Describing US President Donald Trump as ‘a man of action’, Vice President Mike Pence on Monday said that for the first time “in a long time” the White House has been occupied by a person who will stand by its allies. “He’s a man of action,” Pence said in his address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference. “For the first time in a long time, America has a president who will stand with our allies and stand up to our enemies. Under President Donald Trump, if the world knows nothing else, the world will know this; America stands with Israel,” Pence said amidst applause from the audience.
Trump stands with Israel “because its cause is America’s cause”, he said, adding that the US was considering moving its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. The move will signal America’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
“After decades of simply talking about it, the president of the United States is giving serious consideration to moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” he said. Pence said Trump is “invested” in finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A few weeks ago he had sent Jason Greenblatt, his special representative for international negotiations, to Israel and the Palestinian territories “to bring a message that President Trump is committed to forging a lasting peace in the Middle East.”
However, he said, Trump will “never compromise the safety and security of the Jewish State of Israel.” “And together, we will confront those enemies who threaten our people and all that we hold dear,” he added.
Pence also said that the US will hunt down and destroy the Islamic State “at its source”. “Just last week in London, in the shadow of Parliament, radical Islamic terrorism reared its ugly head, claiming the lives of innocent civilians, including an American. At this very moment, our administration is crafting plans to defeat radical Islamic terrorism so it can no longer bring violence to our enemies or inspire violence here at home,” Pence said.
“And let me be clear. President Trump is working with our military, we will hunt down and destroy ISIS at its source so it can no longer threaten our people, our allies or our most cherished ally, Israel,” he said.
Pence said this administration has put Iran on notice. America, he said, will no longer tolerate Iran’s efforts to destabilise the region and jeopardise Israel’s security.
“The Ayatollahs in Tehran openly admit their desire to wipe Israel off the map and drive its people into the sea. For decades, Iran has funnelled weapons and cash to terrorists in Lebanon, Syria and the Gaza Strip,” he said.
“They’ve gone to great lengths to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. Due to the disastrous end of nuclear-related sanctions under the Iran deal, they now have additional resources to devote to sowing chaos and imperilling Israel,” Pence said.
“So let me be clear. Under President Donald Trump, the United States of America will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. This is our solemn promise to you, to Israel and to the world,” he told the predominately Jewish audience.