Announcing 10-city U.S. book tour for “The Kremlin Conspiracy.” First event will be a keynote address at the NRB Convention in Nashville next week.

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Two weeks from today, The Kremlin Conspiracy will release in hardcover, e-book and audio formats. Today, I’m excited to announce a 10-city speaking and media tour.

You can learn all the details of each public event on the tour by clicking here. Please make plans to attend one of the events. I’d love the opportunity to meet you, sign your book and answer your questions.

I’m deeply honored to have been invited to deliver a keynote address to the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville next week. In addition, I’ve been asked to speak at several other events during the convention. The NRB speech will mark the book tour’s kick-off, though most of the book interviews I do will actually begin the week of March 6th. Please follow me on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates on media interviews, but we’ll also be posting some of the interviews on my website, on our “Epicenter Team” Facebook page, and on my Twitter account, if you miss them.

If you haven’t pre-ordered The Kremlin Conspiracy, please do so today!

Here are excerpts from the NRB press release:

Best-selling author and Middle East expert Joel C. Rosenberg is scheduled to speak during the Super Session on March 1, 2018, at Proclaim 18, the NRB International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

Rosenberg has appeared on top national and religious radio and TV shows; met with religious and government leaders all across North America and around the world; and spoken to many audiences, including audiences at the White House, Pentagon, Congress, Canadian Parliament, and the European Union Parliament.

“Joel Rosenberg has unique insights about critical issues today, and we are thrilled to have him join us for Proclaim 18, NRB’s 75th annual Convention,” said NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson. “Convention attendees will be blessed to hear what God has placed on Joel’s heart, and he is sure to challenge and inspire during the Super Session….

Proclaim 18 will take place February 27-March 2, 2018, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, while NRB’s award-winning Exposition – featuring around 200 exhibitors – will be open February 28-March 2.

Other NRB speakers include Vice President Mike Pence, Pastor Rick Warren, Pastor Greg Laurie, and actors Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel. Music will be provided by Mercy Me and Michael W. Smith, among others.

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Former CIA Director and New York Times best-selling writers praise THE KREMLIN CONSPIRACY, forthcoming political thriller about a Russian Czar plotting to attack the US & NATO alliance. (Novel set for March 6 release.)

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As the countdown to the March 6th launch approaches, some early endorsements of The Kremlin Conspiracy are in, and they’re encouraging.

“Joel Rosenberg has an uncanny talent for focusing his story-telling on real world hot spots just as they are heating up. He has done it again in The Kremlin Conspiracy. Russia is back in the headlines above the fold as a macro-mischief maker and Joel’s new thriller presents a worst case scenario that must never come to pass. All Americans – especially the President, Members of Congress and our national security team – should be mindful of the threat an out-of-control Moscow poses to peace and freedom.” – Porter Goss, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency

“Marcus Ryker rocks! Breakneck action, political brinksmanship, authentic scenarios, and sharply defined characters make Joel C. Rosenberg’s Kremlin Conspiracy a full throttle and frightening ride through tomorrow’s headlines.” – U.S. Army Brigadier General (retired) A. J. Tata, national bestselling author of Direct Fire

“Joel C. Rosenberg writes taut, intelligent thrillers that are as timely as they are well-written. Pairing a fast-paced plot with an impressive understanding of the inner workings in the corridors of power of the Russian government, The Kremlin Conspiracy is a stellar novel of riveting action and political intrigue.” – Mark Greaney, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Agent in Place

The Kremlin Conspiracy is my first Joel C. Rosenberg novel, and I am absolutely blown away by how good this guy is. The story moves at a blistering pace, it’s crackling with tension, and you won’t put it down until you reach the end. Guaranteed. Simply masterful.” – Sean Parnell, New York Times bestselling author of Outlaw Platoon

What is THE KREMLIN CONSPIRACY all about?

SEPTEMBER 1999: A series of apartment bombings in Moscow shock the world. The Russian government immediately blames Chechen terrorists, and Oleg Kraskin―a sharp young lawyer in love with the president’s daughter―has no reason to doubt it. Yet when he joins the First Family of Russia, and the president’s personal staff, he has no idea how radically the bombings will one day alter the course of world events. Or what role he himself will play.

SEPTEMBER 2001­: Just after the Twin Towers and the Pentagon are attacked, Marcus Ryker enlists in the Marines and is sent to Afghanistan to defend his country. In time, he joins the United States Secret Service and works his way up to the elite Presidential Protection Detail. It’s his dream job, until a tragic accident causes him to rethink his priorities.

Neither Marcus nor Oleg is aware of just how much they themselves will change history when their paths cross.

Russia’s president is a rising czar determined to restore his country to her former greatness―and he will stop at nothing to do so. Even risk nuclear war.

Now Marcus has to make the most important decision of his life. Would it ever be right to assassinate a single leader if it could prevent a genocide? If it is, then everything he’s learned to protect our president, he’ll need to take out theirs.

Please pre-order your copy today in hardcover, e-book or audio formats today from Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Lifeway, or your favorite bookstore retailer!

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Three weeks to launch: The Washington Examiner mentions “The Kremlin Conspiracy” today. Tyndale posts new video book trailer. Book tour schedule coming this week. (Pre-order now.)

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With the clock ticking down until publication day, The Washington Examiner mentions The Kremlin Conspiracy in today’s “Washington Secrets” column.

“An author popular with Washingtonians, Joel C. Rosenberg, is coming out with a new thriller tied to current politics,” writes columnist Paul Bedard. “The Kremlin Conspiracy, out March 6, features an American president so focused on Iran and North Korea that he is blindsided by a Russian czar plotting an attack on the Baltic states. Rosenberg said his fans include Vice President Mike Pence, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, former CIA Director Porter Goss, Sen. Marco Rubio, human rights activist Natan Sharansky, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Fox News anchor Shannon Bream, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II.”

Far and away, I’m most grateful for all of my readers who live outside the Washington Beltway, across the U.S. and Canada and around the world. But it’s certainly been fun (and surprising) over the years to discover who’s reading my novels in the mysterious corridors of power, from Capitol Hill to the CIA.

In other news, my publisher — Tyndale House — just released a new book trailer on video — click here to watch.

Later this week, we’ll release the book tour schedule. Stand by for that and I hope you’ll make plans to come see me and get your book signed.

For now, don’t forget to pre-order your copy of The Kremlin Conspiracy in hardcover, e-book, or audio from your favorite book retailer — and please let your family and friends know about the new book, as well. Thanks!

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Are Evangelical Christians anti-Palestinian? (my new column for The Jerusalem Post)

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Here’s my new column in The Jerusalem Post.

ARE EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS ANTI-PALESTINIAN? To the contrary, Scripture teaches us to love both Arabs and Jews

Palestinian leaders are not simply infuriated by President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

They are also incensed by what they perceive as an anti-Palestinian theology held by Evangelical Christians generally, and specifically by Evangelicals close to Mr. Trump, including Vice President Mike Pence.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refused to meet with Mr. Pence during his recent visit, and gave a blistering speech denying Jews have any biblical or historical claim to the land.

“Israel is a colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism, but rather used by the Jews as a tool under the slogan of the ‘Promised Land,’” said Mr. Abbas.

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, blasted Mr. Pence’s “messianic discourse” in the Knesset as a “gift to the extremists.”

Hanan Ashrawi, the Palestinian legislator, also excoriated Mr. Pence, saying that in his Knesset speech he “brought to bear his ideological, fundamentalist, literalist interpretation of the Bible in order to punish the Palestinians and reward the aggressors, the Israeli occupiers.”

As an Evangelical, a dual US-Israeli citizen and an author who has spent the past several decades building friendships with Muslim and Christian Arabs from Morocco to Iraq, I would like to respectfully correct some misconceptions.

First, Evangelicals who take the Bible literally….

[To read the full column, please click here]

Note: I wrote this column as one of the founders of a new organization, Alliance For the Peace of Jerusalem.

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What are President Trump’s biggest successes? What are his failures & disappointments? Here’s my analysis of his tumultuous first year in office.

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After a full-year in office, it is time to take stock of the Trump presidency. 
  • He certainly stunned the world by winning the 2016 elections despite having no government experience and a very controversial campaign.
  • He remains absolutely reviled by the Left, and much of the media.
  • He has made plenty of rookie mistakes in his first year and his approval numbers reflect that — hitting a record-low 32% in December, while since rebounding somewhat, hitting 42% this week in the wake of the passage of the tax cut bill and clear evidence of a surging economy and stock market.

Now that he has delivered his first State of the Union address (watch or read), let’s set aside the media firestorm and the deep cynicism of most reporters and pundits and ask, What is the truth? In what ways is this unconventional President succeeding? And how is he struggling?

I’ve been watching the President and his team very closely this year, and I’ve been praying for them every day, sometimes several times a day. My readers know that I was originally a “Never Trumper” during the campaign, but changed my position just days before the election, for reasons I laid out in detail on this blog. As I told CNN’s Anderson Cooper back in February, “There’s a difference between being a cynic and a skeptic. In an Evangelical way of looking at it [the Trump election], this was a marriage I wasn’t sure should happen, but now that it has happened I want the President to succeed. But I think cynics are unable at times to be able to hear anything good that the new President says,” or does.
 
In that spirit, then, here is my assessment of the President’s successes in economic, domestic and foreign policy/national security, the President’s failures and/or disappointments, and some observations on his capacity to change — to course-correct — when he’s making mistakes. It is by no means exhaustive, but I hope you find it helpful.
ECONOMIC & DOMESTIC POLICY SUCCESSES:
FOREIGN & NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY SUCCESSES:
CAPACITY TO CHANGE

DISAPPOINTMENTS & ON-GOING CHALLENGES:

  • Has not laid out a comprehensive strategy to protect all innocent life and end the cruelty of abortion once and for all, despite 60 million abortions having been performed since 1973. “A new analysis published by the National Right to Life Committee indicated there have been an estimated 60,069,971 abortions since the Supreme Court handed down its 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision allowing virtually unlimited abortions,” reports Life News. The President rightly notes the Declaration of Independence says government’s mission is to protect life. He must do more.
  • Unnecessary and at times unkind, divisive and off-message Tweets and comments by the President. Such activity is taxing — and arguably, exhausting — the goodwill of the American people, undermining the many positive policy and personnel decisions the President has made. Indeed, a remarkable “70% of voters say the President should stop Tweeting from his personal account,” according to a recent Quinnipiac Poll, indicating this view is held by a wide range of Americans of differing ideological beliefs — left, right and center.
  • Disconcerting and repeated statements of admiration of Vladimir Putin, combined with other odd and at times contradictory quotes about Putin, by the President. Such statements suggest the President may not adequately appreciate the threat Putin and the Russian military and intelligence community pose to U.S. national security and that of America’s allies. Indeed, the President only mentioned Russia one time during his State of the Union address, and only in passing, at that.
  • Michael Flynn, the President’s former U.S. national security advisor, pleading guilty to lying to the FBI during the Russia investigation. “Court documents show Flynn has acknowledged to investigators that at least two Trump transition members were involved in his outreach to Russian officials — though he initially gave false statements about those discussions,” reported Fox News. This certainly does not prove the President himself “colluded” with the Putin government during the 2016 campaign. It is troubling, nonetheless. 
  • Paul Manafort, the President’s former campaign manager, being indicted by a federal grand jury (with his business associate, Rick Gates) on 12 counts of illegal activities, as part of the on-going Russia investigation. Again, to be clear, I do not yet know what to make of the much-disputed charge that the Trump campaign illegally “colluded” with the Putin government to win the 2016 elections. The President calls the Mueller investigation a “witch hunt.” And that may well be. We will know all the facts in due time and can more fairly assess them then. There is no reason to rush to judgment. That said, it is worth acknowledging that large numbers of Americans are deeply concerned about the matter and worry the President is not being straight-forward with the public about his relationship with Moscow. “A Washington Post-ABC poll found nearly half — 49 percent — of Americans believe Trump himself tried to interfere with the Russia investigation in a way that amounts to obstruction of justice,” reported the Washington Post. “And about a quarter — 26 percent — of Americans believe there is “strong evidence” supporting their belief. And half of Americans believe the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, according to the poll.” 
  • Repeated public attacks against the U.S. intelligence community, the FBI and even his own Attorney General, risking undermining public confidence in the hardworking and patriotic Americans who work in federal law enforcement and the intelligence community. Almost unprecedented in U.S. history, the President has publicly blasted the conduct of Attorney General Jeff Sessions as “very weak”, said he was “very disappointed” with Sessions, and allowed rumors to run rampant for months that he might fire the Attorney General because Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation.   
  • Penchant for self-aggrandizing exaggeration and hyperbole that erodes public trust in the President’s words (such as famously insisting the crowd size at the inauguration was far larger than it was, or insisting he won the 2016 election by a “massive landslide”). A new poll in January 2018 found that the President face a “credibility gap” — “only 35 percent say he’s ‘honest,’ and 34 percent say he’s ‘trustworthy.'”
  • Chose Rex Tillerson, who has no experience in government or global diplomacy, to be the Secretary of State, and has not replaced Tillerson despite continuing controversy and strains in the relationship. The President has publicly contradicted his Secretary of State numerous times (see also here), and privately weighed replacing him. I’m sure that Mr. Tillerson is a fine and honorable man and he has an impressive record in the private sector. However, the American people need world-class diplomat and one that the President has full confidence in, and one that world leaders know has the President’s full confidence and ear. In such a tumultuous global environment, it was a mistake for the President to appoint him, and a mistake not to make a change immediately.
  • Incredibly slow to appoint qualified, trusted ambassadors around the world. There are currently 20 open ambassadorial posts in Europe, numerous open ambassadorial posts in key Middle East countries like Egypt and Jordan, and the U.S. still does not have an ambassador in South Korea, despite the rising risk of war on the Korean peninsula.
  • Wasn’t able to persuade Members of his own party to repeal and replace Obama Care, as he promised. The President has made some progress at reducing the harm of Obama Care, such as ending the individual mandate (via the tax bill). But in his State of the Union address, he did not ask Congress to try again to repeal and replace the entire system.
  • Has not yet passed solid legislation to secure America’s southern border, and still hasn’t secured $25 billion for the border wall, despite making this one of his top policy priorities.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

  • Overall, on policy and personnel (especially Vice President Mike Pence, who has been excellent), the President has had an impressive year. He’s certainly made mistakes, but he has also shown the capacity to make changes and course-correct.
  • On his own personal statements and Tweets, the President has had a terrible year. This lack of discipline has undermined his credibility with the American people and America’s friends and allies around the world. He needs to quickly change course and take a significantly different approach towards personal communications.
  • Defending the sanctity of human life from the womb to natural death must become the President’s top priority. He’s doing better on this than I would have predicted, but needs to do much more. America faces judgment for murdering 60 million babies. We must legally end this evil scourge with all haste.
  • As the President and his team begin their second year in office, I commit to praying for them every day. I also commit to praying for the country, for revival and a Great Awakening (which have nothing to do with Washington or the presidency.) I hope you will commit yourself to on-going prayer for the country and her leaders, too.

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” — the Apostle Paul (I Timothy 2:1-3)

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> To pre-order a copy of The Kremlin Conspiracy (which releases March 6th), please click here.

> To order copies of the new mass market paperbacks of the J.B. Collins novels — my trilogy about ISIS plotting attacks on the U.S., Israel, Jordan and Egypt — please click here.

Have you ever wanted to walk where Jesus, the apostles & the prophets walked? Join us in Israel in July for The Joshua Fund’s next “Prayer & Vision Tour” & 2018 Epicenter Prayer Summit.

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Dear friends —

There is still time to sign up — and I hope you and your family will join us!

Lynn and I invite you to come to the Epicenter Prayer Summit, which will be held in Jerusalem on the evening of Wednesday, July 11th, and all day Thursday, July 12th, 2018.

The Summit will be the centerpiece of The Joshua Fund’s next “Prayer & Vision Tour” of the Holy Land, which will take place July 3 – July 15, 2018.

If you’ve ever wanted to walk where Jesus and the apostle and the prophets walked, and study the Word, and worship in spirit and truth, meet local ministry leaders, care for the poor, and rediscover the power and purpose of Bible prophecy, this is the trip for you.

And if you’re a pastor or ministry leader, would you consider coming just with your spouse and maybe a few close ministry friends? Rather than lead a tour this year, come and simply be encouraged and refreshed — and see first-hand how powerfully the Lord is moving among Arabs and Jews in the Middle East.

Joining me as keynote speakers for the Summit will be dear friends and wonderful Bible teachers, Anne Graham Lotz and Dr. Ronnie Floyd, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention. We will be joined by leaders of various Jewish, Israeli Arab and Palestinian Arab ministries as they share with the Summit participants about what they see the Lord doing from their unique vantage points. They will also be sharing prayer requests for their ministries, and praying for unity among the brethren in the Land.

Please be part of this special time. Lynn and I and our team would love to see you there!

Sincerely,

Joel C. Rosenberg

Chairman and Founder of The Joshua Fund

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How do Israelis, Arabs & Evangelicals view V.P. Pence’s historic & controversial address to the Knesset? (Here are links to full video & text of the speech, as well as my analysis in interviews with Fox News, CBN News & an Israeli newspaper.)

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UPDATED: (Jerusalem, Israel) — On Monday, I was humbled to be invited to watch Vice President Mike Pence’s historic address to the Knesset from inside the chamber.

It was the first time an American Vice President had ever addressed Israel’s 120-seat parliament, and Mr. Pence certainly covered a lot of ground and stirred an enormous amount of controversy. Among his key points, the V.P.: 

  • Spoke of his personal affection for Israel and the Jewish people and cited or alluded to more Scripture than probably any foreign leader who has spoken there.
  • Called on the Palestinian leadership to “return to the table” and agree to direct peace talks with Israel (they have refused such talks since 2014).
  • Praised Israeli, Egyptian and Jordanian leaders for making peace treaties in the past with American help.
  • Underscored the nuances of President Trump’s December announcement on Jerusalem and discussed the U.S. embassy’s move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
  • Spoke of the near eradication of ISIS’s caliphate by a U.S.-Arab-Kurdish alliance.
  • And warned that the “apocalyptic” leaders of Iran would never be allowed to acquire nuclear warheads.
  • [Read the official White House speech transcript here. Watch the video of the full Special Session of Knesset — including speeches by PM Netanyahu and Israel’s opposition leader Herzog — here. The VP’s remarks begin at the 24:33 minute mark.]

A reporter for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz asked me how American Evangelical Christians would respond to the speech. Here are excerpts from his story….

  • “Joel Rosenberg, an Evangelical author and activist who lives in Jerusalem, told Haaretz that ‘most American evangelicals will be very happy with this speech. He expressed very strong support for Israel.’ Rosenberg, who attended Pence’s speech in the Knesset, added that ‘the vice president used more scripture and allusions to the bible than any speech by a foreign leader that I can recall. He did it in a very respectful way.’ 
  • ‘Rosenberg cautioned, however, that not all evangelicals in the United States and around the world share the same views regarding the Trump administration’s approach to the Middle East peace process. ‘Some Evangelicals ask how the timing of the Jerusalem decision served the purpose of reaching a peace deal,’ he said. ‘Did the vice president’s speech make things easier today for the leaders of Jordan and Egypt, who both told him about some hardships caused by the Jerusalem decision? Probably not.'”….

Here’s a link to the interview I did with CBN News (runs about 30 minutes).

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Here, too, is both the video and transcript of the interview I did with Shannon Bream, anchor of Fox News @ Night (the video runs about 4:45 minutes). I did the interview in my capacity as one of the founding members of the new organization, Alliance For the Peace of Jerusalem.

I must say I was particularly struck with a soundbite Shannon played from an interview with Hanan Ashrawi, a noted Palestinian legislator, advisor and spokeswoman. As you’ll see in the transcript below, she excoriated Vice President Pence’s Evangelical Christian faith, saying he “brought to bear his ideological, fundamentalist, literalist interpretation of the Bible in order to punish the Palestinians and reward the aggressors, the Israeli occupiers.”

Later in the interview, Shannon quoted Palestinian official Saeb Erekat attacking Mr. Pence’s “messianic discourse” as a “gift to the extremists.”

The comments caught me off guard — I wasn’t anticipating this line of criticisms in this particular interview — and I wish I’d responded to them more directly. The topic deserves a more detailed response. But for now, let me just say respectfully to Mrs. Ashrawi and Mr. Erekat that being a faithful follower of Jesus and having a literal interpretation of the Holy Scriptures — both Old Testament and New — does not make one anti-Palestinian. As a Jewish son born in Bethlehem, Jesus taught us to love our neighbors, and that most certainly includes the Palestinians.

Hundreds of millions of Evangelicals around the world love Jesus, the most famous Israeli in human history; we love the Bible and love seeing the Biblical prophecies of the rebirth of Israel coming to pass. At the same time, precisely because of our faith and our love for the Bible, we also love peace. We pray faithfully for the peace of Jerusalem as commanded by the Psalmist. We also deeply long to see Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, and Palestinian Arabs all living side-by-side in peace in the Holy Land.

The big question is this: In this life — before the Messiah comes to reign from Jerusalem and establish true justice and peace on the earth — how do we all as humble, flawed people live together in honor and respect, in dignity and in quiet? For Evangelicals, this begins with following the teachings of Jesus, the apostles, and all the Hebrew prophets — learning to love people with an unconditional, sacrificial love, trusting the Lord to give us the strength and grace to do so when that’s hard.

It also means both honoring and learning from the remarkable legacy of modern peace-makers like Anwar el-Sadat, Menachem Begin, King Hussein, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and the like — complicated but courageous men who sat down together face to face to make the hard choices necessary to bring peace and hope and a brighter future to their people. May their tribe increase.

FOX NEWS INTERVIEW, LIVE FROM JERUSALEM

SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: A Palestinian negotiator is accusing the Vice President of using his religion to set diplomatic policy.

[VIDEO CLIP OF HANAN ASHRAWI, Palestinian legislator]: He brought to bear his ideological, fundamentalist, literalist interpretation of the Bible in order to punish the Palestinians and reward the aggressors, the Israeli occupiers. This is entirely unacceptable. It is not only illegal. It is immoral. It is inhuman.

SHANNON BREAM: Joining me now in Jerusalem is New York Times best-selling author and founding member of the Alliance for the Peace of Jerusalem, Joel Rosenberg. Great to have you with us today.

JOEL C. ROSENBERG: Great to be with you, Shannon. Welcome to Jerusalem.

BREAM: Thank you very much. It’s such a fascinating, beautiful area. We have really enjoyed our time here, though it’s been quick. It’s not surprising that the Palestinian lawmaker you just heard from didn’t appreciate the Vice President’s use of the Bible. Also hearing from the top Palestinian negotiator [Saeb Erekat] – whom we talked with a couple of days ago in Ramallah – saying this, “The messianic discourse of Pence is a gift to extremists and has proven that the U.S. administration is part of the problem rather than the solution.” Not surprising.

ROSENBERG: Actually, it is surprising. I mean, it’s not surprising that the top Palestinian leadership is so upset. But it is surprising in the sense that Pence concluded his entire speech – I was there – [by saying], “We need to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” He called for Palestinians to come back to the table. He’s saying that the boundaries of Jerusalem aren’t even settled – right? He reiterated what President Trump said in his Jerusalem announcement in December.

The point is, this is the moment for the Palestinian leadership, “They’re not negotiated? They’re not final? Great. Let’s have that discussion.” Now, Jerusalem is the toughest issue in this conflict, and it’s a divisive one. But it’s not clear why the Palestinian leadership is saying, “We won’t talk. Forget it. It’s over.” Your interview with Saeb Erekat was illuminating and fascinating.

And Mahmoud Abbas said in a big speech the other day to the Palestinian leadership that, “You may not see me again. This may be my last speech.” We may be heading for a post-Abbas era. It’s not clear where the process goes from there.

BREAM: It’s interesting because with Erekat, I continually pushed the fact that the President did have nuance to what he said, that he wanted this to be about, “We’re not decided the borders, the boundaries. We’re not making any final assessment. We’re the U.S. We’re outside. We’re just saying that we’re recognizing Jerusalem as the capital. You all will work out those details.” But to Erekat, there was no difference. He said, “We heard the headline, and that’s it.”

ROSENBERG: That’s right and I think that’s a challenge. I know that Vice President Pence spoke to President el-Sisi in Egypt, and with King Abdullah in Jordan about this, which is a very sensitive issue. But it is interesting that effectively what the President and Vice President are saying is, “West Jerusalem is a set issue.” And it has been.

The Palestinians aren’t actually asking, really – at least at the leadership level – for West Jerusalem. So the debate is over East Jerusalem, or some neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. So if they [the Palestinians] don’t negotiate, then generations of Palestinian suffering go on, ad infinitum. It’s not clear how this leadership – Abbas and Erekat – what their plan is.

You know, we pray for Saeb Erekat. You were talking to him about his health. He’s just had a lung transplant in the United States. I’m so glad that has gone well. But these men seem tired. Actually, everybody in the region is tired of the fight. But if you won’t sit down and negotiate, it’s not clear how to make the situation better.

BREAM: Right — you don’t have a voice.

ROSENBERG: I thought the Pence speech was excellent in calling for peace, in clarifying the President’s position, but affirming that America is with Israel as an ally — but it’s also with Jordan as an ally, and with Egypt as an ally.

In fact, Pence noted that many people think that peace is not possible. But this is not theoretical. The Vice President was saying, “The United States has helped Egypt make peace with Israel, and Israel make peace with Jordan. Two of the most difficult elements of this conflict have been dealt with, and these treaties have lasted — but those treaties have lasted because men were willing to sit down and make hard choices face to face.

I’m sympathetic to the Palestinians, but I don’t understand how they make their lives better for their people if they won’t sit down.

BREAM: Yeah, and I repeatedly asked Erekat what would get them back to the table. I mean, I’m no peace negotiator. So he’s not going to tell me. But there was just no answer he could give me, short of them [the Trump administration] revoking what they just said about Jerusalem, and we know that’s not going to happen.

Thank you very much for your insights.

ROSENBERG: It’s great to be with you, and these are interesting days and challenging moments.

BREAM: Well, we appreciate your expertise.

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> To pre-order a copy of The Kremlin Conspiracy (which releases March 6th), please click here.

> To order copies of the new mass market paperbacks of the J.B. Collins novels — my trilogy about ISIS plotting attacks on the U.S., Israel, Jordan and Egypt — please click here.

A candid conversation between two friends & allies. The V.P.’s trip to Jordan.

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On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence, his wife Karen, and their senior advisors traveled to Amman, Jordan, where the V.P. held critically important bilateral meetings with King Abdullah II — America’s most trusted Arab ally — followed by a working lunch at His Majesty’s main palace.

As the lunch began, the press was permitted to cover the opening remarks of both men. I’ve included both the video and the transcript below, and I would highly encourage you to both watch and read the messages. (I’ve also included the transcript and some video from the V.P.’s meeting with President el-Sisi in Cairo, Egypt.)

I saw two friends and allies being candid with each other over sensitive matters and some serious disagreements on major issues, but also two men taking care to strengthen the core of the friendship and staying focused on why their countries need each other.

I have had the honor of getting to know both men a bit in recent years. I’m deeply grateful for them both. I believe they are both men of peace. And I pray that they and their colleagues can truly find a path forward to help expand the peace that the Jordan and Israel courageously forged some 24 years ago, with the help of American leadership.

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> To pre-order a copy of The Kremlin Conspiracy (which releases March 6th), please click here.

> To order copies of the new mass market paperbacks of the J.B. Collins novels — my trilogy about ISIS plotting attacks on the U.S., Israel, Jordan and Egypt — please click here.

“Pence’s unenviable task” on his trip to the Middle East. (My new column in the Jerusalem Post.)

VP-Sisi-handshake-Jan2018

On Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence, his wife Karen, and his senior advisors landed in Cairo, Egypt. The V.P. held 2 1/2 hours of meetings with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, following by a two hour dinner. Early reports in the media and from my sources in Cairo are very positive. I’ll post more details soon.

Late Saturday night, Air Force Two headed to Amman, Jordan, where the V.P. and his team will stay overnight. On Sunday morning, the V.P. will meet with King Abdullah II. I anticipate those talks to be more sensitive than the ones in Cairo.

The Jerusalem Post has just published a new column of mine, examining the V.P.’s trip from a somewhat different angle than the column I wrote Friday for Fox News. In this one, I look at the Trump administration’s four policy objectives in the Middle East and the progress they are making with each. I also examine the enormously challenging balancing act Vice President Pence has undertaken on this trip in which he will be welcomed so warmly by the Israelis but urgently needs to strengthen strained ties with Egypt and Jordan, as well as seek a way to repair relations with the Palestinians.  

Please continue to pray that the trip goes well and each of these relationships improves.

The following are excerpts from the Jerusalem Post op-ed. To read the column in full, please click here.

PENCE’S UNENVIABLE TASK

As US Vice President Mike Pence arrives in the Middle East, he has a tough needle to thread. Israeli support for the Trump administration is soaring. The Arab street is furious.

Can he deliver a convincing message that the US truly wants to be a regional peace-maker? And having delivered more than most Israelis expected in the first year, is the vice president authorized to announce specific policies to strengthen America’s critically important alliances with Egypt and Jordan, even as the Palestinians refuse to see him?

It’s worth zooming out for a moment to put Pence’s trip in context.

The Trump-Pence administration came into office a year ago with four specific strategic objectives in the region.

The first was to crush Islamic State (ISIS), dismantle the genocidal grip of the “caliphate” that controlled large swaths of Iraq and Syria, and prevent ISIS foreign fighters from being able to attack and kill Americans….

The administration’s second objective in the region was to dramatically reorient America’s policy toward Iran….

The administration’s third objective was to rebuild the US-Israeli alliance, badly damaged during the Obama years. In this it has far surpassed expectations. Polls show Israeli support for Trump has skyrocketed. In May, 56% said he is “pro-Israel.” Today, that number is 76%….

Which brings us to the administration’s fourth objective: rebuilding America’s alliances with the Arab world, also damaged during the Obama years. This initiative started off quite well, despite Trump’s incendiary “Muslim ban” pledge during the campaign….

A year later, however, this strategy is foundering. The president’s Jerusalem decision –how it was made, why it was made and when it was announced — has infuriated the Palestinians, who have cut off relations with the White House. It has also seriously complicated US relations with Jordan (a country whose population is about 70% Palestinian), and much of the Sunni Arab world.

Trump’s nuances — that the boundaries of the Holy City still need to be negotiated, thus keeping the door open to a possible Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem; and saying the status quo of the holy sites must be protected — either weren’t heard or weren’t believed. As one senior Arab official told me, “Very few people in our part of the world watched President Trump’s full speech. Fewer still read it. All they heard was the headline, ‘Trump gives Jerusalem to the Jews.’” Palestinian leaders should be using the moment to re-engage in peace talks, not continue to boycott them. Their people urgently need a final resolution to this painful conflict.

Until that happens, the vice president should focus on bolstering relations with Egypt and Jordan, two faithful and vitally important allies….

The vice president has an unenviable task. One trip can’t fix everything. But taking a victory lap before the Knesset and coming empty-handed to Amman and Cairo would seriously set back US interests in the region.

[Photo: Vice President Pence met on Saturday with Egyptian President el-Sisi. Early reports indicate the conversations were very positive.]

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> To pre-order a copy of The Kremlin Conspiracy (which releases March 6th), please click here.

> To order copies of the new mass market paperbacks of the J.B. Collins novels — my trilogy about ISIS plotting attacks on the U.S., Israel, Jordan and Egypt — please click here.

The VP’s Trip To The Epicenter: “What Pence needs to do in Jordan.” (My new column for Fox News.)

king-pence-jan2017

UPDATE: DIPLOMATIC BREAKTHROUGH AHEAD OF V.P.’S ARRIVAL

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ORIGINAL POST: Jordan was not originally on Vice President Mike Pence’s Mideast schedule when the trip was planned for mid-December. When the trip had to be rescheduled (due to the tax cut vote) for mid-January, a visit to Amman was added. 

In my new column for Fox News, I explain why, describe the strains that have emerged in the U.S.-Jordanian alliance, and offer some thoughts on the way forward to strengthen this vitally important relationship.

But first, a look at the current itinerary. On Friday night, Air Force Two will depart Washington, headed for the epicenter, including stops in Egypt, Jordan and Israel. 

  • Saturday: Vice President Pence will land in Cairo and meet with President el-Sisi.
  • Sunday: The V.P. will fly to Amman and meet with King Abdullah II.
  • Sunday evening: The V.P. will fly to Israel.
  • Monday and Tuesday: The V.P. will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, visit Yad Vashem and the Western Wall, and speak to the Knesset.

Please pray for:

  • The safety of Mike and Karen Pence, their advisors and their delegation.
  • The V.P. to have wisdom to know how best to strengthen U.S. relations with Egypt and Jordan, as well as with Israel.
  • The Palestinian leadership to reconsider their boycott of the V.P.’s trip, and to choose to engage in dialogue with him instead to make their case directly.

Thanks — and here’s the column….

WHAT PENCE NEEDS TO DO IN JORDAN

Something significant happened since Vice President Mike Pence rescheduled his trip to the Middle East from December to the end of this week. No longer is he visiting only Israel and Egypt. He is going to Jordan as well.

It is the right move – indeed, Amman should have been on his original itinerary – but it’s now an act of damage control.

Not only were West Bank and Gaza Palestinians furious in the wake of President Trump’s Dec. 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and begin moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Most Jordanians – some 70 percent of whom are Palestinians – were outraged as well.

How President Trump’s decision was made, why it was made, and when it was announced have thus created serious strains in the U.S.-Jordanian alliance. Pence will have to handle the matter deftly.

To be sure, friends will not always agree on every issue. Washington and Amman have weathered deep disagreements in the past and still strengthened their relationship.

That said, Jerusalem touches deep into the Jordanian religious, social and political psyche. Until 1967, the Hashemite Kingdom governed the eastern portion of the holy city, including the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque. The loss of East Jerusalem to the Israelis during the Six Day War remains a bitter wound.

So despite President Trump’s nuanced statement about how the boundaries of Jerusalem remain to be negotiated (thus keeping the door open to a possible Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem), and the importance of protecting the status quo of the holy sites, the issue isn’t going away any time soon.

This is especially true given that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has given increasingly heated statements against the Trump administration and is boycotting the vice president’s visit.

Pence should be prepared to hear frank talk from Jordanian King Abdullah when he arrives. In return, let us hope he is prepared to share with the king a clear and convincing American initiative to help Palestinians and Israelis get back on the road to making a fair and final peace treaty, and that he is authorized to announce specific policies designed to bolster the U.S.-Jordanian strategic alliance….

[To read the rest of the full column, including my specific recommendations, please click here]

[Photo: Mr. Pence’s first meeting as Vice President with Jordan’s King Abdullah in February at the Naval Observatory in Washington.]

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> To pre-order a copy of The Kremlin Conspiracy (which releases March 6th), please click here.

> To order copies of the new mass market paperbacks of the J.B. Collins novels — my trilogy about ISIS plotting attacks on the U.S., Israel, Jordan and Egypt — please click here.