Vice President Mike Pence’s first official Israel trip, set to begin on Sunday, has been postponed several days due to Congressional voting on tax reform, the Knesset has confirmed to Israeli media.
Pence had been scheduled to visit the Western Wall on Sunday, where he was set to light the menorah in celebration of the sixth night of Hanukkah, but the delay would mean he will arrive after the holiday ends.
The vice president was planning to speak at the Knesset – the first top American official to do so since 2008, when George W. Bush addressed the Israeli parliament during a visit – on Monday. Now, Knesset spokesman Yuli Edelstein says Pence will likely speak on Wednesday or Thursday instead.
Arab lawmakers have said they will boycott Pence’s speech at the Knesset in protest of President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem last week.
Originally, Pence had planned to meet with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi. However, in the wake of Trump’s declaration, Abbas abruptly cancelled their talk.