Staying Strong // A conversation with Mike Pence

Michael Richard Pence (born June 7, 1959) served as the 48th vice president of the United States from 2017 to 2021 under President Donald Trump. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as the 50th governor of Indiana from 2013 to 2017 and as a member of the US House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013. He is presently a candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

I had the great privilege of seeing you in January 2018 praying at Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall in Jerusalem. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think of you, and it gives me a warm feeling.
I remember it well, and I’m delighted to know that you were there. What a privilege it was for me, and on the other side of the partition, my wife.

I think you made history as the only American vice president to address the Knesset. Is that correct?
I’ll have to take your word for it, but I think I’ve heard that before.

After you addressed the Knesset and announced that the United States would be moving its embassy to Jerusalem, I tried to make my way over to MK Arye Deri, who was then minister of the interior, for an interview, but it was hard to reach him because your visit caused a lot of traffic jams. When I finally did speak to him, he was so emotional after your impassioned speech that he couldn’t get over it. You touched a lot of chords.
I call Israel “our most cherished ally,” and it was an incredible honor for me to be there and make that formal announcement. It was also very humbling to receive the response we did from a legislative body that is almost as divided as our Congress.

One of the themes you touched upon was terrorism and Iran. Unfortunately, even though the embassy has since been moved, the major problem facing the US, Israel and the rest of the Western world—Iran-sponsored terrorism—hasn’t changed. I would like to get your thoughts on that, especially after the recent massacre of Jewish people in the Holy Land.
Our hearts are broken. The heinous terrorist attack that claimed some 1,400 lives in Israel was an act of unspeakable violence, and I can assure you that people across America are praying for Israel. I truly believe that standing with Israel today, tomorrow and throughout all of the tough fighting that lies ahead is more important now than ever before in recent memory. I want the people of Israel to know that the American people are with you, and we will stay with you every step of the way. If I were president, I would be in touch with the Joint Special Operations Command, and I would give orders to Delta Force and the Navy SEALs to start working with the IDF and participate in the rescue of the hostages being held in Gaza. I would give Hamas a 12-hour ultimatum to release everyone they are holding captive, whether American or Israeli, and if they didn’t, we would come for them ourselves.

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