Americans were used to stories about how Barack Obama drew standing ovations in every country he visited. So it was a bit surprising to see this Jerusalem Post headline from Tuesday: “Pence Speech Rife with Biblical References Rocks the Knesset….VP Pence’s Biblical speech to Knesset met with multiple standing ovations.”
Post reporter Lakav Harkov said the room was packed, and very appreciative:
During his speech, Pence waxed poetic about Israel and Jewish history.
“As I stand in Abraham’s Promised Land, I believe that all who cherish freedom and seek a brighter future should cast their eyes here and marvel at what they behold...How unlikely is Israel’s birth; how more unlikely is her survival,” he said.
Pence said the Jewish people held on to the hope of returning to their homeland over a 2,000 year exile, “through the darkest and longest nights.”
“Tomorrow, when I stand with my wife Karen at Yad Vashem to honor the six million Jewish martyrs of the Holocaust, we will marvel at the faith and resilience of your people, who just three years after walking in the shadow of death, rose up from the ashes to resurrect yourselves, to reclaim a Jewish future and rebuild the Jewish State.”
Speaking on Israel’s upcoming 70th Independence Day, Pence said the Shehechiyanu (“who has granted us life”) blessing, said to thank God on momentous occasions.
Pence’s blessing was met with a standing ovation from nearly all of the MKs present, as were several other points in his speech.
The J-Post also reported that Pence was protested at the start of the speech with members of the Knesset holding up signs that said “Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine.” They were immediately ejected by ushers. “Holding up signs or other props in the Knesset is prohibited in all plenary sessions, and when a foreign dignitary speaks, there is a zero-tolerance policy against heckling.”
Now, for fun, let’s compare that to the New York Times coverage. On Tuesday, Times reporter Ben Hubbard could never find any space to refer to multiple standing ovations. He opened with the bland talk of a violated consensus:
BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday that a new United States Embassy to Israel would open in Jerusalem before the end of 2019.
Mr. Pence's statement, made to the Israeli Parliament during a trip to the Holy Land, follows President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital last month, a move that overturned decades of American policy and international consensus on the status of the holy city.
And Hubbard ended with Pence being shunned by Christians:
Mr. Pence has spoken of protecting Christian minorities in the Middle East, but he has been widely shunned by those same Christians for his embrace of the Israeli position on Jerusalem.
No Arab Christian leaders have agreed to meet with him during his visit, and he is not scheduled to visit Christian holy sites like the city of Nazareth, the West Bank town of Bethlehem or the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where tradition holds that Jesus was crucified.
Mr. Pence canceled his last planned trip to the Holy Land before Christmas after Christian Arab leaders declined to meet with him.
A day later, on Wednesday, check out how Times correspondent Isabel Kershner mentioned the "numerous standing ovations" in the middle of negativity in paragraph 13:
Still, when Mr. Pence told the Israeli legislators that the Trump administration was committed to achieving a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians and would support a two-state solution to the conflict if both sides agreed, Mr. Netanyahu, who jumped up for numerous standing ovations, did not applaud.
Neither did the Palestinians.
Enraged by Mr. Trump’s decision on Jerusalem, a move that overturned decades of American policy and defied international consensus on the holy city’s status, they boycotted Mr. Pence’s visit.
The video is below: