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  • U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem, January 23, 2018.RONEN ZVULUN/AFP

    U.S. Vice President Mike Pence met on Tuesday morning with President Reuven Rivlin, saying that President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is the clearest sign of America's commitment to Israel. He expressed hope that the decision would advance the peace process.

  • US Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday the timing of a long-awaited US Middle East peace initiative depended on the return of Palestinians to negotiations.

    President Donald Trump's advisers have been working on the outlines of a plan for some time. But Palestinians ruled out Washington as a peace broker after the US president's December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    "The White House has been working with our partners in the region to see if we can develop a framework for peace," Pence told Reuters in an interview in Jerusalem on the last leg of his three-day Middle East trip. "It all just depends now on when the Palestinians are going to come back to the table."
  • Getty Images

    Iranian military leaders claimed Monday that they threatened two American-led vessels in international waters amid a series of new war drills being carried out by the Islamic Republic, according to regional reports and U.S. military officials who confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon contact with the Iranian vessels.

    As Iran carries out a several days long series of war drills in the Sea of Oman, off the country's southern border, military leaders claim to have warned off at least two vessels led by U.S. coalition forces in the region.

    U.S. military officials confirmed being in contact with Iranian forces, which is just the latest in a series of provocative interactions between the Iranian military and United States.

    "One U.S. warship operating in the Gulf of Oman received a transmission from Iranian maritime forces announcing an Iranian exercise," Cmdr. William Urban, a spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, told the Free Beacon Monday evening.

  • Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (L) is welcomed by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini prior to attend a EU foreign affairs council at the European Council in Brussels, January 22, 2018. (EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP)

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday urged the member states of the European Union to “swiftly” recognize the state of Palestine, arguing such a move would preserve the Palestinians’ hope for peace.

    “We truly consider the European Union as a true partner and friend, and therefore we call its member states to swiftly recognize the state of Palestine and we confirm that there is no contradiction between recognition and the resumption of negotiations,” Abbas said in an address in Brussels.

    Abbas, who gave his remarks alongside EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, called on the EU to play a larger role in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

    “The EU should play a political role in this Middle East peace process in order to reach a just solution on the basis of internationally recognized terms and decisions,” Abbas said.

    Abbas was speaking in Brussels at the same time as US Vice President Mike Pence was addressing the Knesset in Jerusalem, vowing that the US would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the end of next year.

  • U.S. Vice President Mike Pence waves as he steps off a plane upon arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport near the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, January 21, 2018.JACK GUEZ/AFP

    US Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Tel Aviv Sunday evening for a two-day visit to Israel amid unprecedented tensions with the Palestinians over President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month.

    Pence and his wife, Karen, were greeted on the tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport by Tourism Minister Yariv Levin along with a small group of dignitaries including US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and his Israeli counterpart in the US, Ron Dermer.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Pence to Israel in a Facebook post, and later at an event for foreign diplomats, hailing the vice president as a “great friend of Israel.”

  • US Vice President Mike Pence (L) has lunch with Jordan's King Abdullah II (R) and his wife Queen Rania (3rd from R) in the capital Amman, on January 21, 2018. (AFP / Khalil MAZRAAWI)

    US Vice President Mike Pence says he and Jordan’s King Abdullah “agreed to disagree” on the issue of Jerusalem, Reuters reports.

    Abdullah, a key US ally, had told Pence he had “continuously voiced over the past year… my concerns regarding a US decision on Jerusalem that does not come as a result of a comprehensive settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”

    “Jerusalem is key to Muslims and Christians as it is to Jews,” he added. “It is key to peace in the region. And key to enabling Muslims to effectively fight some of the root causes of radicalization.”

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Provocative Commentary

“The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.” 
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