VP pool #1 -- remark at Israel Independence Day event

From: David Boyer [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 4:40 PM
Subject: VP pool #1 -- remark at Israel Independence Day event

Vice President Pence participated in a ceremony commemorating Israel Independence Day Tuesday afternoon, an event held in the Indian Treaty Room in the EEOB.

During his remarks, Mr. Pence said that President Trump, “as we speak, is giving serious consideration to moving the American embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.” He did not elaborate on that point, which received sustained applause from the several dozen guests.

Among the attendees were Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, Rep. Peter King of New York, Rep. Tom Reed of New York, Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, and White House aide Sebastian Gorka.

Mr. Pence was introduced by U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

The vice president said he wished a “happy independence day” moments earlier on the phone to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, calling Israel “our most cherished ally.”

“It’s humbling to be here with you on this remarkable, even hallowed day,” Mr. Pence told the gathering.

He said Sen. Orrin Hatch, who also spoke, has been “a great, great champion for Israel.”

The Israeli anniversary is “a moment that will be remembered for eternity," he said.

On this day in 1948, the vice president said, “nothing short of a miracle occurred… the State of Israel was reborn.”

He spoke of Israel “thriving … against all odds.”

“The people of Israel have turned hope into a future of security and prosperity,” he said.

“Under President Donald Trump, let me assure you this, if the world knows nothing else, the world will know this —  America stands with Israel. Her cause is our cause. Her values are our values. Her fight is our fight,” Mr. Pence said.

He spoke of the “deep alliance” between the U.S. and Israel.

“President Trump stands without apology for Israel, and he always will,” Mr. Pence said.

“The president is personally committed” to making progress toward peace talks, he said.

Referring to the effort to forge new peace talks with the Palestinians, he said, “While there undoubtedly will have to be compromises, you can rest assured, President Trump will never compromise the safety and security of the Jewish state of Israel…”

“Under President Trump, America has a leader who will call our enemies by their name. ISIS is on the run and we will hunt down and destroy terrorist organizations at their source… “

“This administration has put Iran on notice. Under President Donald Trump, the United States of America will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon,” Mr. Pence said.

He spoke of Jewish people persevering “through history’s darkest hour” of the Holocaust to form a Jewish state.

“It was love for each other, and a love of freedom, that has inspired the Jewish people to greatness…”

“Israel is an eternal testament to the undying fortitude of the Jewish people…” he said.

Speaking of the administration’s unwavering support for Israel, he concluded by saying “the best days for Israel and for America are yet to come.”

Mr. Friedman said it’s the first time in recent memory “that the White House has hosted a reception commemorating Israel Independence Day.”

He called Mr. Pence “a beacon of moral clarity, and a shining example of honor and decency” and a “champion of Israel.”

Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer said Mr. Pence has shown friendship to Israel “throughout his public life.”

Mr. Dermer recognized presidential adviser Jason Greenblatt in the audience, saying it’s “an absolute pleasure” working with him.

Speaking about Mr. Greenblatt’s mission to work for peace in the Middle East, Mr. Dermer joked, “How hard could that be?”

He said Trump “seeks to upgrade our alliance.”

Israel increasingly stands out “as a beacon of humanity and decency” in the region, Mr. Dermer said. He thanked Trump and Pence “for this profound expression of friendship.”

Sen. Hatch said, “Nobody supports Israel more than I do. I pray for you, and I will always, always fight for you.”


Dave Boyer

White House correspondent

The Washington Times

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