During his tour to in the Middle East this week, Vice President Mike Pence spoke to the Knesset, Israel's parliament, today. In his address to the Knesset, Pence commented on the increasingly good relationship between our countries and announced plans to complete the embassy move by the end of 2019.
"Thanks to the President’s leadership, the alliance between our two countries has never been stronger, and the friendship between our peoples has never been deeper. And I am here to convey a simple message from the heart of the American people: America stands with Israel," Vice President Pence says after his salutations to Israel's leaders, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, a few others by name, and the members of the single-cabinet Knesset.
"In the story of the Jews, we’ve always seen the story of America," Pence tells in an almost storylike manner. "It is the story of an exodus, a journey from persecution to freedom, a story that shows the power of faith and the promise of hope."
"My country’s very first settlers also saw themselves as pilgrims, sent by Providence, to build a new Promised Land," he notes.
Pence continues to recall our nations' intertwined stories, "Down through the generations, the American people became fierce advocates of the Jewish people’s aspiration to return to the land of your forefathers... to claim your own new birth of freedom in your beloved homeland."
Affirming the resilience of the heavily persecuted nation, Vice President Pence proudly celebrates (on his and our nation's behalves) Israel's upcoming 70th anniversary of becoming a nation "born in a moment".
"One administration after another refused to recognize your capital," Pence states sadly. But, last month, President Trump "righted a 70-year wrong" by announcing the move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing at last that Jerusalem is Israel's true capital.
Vice President Pence addresses not only the move but also declares boldly the significance of Jerusalem to Israel. He notes the most memorable of the Bible's moments, such as Abraham sacrificing Isaac and King David's declaration that it was the nation's capital.
It was then, after standing by the United States' decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move which has resulted in protesting and a boycott by the Palestinian government to Pence's visit, that Pence announced this: The Trump administration "will advance its plan to open the United States Embassy in Jerusalem, and that United States Embassy will open before the end of next year."
Pence said, "[President Trump's] 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."