In his address at the 12th Annual Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Summit in Washington on Monday, US Vice President Mike Pence reassured the 4,000 attendees that the President Donald Trump’s administration stands strongly behind Israel, and that despite the delay, Trump will most assuredly fulfill his campaign promise to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“To the men and women of Christians United for Israel, this president hears you. This president stands with you,” Pence told the crowd. “And I promise you that the day will come when President Donald Trump moves the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It is not a question of if, it is only when.”
Jerusalem was central to Pence’s speech, and a major concern at the conference.
“Standing in Jerusalem, in that ancient and holy city, our president declared for all the world to hear that under his leadership the United States of America ‘will always stand with Israel,’” he added. “President Trump and I stand with Israel for the same reason every freedom-loving American stands with Israel, because her cause is our cause, her values are our values and her fight is our fight.”
This statement was indeed a welcome one to the members of CUFI, the largest pro-Israel grassroots organization in the United States. CUFI and its members supported Trump during his his campaign, in which he stated a strong support for Israel and promised to quickly move the US embassy, now in Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem, effectively recognizing it as Israel’s capital.
Hopes were high that this promise would materialize when the president visited Jerusalem in May, becoming the first sitting US president to pray at the Kotel (Western Wall). Nonetheless, just a few weeks after returning to the Oval Office, he signed a waiver that postponed enacting the 1995 law requiring the move of the embassy.
Earlier on Monday Pastor John Hagee, who founded CUFI 12 years ago, had expressed concerns that Trump was backsliding on his promise, but he held out hope for the future.
“Moving to Jerusalem would prove that our president stands by his word,” Hagee said.
Pence is deeply religious and many of his political positions are based on his Christian beliefs. This was certainly clear as he explained the reasons behind his support for Israel.
“To look at Israel is to see that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob keeps his promises,” he said. “Like all of you, my passion for Israel springs from my Christian faith. The songs of the land and the people of Israel were the anthems of my youth.
“As for me and my house, we pray for the peace of Jerusalem and all who call her home. It’s really the greatest privilege of my life to serve as vice president to a president who cares so deeply for our most cherished ally.”
Watch the full speech here: