Vice President Mike Pence addressed Israel’s democratically elected Knesset last week, celebrating Israel’s 70th birthday. He recited the Shehecheyanu prayer, acknowledged Israel’s efforts toward peace, noted America’s long-overdue recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and reaffirmed that no peace process issues have been prejudged and that a two-state solution remains open. As noted by The Jewish Week in its Editorial, the speech “was greeted with great enthusiasm by most in the room and much of the country.” It should be similarly received in this country by Democrats, Independents and Republicans as a nonpartisan declaration of American support for our people and our homeland.
While the speech and its reception were the news, The Jewish Week instead devoted its front-page coverage of it to a flippant, implied attack on the speech (“Pence Speech A Salve To The Israeli Right,” Jan. 26), which was merely an opinion piece and did not belong on Page 1. It followed with an Editorial (“Pence And Sensibility”) that sought to cast the speech in a partisan light despite its widespread enthusiastic reception, as noted in the Editorial itself.
There is temptation to inject politics and partisanship into everything. Some situations, however, transcend politics. A great moment like the vice president’s speech and gesture of friendship is such a moment and should be recognized as such and savored, not dragged through the mud of partisanship.
(Promoting Responsibility in Middle East Reporting)