Vice President Mike Pence celebrated Israel’s independence and touted the Administration’s unapologetic support for the Jewish State at a White House reception to mark Israel’s 69th Independence Day on Tuesday.
Pence told the crowd that in a phone call a short while ago, he wished Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “Happy Independence Day.”
“Under President Trump, if the world knows nothing else, the world will know this – America stands with Israel,” Pence said to applause. “President Trump is a lifelong friend and a supporter of the State of Israel. President Donald Trump stands without apology for Israel, and he always will.”
Addressing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process amid growing “momentum” and the understanding that Israel will be required to undertake compromises, the Vice President assured the Jewish leaders, “President Donald Trump will never compromise the safety and security of the Jewish State of Israel, not now – not ever. Today, America’s support for Israel’s security is at record levels.”
Pence added that – “as we speak” – the President is “giving serious consideration to moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”
The event took place in the Indian Treaty Room at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer, Senators Orrin Hatch and Ted Cruz, Reps. Lee Zeldin and Pete King, as well as Democratic House Members Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Ted Deutch and Brad Schneider attended the event, among others.
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman delivered opening remarks and served as emcee. According to Friedman, this marks the first time the White House hosted an event on Israel’s Independence Day. He thanked President Trump and Vice President Pence for “initiating what we hope will be a joyous annual event for many years to come.”
Ambassador Dermer in his remarks acknowledged ME envoy Jason Greenblatt, who was in the audience, saying it’s “an absolute pleasure” working with “such a mensch.” Speaking about Greenblatt’s mission to broker a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians and the continued U.S-Israel talks on settlement activity, Dermer joked, “I think you will agree with me that we have spent far too much time together over these last few months. You are only working on trying to make peace to the Middle East. How hard can that be? Why all these meetings? Just, let’s get one with this.”
President Donald Trump will host Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House tomorrow. “The President’s ultimate goal is to establish peace in the region,” WH Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Monday. “That’s obviously the goal and the discussion that he’s going to have with the head of the Palestinian Authority. But that’s going to be a relationship that he continues to work on and build with the ultimate goal that there’s peace in that region between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.”