation worsened as a result of the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, Edelstein asserted, adding that "regretfully, monies that reach Gaza are invested in rockets and tunnels, not in providing welfare to the population."

As for Iran, Edelstein said he does not trust a leader who for years has been calling for Israel’s annihilation. "The denial of the Holocaust, as well as the cartoon exhibits organized by Iran which mock the Holocaust, have yet to be publicly condemned by anyone, despite my pleas. The big money that is flowing into Iran is worrying, because some of it may reach Hezbollah and Hamas, who will use it against Israel."