The United States will open its embassy in Jerusalem next year, Vice President Pence said Monday, accelerating plans to move the mission in line with the Trump administration’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Pence made the announcement to Israel’s parliament on Monday where he announced wholehearted support for Israel.
by Geoffrey Grider January 22, 2018
Jordan’s King Abdullah told U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday he looked to Washington to rebuild “trust and confidence” in moving toward a two-state solution in Israel after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the country’s capital.
“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” Zechariah 12:3 (KJV)
EDITOR’S NOTE: When President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he gave a fuzzy, multi-year timetable for completion of the move of the US Embassy. This weekend in Israel, VP Mike Pence ‘unfuzzed’ that picture and promised it would be done next year. Jerusalem is the powder keg that will set off events of biblical proportion, the only question is when. But at this rate, it certainly won’t be long.
With Pence sitting across from him in the royal palace, King Abdullah said Jordan viewed the Israel-Palestinian conflict as a “potential major source of instability”.
He said he had raised his concerns for some time that such a decision on Jerusalem “does not come as a result of a comprehensive settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict”. He also reiterated that East Jerusalem should be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
“We hope that the U.S. will reach out and find the right way to move forward in these challenging circumstances,” the king said.
At the end of the visit, Pence in remarks to the press said he “agreed to disagree” with King Abdullah on the impact of Trump’s move.
The United States will open its embassy in Jerusalem next year, Vice President Pence said Monday, accelerating plans to move the mission in line with the Trump administration’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Pence made the announcement to Israel’s parliament on Monday where he announced wholehearted support for Israel. The vice president looked notably at ease after more awkward meetings in Egypt and Jordan, where he has been defending the U.S. decision.
“In the weeks ahead, our administration will advance its plan to open the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem — and the embassy will open next year,” he said. “Our president made his decision in the best interests of the United States — but he also made it clear that we believe this decision is in the best interests of peace.”
“By finally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the United States has chosen fact over fiction — and fact is the only true foundation for a just and lasting peace,” he added. The Israeli government said it gave Pence a full head-of-state welcome ceremony — complete with military band — at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office in Jerusalem.
“Mr. Vice President, I’ve had the privilege over the years of standing here with hundreds of world leaders and welcome them, all of them to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. “This is the first time that I stand here where both leaders can say those three words.”
He described the U.S.-Israel relationship as a “remarkable alliance” which has “never been stronger.”