Israeli experts were struck by the vice president’s deep and authentic expressions of love for the State.
By: Steve Leibowitz, World Israel News
With US Vice President Mike Pence completing his three-day visit to Israel on Tuesday, those carefully listening to his words came away with the feeling that he is a unique and authentic friend of Israel, whose expressions came from deep in the soul of a man guided by his Evangelical Christian beliefs and a worldview that sees the United States and the Jewish State as centerpieces in a divine plan.
Dan Diker from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs described Pence’s Knesset appearance on Monday as “one of the greatest speeches ever given in the Knesset. His words reflected what Americans feel about Israel.” According to Diker, Pence views the US and Israel as two peoples sharing an interest in liberty, independence and justice, representing the best of Judaeo-Christian tradition.”
Prof. Yoel Cohen from the School of Communications at Ariel University noted that despite his Evangelical Christian values, “Pence reaffirmed the US commitment to the status quo at the holy sites that does not directly take into account the Jewish people’s connection to the Temple Mount and their right to pray there. There was certainly no support expressed for the rebuilding of the Third Temple.”
Diker explained Pence’s comments on the holy places as “a pragmatic need to give an assurance to Jordan that despite President Trump’s declaration that the US recognizes Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, there is no change in the status quo.”
Strong Zionist support
Col. Miri Eisin, a former communications director in the Prime Minister’s Office, told World Israel News (WIN), “Pence had a message that’s very consistent with his Evangelical Christian world view. Many in Israel are happy to hear it and appreciate the very strong Zionist support from Christian Evangelicals.”
Lenny Ben-David, the former Director of AIPAC-Israel told WIN, “Pence demonstrated an intense passion for Israel and the Jewish people. But at the same time, he delivered important messages on the peace process that went beyond his natural constituency of Evangelicals and the right wing.
“He said that ‘the two state solution is a possibility if both sides want it,’ and he called on the Palestinians to come forward and to negotiate. He also included Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt as regional partners which are different than previous administrations.”
On Iran, Pence was steadfast on the need for a new nuclear deal and strong sanctions, while declaring that the US will never allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. Ben-David told WIN, “It was a beautiful moment when Pence directly spoke to the Iranian people during his Knesset address, giving encouragement to the brave Iranian protesters opposing their tyrannical government.”
According to Diker, “Pence’s comments on Iran are an affirmation of the Israeli view that Iran is a terrorist state. He raised issues usually championed by Prime Minister Netanyahu that were never addressed by the previous administration. The US and Israel are now completely on same page on the Iran nuclear issue.”
How will the Pence visit be remembered? According to Ben-David, “Pence has demonstrated that he is a very good friend of Israel, not just a political friend. This is a deep in the soul friendship that comes from religious belief and identification with the Jewish people and the State of Israel.”