Tonight US Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Israel. Thousands of Police and Border Police officers were deployed in Jerusalem to prepare Israel’s capital for his arrival. Several streets were closed to traffic, the immediate surroundings of the King David Hotel, where he will reside during his 2-day visit, was completely shut down.
His stay in Israel will not be an easy one: The majority of the Israelis support and admire Trump’s administration and their decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to recognize Jerusalem as capital of the Jewish state. Benjamin Netanyahu remarked at the beginning of his cabinet meeting on Sunday afternoon:
“This evening a great friend of the State of Israel will arrive in Israel, a true friend, US Vice President Mike Pence. We will welcome him. I am very much looking forward to our discussions. […] We will discuss […] advancing security and peace in the region.”
However, many Palestinians are highly upset. Just last Sunday Palestinian leader Abbas broke ties with Trump and expressed his frustration towards him with harsh words. He consequently refused to set up a meeting with Pence during this current visit.
It remains an open question, if Pence will be able to convince all involved parties during his stay in Jerusalem, that the US truly want to make peace in the region.
Picture gallery: Mike Pence’s arrival