Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein on Monday urged parliamentarians from Israel’s neighbors to come and visit Israel.
Edelstein’s call was made in a speech at the UN during a global conference of speakers of parliament.
"My friends and neighbors in the Middle East: Let's talk. People to People, one House of Representatives with another. Come to Jerusalem. Come to the Knesset. Meet with me. Sit with me. Talk with me. Let's talk about water. Let's talk about clean air. Let's talk about prosperity. Let's talk about partnerships. And peace? and borders? These conversations, I promise you, will come later,” he said.
Edelstein added, "We cannot afford to sit back and wait until our governments reach agreements on their own. We can lay the foundation for any future peace by fostering international cooperation and regional issues that cross national boundaries.”
The Knesset Speaker presented his “Green Knesset” flagship initiative in the speech. The goal of the project is to convert the Knesset into a legislature that is guided in its conduct by the concept of sustainability.
"I am proud of the fact that the Knesset launched the ‘Green Knesset’ initiative, in order to realize the goals of sustainability. We recycle water and paper, and thanks to the solar panels installed on the roof of the Knesset and other advanced technologies, we have reduced the power consumption in the entire building. Today we are one of the world's greenest parliaments; I urge you, distinguished colleagues, to take similar steps."
At the end of his speech, Edelstein urged his colleagues to join the Israeli effort "in order that everyone around the world will be able to derive benefit from the knowledge, technology and experience shared by the State of Israel.”
Not everyone welcomed Edelstein’s presence at the conference, however. The speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani, was caught on camera as he got up and left when Edelstein was speaking.