At the 12th annual meeting of Christians United for Israel in Washington DC, Vice President Mike Pence addressed the conferees on Monday and gave them assurances that both he and President Donald Trump proudly support Israel. Pence said, "And under President Donald Trump, if the world knows nothing else, the world will know this: America stands with Israel. Now and always."
Revealing that his love for Israel is based in Scripture, the vice president said: "To look at Israel is to see that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob keeps his promises." He went on to say, "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."
Noting that the strategic alliance is as much found on common values such as freedom and democracy as it is in faith, Pence said, "President Trump has made it clear: America stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel, as together we confront those enemies who threaten our people, our freedom, and our very way of life."
Referring to an issue that has united both Jewish and Christian Zionists, Pence spoke of an expected move of the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the ancient and modern capital of Israel: Jerusalem. To a standing ovation, Pence said, "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."
In the Washington Post, Dan Hummel wrote of Pence: “His speech marks a fundamental change in the language that the White House has historically employed to articulate the United States’ relationship with Israel.” Hummel is a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School. “Christian Zionists argue that the fate of the United States hinges on how fervently it supports Israel,” Hummel wrote.
CUFI claims to be the “largest pro-Israel group in the United States,” and boasts more than 3 million members. It was founded in 2006 by Pastor John Hagee, an evangelist from San Antonio who endorsed Donald Trump for president in May 2016. On Monday, nevertheless, Hagee expressed concern whether the Trump administration will make good on its promise to move the American embassy to Jerusalem. On Tuesday, CUFI members will go to Capitol Hill and seek to speak with members of Congress to sound them out on their support for Israel.