US Vice President Mike Pence shaking hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [Photo Source: Vice President Mike Pence]

Yesterday, US Vice President Mike Pence spoke to the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) and offered encouraging words of support for the United States’ closest middle east ally. Pence told the Knesset members present, “the United States has chosen fact over fiction — and fact is the only true foundation for a just and lasting peace… Jerusalem is Israel’s capital … in the weeks ahead, our administration will advance its plan to open the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the embassy will open by the end of next year.” The announcement met with a standing ovation from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other members of the Knesset.

At the beginning of Vice President’s speech, Arab politicians in Israel’s parliament were ejected from the room after they heckled Pence and prevented him from speaking further to the assembly. The main Arab party in the Knesset, the Joint Arab List, warned ahead of time that it would boycott the Pence speech.

Mike Pence historic visit to Knesset Arab MK's holding signs reading 'Pence go home' cheered and waved 'Palestinian flags', Al Aqsa signs, shouting 'Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine', as image of vice president smoldered on the ground…They were escorted out!This is #Israeli #Knesset

Posted by Israel 411 on Monday, January 22, 2018

The Vice President’s speech marks the first time a sitting American vice president addressed the Israeli Knesset. The visit from Vice President Pence comes on the heels of the December announcement by US President Donald Trump in which the president announced that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. During the presidential campaign, Trump frequently mentioned his desire to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in what many believed was simply “campaign talk.” The announcement from Trump was met with great joy among Israelis and abroad among Israel supporters. As a result of the historic announcement from Trump, PA President Mahmoud Abbas rescinded an invitation for Pence to visit Arab cities in Judea and Samaria.

An honor to be in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו. Important discussions about the…

Posted by Vice President Mike Pence on Monday, January 22, 2018

We thank Vice President Mike Pence and the American people for their longstanding support and alliance with the state and with the people of Israel.