Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz accepted an invitation to visit the White House next week to discuss a peace plan for the Middle East.
“On behalf of President Donald Trump, I invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to the White House next week. At the Prime Minister’s suggestions, I’ve also extended the invitation to Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White Party, and I’m grateful he has also accepted the invitation, Vice President Mike Pence on Twitter.
Referring to the invitation to invite Gantz, his opponent, Netanyahu said, “We should get as broad a consensus as possible around the efforts to achieve security and peace for the state of Israel.”
The Trump administration has been a staunch supporter of the Israeli government and led by Trump’s son-in-law, has been working on a peace plan for that region.
“Reports about details and timings of our closely-held peace plan are purely speculative,” President Trump wrote on Twitter.
Speaking at a meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Mr. Pence said, “We very much look forward to [welcoming] you to our nation’s capital to continue discussions about a broad range of issues of mutual concerns between the United States and Israel but also about the prospect of peace.”
Pence and the second lady arrived Thursday morning to join more than 40 other world leaders and senior dignitaries for the World Holocaust Forum. It’s the most significant diplomatic gathering in Israel’s history.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Britain’s Prince Charles were some of the other leaders at the forum.
The event commemorated the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust. Leaders gathered to remember those whose lives were lost in the tragedy and to renew their commitment to stop anti-Semitism and all forms of extremism.
Pence addressed the attendees in a speech, “Today we mourn with those who mourn and grieve with those who grieve. We remember the names and the faces and the promise of the 6 million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust.”
“And, finally, we pay tribute to the memory of those non-Jewish heroes who saved countless lives—those the people of Israel call the ‘righteous among the nations.’”
The Vice President also condemned anti-Semitic incidences in the United States, and around the world, and all other forms of extremism.
“We must be prepared to stand as they did against the wave of their times. We must be prepared to confront and expose the vile tide of anti-Semitism that is fueling hate and violence all across the world. And we must stand together.”
The World Holocaust Forum is the brainchild of Moshe Kantor, the president of the European Jewish Congress, an umbrella group representing Jewish communities across Europe. The group recently reported that 80 percent of European Jews feel unsafe in the continent.
Kantor established the World Holocaust Forum Foundation in 2005, and it has held forums before in Auschwitz, the killing fields of Babi Yar in Ukraine, and at the former Terezin concentration camp. Thursday’s event is the first time it is convening in Israel. The official commemoration marking the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation will be held next week at Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in southern Poland.