Female Journalists Were Blocked Behind Male Colleagues While Covering Pence's Israel Trip

Posted January 26, 2018

Israeli journalist Tal Schneider said her publication will file a lawsuit against the U.S. Embassy in Israel and the rabbi of the Western Wall over the segregation of female reporters and photographers from their male colleagues during U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's visit to the site.

The incident happened a day before reports that female journalists were segregated and kept behind a low fence at Pence's visit to the Western Wall.

For Pence's visit to the wall, the foundation set up two platforms side by side straddling the barrier.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, King Abdullah II of Jordan spoke about the importance of the USA role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and peace agreement.

Pence also faced angry protests during his two-day trip in response to the contentious shift in US policy.

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"They always highlight the fact that he's an evangelical, as if that's a pejorative when in fact [Pence and other evangelicals] are motivated first and foremost by shared values with Israel", said Matt Brooks, the director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, who has known Pence for years.

Dan Sacker, Lord Sacks' spokesman, confirmed that Sacks and Pence, who has previously come under fire for his evangelical Christian views, met in NY for 90 minutes to discuss the speech. For them, the visit showed that the American government truly supported Israel, its land, and its people.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also in conversation with Zakaria, insisted there is "no substitute for the United States as honest broker" in the peace process.

He added: 'It was these, and only these, elements of the speech that Rabbi Sacks assisted with. "The vice-president thought it was critical to have his counsel for a speech of this magnitude", the official said.

Sacks, who holds the title "emeritus chief rabbi", was made a life peer in 2009 and has taught at British and American universities since his retirement. Thirty-eight percent said a peace deal should be sought, down from 45% six months ago, and the percentage of supporters for a "decisive military offensive" to end the conflict increased from 12% to 19%.

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Abbas left for talks with European Union leaders on Monday, and was reported in the Middle Eastern media as being set to appeal to the European Union formally to recognise the state of Palestine. When asked about the chances that an independent Palestinian state will be established in the next five years, among PA and Gaza Arabs, only 4% view the chances as high or very high that such a state will be established in the next five years. He said it was a great honor for him to be given the chance to pray at the sacred site.

In Bethlehem, the city's Catholic Mayor Anton Salman said Pence's comments contradict his declared aim of helping Christians in the Middle East. This theological belief is behind many far-right American Christians' political position on Jerusalem.

"The two-state solution the way that we envisage is not the same two-state solution that (Israel and the US) are looking at", he said.

Pence's reassuring words about the good bilateral relations between Amman and Washington meant that United States commitments to Jordan's security and stability, not to mention its economic and financial wellbeing, are also overriding goals for the Trump administration.

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