House of Commons Speaker visits Israel in historic first

By February 17 2017, 11:15 Latest News No Comments

John Bercow IsraeRt. Hon. John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, travelled to Israel during Parliamentary recess on Monday – the first serving Speaker visit to the country.

The Speaker’s Israeli counterpart Yuli Edelstein welcomed him at the Knesset, stating that the visit has a special historic value. Mr Edelstein said: “Your visit has special and historical value.

Cooperation between the UK and Israel are expressed in a variety of fields, including new technologies, science, education and the fight against terrorism”.

He added: “I hope that we continue to strengthen relations between the Parliaments”.

Mr Bercow additionally met with Israel’s Leader of the Opposition Isaac Herzog MK, and attended a meeting promoting legislation to integrate workers with disabilities alongside Likud MK Yoav Kish and Yesh Atid MK Karin Elharar.

The Speaker made an emotional visit to Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, where he laid a wreath in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

Mr Bercow said regarding his visit to Yad Vashem: “it was a jarring experience to see the images and hear the sounds. The Holocaust must not be forgotten and cannot be repeated”.

During the visit, he attended a series of meetings and panel discussions, including a gathering of the Young Knesset, during which Bercow MP addressed the Israeli students about the workings of UK Parliament, and the powers that his office holds.

John Bercow has been the Speaker of the House of Commons since 2009, and is the first Jewish speaker of the Parliament in British history.

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