The move sparked a new wave of unrest between Israel and the Palestinians, and called into question the U.S. role in future peace talks.
"The United States certainly wants to be honest but we don't want to be a broker", Pence once told the Christian Broadcasting Network in 2010.
Tawadros II, the head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also scrapped their meetings with the vice president after Trump's Jerusalem announcement. "Our equity is in the safety and security of USA personnel".
Jordan, with its deteriorating economy and rising unemployment, is bracing for the fallout from the cuts in USA funding for the United Nations agency that has for decades provided education, health and welfare services to some 5 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants in the region.
Abbas admitted as much when he could not provide any real excuse for not accepting the peace plan extended by Ehud Olmert in 2008, which offered Palestinians 100 percent of the West Bank, with 1:1 land swaps, and control of East Jerusalem. Do not expect the usual red carpet treatment that would typically befit a vice presidential visit. One remarked that the ongoing relocation of the US embassy in London took eight years.
But the biggest game changer came last month when Trump, honoring a campaign promise, upended decades of U.S. policy by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and promising to relocate the U.S. Embassy to the city.
"Any future negotiations will take place only within the context of the global community, by an worldwide committee created in the framework of an global conference", he said.
Pence has long aligned himself with Israel.
A two-day conference will begin today (Wednesday) for backing Jerusalem as the main capital of Palestine in the Egypt capital Cairo.
Noting that the meeting with Abbas will take place only a few days before International Holocaust Remembrance Day is officially commemorated in Brussels-the European Union capital-the AJC letter calls on the foreign ministers to "publicly condemn his hurtful Holocaust revisionism and attack on the peace process". Hardline irredentists in the rightwing Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu, emboldened by US recognition of Jerusalem, are pushing to annex big chunks of the Palestinian West Bank colonized by Jewish settlers.
Pence, who dubbed himself a "Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order", postponed his original visit to Israel and Egypt in mid-December because of a Senate tax vote.
Doug Rose, a philanthropist in Indianapolis, flew with Pence on his 2004 trip to Israel and recalled him being deeply affected by the experience.
The PA leader also said that he "categorically rejects" American and Israeli appeals to stop paying salaries to imprisoned terrorists and the families of dead terrorists.
However, Palestinian analysts did not consider the recommendations of the Central Council powerful enough to cope with Trump's Jerusalem decision or Israel's occupation of the holy city. Once a determination is made as to where different countries stand, Abdelhady-Nasser said, the Palestinian leadership can then determine how and when to move ahead on certain issues.
Trump already chose. So u better gear up, Abbas.
Investigative journalist and author Gary Weiss, a former activist in the New Israel Fund, told JNS: "I do not agree that [President Donald] Trump is to blame".
"The administration's efforts to squeeze Palestinians by putting its thumb down on the side of Israel on final-status issues like Jerusalem and the return for refugees are making Pence persona non grata in the occupied Palestinian territories", said Hassan. "Trump doesn't have that history".
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