Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Pence's Stellar Knesset Speech

Wow!  Vice President Pence delivered pro-Israel speech that will blow you away.  At just over 30 minutes, it's no 'soundbite.'  But it's a good time investment.

  • Through the generations, the American people became fierce advocates of the Jewish people's aspiration to return to the land of your forefathers.
  • Jerusalem is Israel's capital - and, as such, President Trump has directed the State Department to immediately begin preparations to move the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In the weeks ahead, our administration will advance its plan to open the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem - and that United States embassy will open before the end of next year.
  • In announcing his decision on Jerusalem, the President also called, in his words, "on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem's holy sites, including at the Temple Mount, also known as the Haram al-Sharif." And he made it clear that we're not taking a position on any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or the resolution of contested borders.
  • President Trump reaffirmed that, if both sides agree, the United States of America will support a two-state solution.
  • The United States appreciates your government's declared willingness to resume direct peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. We strongly urge the Palestinian leadership to return to the table.
  • The United States will continue to work with Israel, and with nations across the world, to confront the leading state sponsor of terror - the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • Two-and-a-half years ago, the previous administration in America signed a deal with Iran that merely delays the day when that regime can acquire a nuclear weapon. The Iran nuclear deal is a disaster, and the United States of America will no longer certify this ill-conceived agreement. At President Trump's direction, we're working to enact effective and lasting restraints on Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
  • Unless the Iran nuclear deal is fixed, President Trump has said the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal immediately.
(White House)

    Pence Says Embassy to Move on Faster Timetable
    - Jenna Johnson, Loveday Morris and Carol Morello 

    The U.S. will open its embassy in Jerusalem next year, Vice President Pence said Monday in Israel's parliament. After Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December, the State Department began looking for a possible site on which to build an embassy to replace the existing one in Tel Aviv.
    The administration weighed whether to build an entirely new embassy, which could take as long as a decade and be very expensive, or whether to retrofit one of the consulate buildings in Jerusalem. A State Department official said the building being eyed is the U.S. consular service building in the Arnona neighborhood, which opened in 2010 on a site originally slated for the embassy. 
    (Washington Post)


    Pence Visits Israel's Capital - Rabbi Meir Soloveichik

    Vice President Mike Pence's address was one of the most Zionist speeches ever given by a non-Jew in the Knesset. The vice president is a devout evangelical Christian and threaded his remarks with references to Scripture. His speech was a window into the heart of many American Christians who observe Israel's emergence with wonder and reverence. "The miracle of Israel is an inspiration to the world," Pence concluded.
    For many centuries the Jewish people received little love and much hate from the nations of the world. Today, tens of millions of non-Jewish Americans share Mr. Pence's sincere affection for Israel. 
    The writer is director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought of Yeshiva University. 
    (Wall Street Journal)

    At the Knesset on Monday, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence reiterated for anyone who may have forgotten that Israel is right when it comes to the conflict with the Palestinians, Iran, and the world. And perhaps most importantly, that Israel is on the right side of history. I sat in the Knesset and saw a modest American vice president with a clear message for the Middle East: The rules have changed. The U.S. will operate based on the values it shares with Israel and will not grant veto power to destabilizing players that issue threats. 
    (Israel Hayom)

    - Zev Chafets

    The Arab countries that matter aren't even pretending to be outraged by the Trump administration's tilt to Israel. The Palestinian Authority, having boycotted an American vice president, has had a chance to measure the efficacy of that approach. Mahmoud Abbas came home understanding that salvation is not going to come from Brussels. 

    Palestinians in Race Against Time - Prof. Eyal Zisser

    The Palestinians have steadfastly held to the belief that the passing of time without a peace agreement works against Israel, and that it was to their advantage to avoid making tough decisions and painful concessions for the sake of peace in the hopes that Israel would collapse or that the international community would force Israel to accept the Palestinian position. But the majority of Arab states have come to understand that time is actually on Israel's side and that every day that passes without peace ultimately inches them, not Israel, closer to social and economic ruin.

    President Trump's efforts to think outside the box and try to dismantle some of the landmines blocking the path to peace - such as the Jerusalem question - have thrown PA President Mahmoud Abbas off balance. Abbas' response was to declare diplomatic war on the U.S. In doing so, however, he is squandering an opportunity to entrust the diplomatic process to the only player who can move it forward. 
    The writer, vice rector at Tel Aviv University, is former director of its Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies. 
    (Israel Hayom)

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