God Bless VP Pence

 

Notice anything unusual about the White House official transcript of VP Pence’s speech?

That’s right. It says that Jerusalem is in Israel.

Here’s a reminder of President Obama’s Jerusalem speech:

President Obama avoided the Knesset. And refused to acknowledge that Jerusalem is in Israel. And no, that wasn’t an oversight. When President Obama spoke at President Shimon Peres’ funeral, they accidentally wrote Jerusalem, Israel and then corrected the record.

Here are the highlights of the Vice President’s speech, which brought some tears to some of our eyes (bolding is mine):

It is deeply humbling for me to stand before this vibrant democracy — (applause) — to have the great honor to address this Knesset, the first Vice President of the United States to be afforded that privilege here in Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel. (Applause.)

I am here to convey a simple message from the heart of the American people: America stands with Israel. (Applause.)

We stand with Israel because your cause is our cause, your values are our values, and your fight is our fight.

We stand with Israel because we believe in right over wrong, in good over evil, and in liberty over tyranny.

We stand with Israel because that’s what Americans have always done, and so has it been since my country’s earliest days.

The people of the United States have always held a special affection and admiration for the people of the Book.

In the story of the Jews, we’ve always seen the story of America. It is the story of an exodus, a journey from persecution to freedom, a story that shows the power of faith and the promise of hope.

My country’s very first settlers also saw themselves as pilgrims, sent by Providence, to build a new Promised Land. The songs and stories of the people of Israel were their anthems, and they faithfully taught them to their children, and do to this day. And our founders, as others have said, turned to the wisdom of the Hebrew Bible for direction, guidance, and inspiration.

America’s first President, George Washington, wrote with favor to “the children of the stock of Abraham.” Our second President, John Adams, declared that the Jews, in his words, “have done more to civilize man than any other nation.”

And your story inspired my forebears to create what our 16th President called a “new birth of freedom.” And down through the generations, the American people became fierce advocates of the Jewish people’s aspiration to return to the land of your forefathers — (applause) — to claim your own new birth of freedom in your beloved homeland.

The Jewish people held fast to a promise through all the ages, written so long ago, that “even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens,” from there He would gather and bring you back to the land which your fathers possessed.

Through a 2,000-year exile, the longest of any people, anywhere, through conquests and expulsions, inquisitions and pogroms, the Jewish people held on to this promise, and they held on to it through the longest and darkest of nights.

We marvel at the faith and resilience of your people, who just three years after walking beneath the shadow of death, rose up from the ashes to resurrect yourselves, to reclaim a Jewish future, and to rebuild the Jewish state. (Applause.)

And this April, we will mark the day when the Jewish people answered that ancient question — can a country be born in a day, can a nation be born in a moment? — as the State of Israel celebrates the 70th anniversary of its birth. (Applause.)

As you prepare to commemorate this historic milestone, I say, along with the good people of Israel, here and around the world: Shehecheyanu, v’kiyimanu, v’higiyanu la’z’man ha’zeh. [This is from a Hebrew blessing thanking God for letting us live to see and experience great things.] (Applause.)

Seventy years ago, the United States was proud to be the first nation in the world to recognize the State of Israel.

Last month, President Donald Trump made history. He righted a 70-year wrong; he kept his word to the American people when he announced that the United States of America will finally acknowledge Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. (Applause.)

The Jewish people’s unbreakable bond to this sacred city reaches back more than 3,000 years. It was here, in Jerusalem, on Mount Moriah, that Abraham offered his son, Isaac, and was credited with righteousness for his faith in God.

It was here, in Jerusalem, that King David consecrated the capital of the Kingdom of Israel. And since its rebirth, the modern State of Israel has called this city the seat of its government.

Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. And, as such, President Trump has directed the State Department to immediately begin preparations to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (Applause.) In the weeks ahead, our administration will advance its plan to open the United States Embassy in Jerusalem, and that United States Embassy will open before the end of next year. (Applause.)

By finally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the United States has chosen fact over fiction. And fact is the only true foundation for a just and lasting peace.

We know Israelis want peace, and we know that Israelis need no lectures on the price of war. The people of Israel know the terrible price all too well. Your Prime Minister knows that price. He himself was nearly killed in battle, and his beloved brother Yoni was killed while courageously leading the Entebbe hostage rescue 41 years ago.

And you, who know the price of war, know best what the blessings of peace can bring — to you, to your children, and future generations.

The United States of America will never compromise the safety and security of the State of Israel. (Applause.) Any peace agreement must guarantee Israel’s ability to defend itself by itself.

Now, there are those who believe that the world can’t change; that we’re destined to engage in endless violence; that age-old conflicts can’t be solved; and that hope itself is an illusion. But, my friends, President Trump doesn’t believe it. I don’t believe it. And neither do you.

I stand here today in the city whose very name means peace. And [as] I stand here, I know that peace is possible because history records that Israel has made the very difficult decisions to achieve peace with its neighbors in the past.

The winds of change can already be witnessed across the Middle East. Longstanding enemies are becoming partners. Old foes are finding new ground for cooperation. And the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael are coming together in common cause as never before.

Together with our allies, we will continue to bring the full force of our might to drive radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the Earth. (Applause.)

I’m pleased to report that, thanks to the courage of our armed forces and our allies, at this very moment ISIS is on the run, their capital has fallen, their so-called caliphate has crumbled. And you can be assured we will not rest, we will not relent, until we hunt down and destroy ISIS at its source, so it can no longer threaten our people, our allies, or our very way of life. (Applause.)

As President Trump made clear in Saudi Arabia, we will continue to stand with our allies and stand up to our enemies. We will work with all of our partners to starve, in his words, “terrorists of their territory, their funding, and the false allure of their craven ideology.”

The United States has redirected funding from ineffective relief efforts. And, for the first time, we are providing direct support to Christian and other religious minorities as they rebuild their communities after years of repression and war. (Applause.)

The United States has already committed more than $110 million to assist Christian and other religious minorities across the wider Middle East. And we urge our allies — here in Israel, in Europe, and across the world — to join us in this cause. Let’s work together to restore the rich splendor of religious diversity across the Middle East, so that all faiths may once again flourish in the lands where they were born. (Applause.)

The brutal regime in Iran is merely a brutal dictatorship that seeks to dominate its citizens and deny them of their most fundamental rights. History has proven, those who dominate their own people rarely stop there. And increasingly, we see Iran seeking to dominate the wider Arab world.

The Iran nuclear deal is a disaster, and the United States of America will no longer certify this ill-conceived agreement. (Applause.)

Unless the Iran nuclear deal is fixed, President Trump has said the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal immediately. (Applause.)

Whatever the outcome of those negotiations, today I have a solemn promise to Israel, to all the Middle East, and to the world: The United States of America will never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. (Applause.) Beyond the nuclear deal, we will also no longer tolerate Iran’s support of terrorism, or its brutal attempts to suppress its own people.

But I have another message today — a better message — from the people of America to the proud and great people of Iran: We are your friends, and the day is coming when you will be free from the evil regime that suffocates your dreams and buries your hopes. (Applause.) And when your day of liberation finally comes, we say to the good people of Iran, the friendship between our peoples will blossom once again. (Applause.)

While at times it may seem hard to see, those who call the Middle East their home have more that unites them than divides them — not only in common threats, but in the common hope for a future of security and prosperity and peace, and in the common ancestry of faith that runs throughout these very lands.

Nearly 4,000 years ago, a man left his home in Ur of the Chaldeans to travel here, to Israel. He ruled no empire, he wore no crown, he commanded no armies, he performed no miracles, delivered no prophecies, yet to him was promised “descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky.”

Today, Jews, Christians, and Muslims — more than half the population of the Earth, and nearly all the people of the Middle East — claim Abraham as their forefather in faith. Only steps from here, in the Old City of Jerusalem, we see the followers of these three great religions in constant contact with one another. And we see each faith come to life in new and renewed ways every day.

At the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, we see a Christian child receiving the gift of grace, in baptism. At the Western Wall, we see a young Jewish boy being bar-mitzvahed. And at the Haram al-Sharif, we see young Muslims, heads bowed in prayer.

In Jerusalem, we see all this and more. And so today, as I stand in Abraham’s “Promised Land,” I believe that all who cherish freedom, and seek a brighter future, should cast their eyes here to this place and marvel at what they behold.

How unlikely was Israel’s birth; how more unlikely has been her survival. And how confounding, and against the odds, has been her thriving. You have turned the desert into a garden, scarcity into plenty, sickness into health, and you turned hope into a future.

Israel is like a tree that has grown deep roots in the soil of your forefathers, yet as it grows, it reaches ever closer to the heavens. And today and every day, the Jewish State of Israel, and all the Jewish people, bear witness to God’s faithfulness, as well as your own.

It was the faith of the Jewish people that gathered the scattered fragments of a people and made them whole again; that took the language of the Bible and the landscape of the Psalms and made them live again. And it was faith that rebuilt the ruins of Jerusalem and made them strong again.

The miracle of Israel is an inspiration to the world. And the United States of America is proud to stand with Israel and her people, as allies and cherished friends. (Applause.)

And so we will “pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” that “those who love you be secure,” that “there be peace within your walls, and security in your citadels.”

And we will work and strive for that brighter future where everyone who calls this ancient land their home shall sit “under their vine and fig tree, and none shall make them afraid.”

With an unshakable bond between our people, and our shared commitment to freedom, I say from my heart: May God bless the Jewish people, may God bless the State of Israel and all who call these lands their home, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.

May God bless Vice President Pence, and the American people. May we always stand together.

There are 22 comments.

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  1. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Pence should be ashamed for squandering all the good will President Obama’s disdain for Israel built up with Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, Isis, Boko Haram and the Iranian Mullahs.  Now because of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital, those groups will hate us. Nice going, Mr. Pence.

    • #1
  2. Gil Reich Inactive
    Gil Reich
    @GilReich

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    Pence should be ashamed for squandering all the good will President Obama’s disdain for Israel built up with Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, Isis, Boko Haram and the Iranian Mullahs. Now because of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital, those groups will hate us. Nice going, Mr. Pence.

    If this were Twitter instead of Ricochet, Poe’s Law would kick in and I’d have no idea whether or not you were being ironic.

    • #2
  3. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    That’s a terrific speech, isn’t it?

    • #3
  4. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    Not to take anything away from the vice-president, but I couldn’t help but wonder if a man like the young Peter Robinson might have had a hand in this.

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    My heart is in my throat, Gil. This was a wonderful speech. And Pence is smart enough to make certain that everything he stated has the full support of the administration. There’s a part of me that wants to say, yeah, but . . . but I’ll just revel in the moment. Thanks for sharing this. Baruch Hashem

    • #5
  6. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Man, that’s one great speech.  Truly great.

    I choked up when I read the passage about the prime minister’s beloved brother being killed during the hostage rescue at Entebbe. I’ve always thought that the rescue at Entebbe was one of the greatest military rescues of all time.  What brave men!

    Kent

    • #6
  7. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Is there any other country in the world that doesn’t get its own choice of capitol city recognized?

     

    • #7
  8. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    Gil, that speech teared me up and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

    • #8
  9. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Kudos to for Mike Pence!  I hope this is the new normal.

    I am going to blatantly use this post to show off a picture I had taken with Speaker of the Knesset, Yoel Edelstein.

    Ignore the balloon over my head, it was Purim.  My wife and I visited Israel a few years ago and we stayed with friends who just happened to live in the same small settlement as Edelstein.   It was slightly bizarre attending services at a tiny Synagogue while armed soldiers stood at the entrance ways (for Edelstein’s protection.)

    • #9
  10. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    There’s a new sheriff in town here and he’s made friends with the sheriff over in the Middle East. The bandits over there had better look out.

    Yeah, Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS … I’m lookin’ at you.

    • #10
  11. Gil Reich Inactive
    Gil Reich
    @GilReich

    Steven Seward (View Comment):
    Kudos to for Mike Pence! I hope this is the new normal.

    I am going to blatantly use this post to show off a picture I had taken with Speaker of the Knesset, Yoel Edelstein.

    Ignore the balloon over my head, it was Purim. My wife and I visited Israel a few years ago and we stayed with friends who just happened to live in the same small settlement as Edelstein. It was slightly bizarre attending services at a tiny Synagogue while armed soldiers stood at the entrance ways (for Edelstein’s protection.)

    I love Yuli Edelstein. He’s the best version of the Israel story, in a person. Every time I hear him I get goosebumps and think about how the evil empire that imprisoned him is gone, and he’s Speaker of the Knesset.

    • #11
  12. Gil Reich Inactive
    Gil Reich
    @GilReich

    JoelB (View Comment):
    Not to take anything away from the vice-president, but I couldn’t help but wonder if a man like the young Peter Robinson might have had a hand in this.

    Kudos to the speech writers. I’d be shocked if there wasn’t an Orthodox Zionist Jew involved in writing that speech. So many of those notes were so pitch-perfect to my ears that there must have been someone who shares my upbringing in that process.

    • #12
  13. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    At the 2020 Republican Party Convention, the Republican Party should play a recording of Pence giving this speech to the Knesset. It should be introduced with a screen emblazoned with the words, “This is what statesmanship looks like.”

    • #13
  14. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    MarciN (View Comment):
    At the 2020 Republican Party Convention, the Republican Party should play a recording of Pence giving this speech to the Knesset. It should be introduced with a screen emblazoned with the words, “This is what statesmanship looks like.”

    _________

    Marci, indeed.  I would love to see it happen.

    Kent

    • #14
  15. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Thanks for posting this @gilreich. I saw a little of this last night on Fox News. You know there are still many even here at Ricochet who express disdain for this Presidency. And yet from immigration to trade to taxes to foreign relations to the courts and for business, Trump and Pence are like a dream to me. For the past eight years of Obama, and even some of the GW Bush times, this country was foreign to me. Now we are behaving like the America I was raised to love. We support our allies and treat them with respect. Our enemies know who they are and understand the hell they will unearth if they jack with us. Our President has the guts to say no to a stupid climate agreement that was designed, as are all “worldwide agreements”, to have the USA pay while they scold. And now with Israel, our behavior finally makes sense. We are truly aligning with a western enlightened country and people rather than murderous fanatics who take our money, lie , and slit our throats with their every opportunity. Gee, makes sense to me.

    • #15
  16. Gil Reich Inactive
    Gil Reich
    @GilReich

    cdor (View Comment):
    Thanks for posting this @gilreich. I saw a little of this last night on Fox News. You know there are still many even here at Ricochet who express disdain for this Presidency. And yet from immigration to trade to taxes to foreign relations to the courts and for business, Trump and Pence are like a dream to me. For the past eight years of Obama, and even some of the GW Bush times, this country was foreign to me. Now we are behaving like the America I was raised to love. We support our allies and treat them with respect. Our enemies know who they are and understand the hell they will unearth if they jack with us. Our President has the guts to say no to a stupid climate agreement that was designed, as are all “worldwide agreements”, to have the USA pay while they scold. And now with Israel, our behavior finally makes sense. We are truly aligning with a western enlightened country and people rather than murderous fanatics who take our money, lie , and slit our throats with their every opportunity. Gee, makes sense to me.

    Thanks. And agreed. I understand why people object to him. But he (and the people working for him) have been doing some great things.

    • #16
  17. Arizona Patriot Member
    Arizona Patriot
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Gil Reich (View Comment):

    JoelB (View Comment):
    Not to take anything away from the vice-president, but I couldn’t help but wonder if a man like the young Peter Robinson might have had a hand in this.

    Kudos to the speech writers. I’d be shocked if there wasn’t an Orthodox Zionist Jew involved in writing that speech. So many of those notes were so pitch-perfect to my ears that there must have been someone who shares my upbringing in that process.

    Perhaps, although my 14 years as an evangelical Christian suggests to me that we think exactly the same way. These ideas are precisely what my Bible study friends and I discuss when we speak of Israel.

    • #17
  18. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Hear, hear!!!  One year into the Trump presidency and I am just thrilled with this administration’s policies and agenda.

    • #18
  19. Gil Reich Inactive
    Gil Reich
    @GilReich

    Arizona Patriot (View Comment):

    Gil Reich (View Comment):

    JoelB (View Comment):
    Not to take anything away from the vice-president, but I couldn’t help but wonder if a man like the young Peter Robinson might have had a hand in this.

    Kudos to the speech writers. I’d be shocked if there wasn’t an Orthodox Zionist Jew involved in writing that speech. So many of those notes were so pitch-perfect to my ears that there must have been someone who shares my upbringing in that process.

    Perhaps, although my 14 years as an evangelical Christian suggests to me that we think exactly the same way. These ideas are precisely what my Bible study friends and I discuss when we speak of Israel.

    That’s interesting. I’ve been wondering about that. Glad to hear, thanks.

    I’ll add one more point. There’s a world of difference to my Jewish ears between “the Old Testament” and “the Hebrew Bible.” I appreciate the veep using the latter term.

    • #19
  20. notmarx Member
    notmarx
    @notmarx

    Is it pedantic to mention the psalm Vice President Pence quotes near his speech’s end?  It’s #122 (#121 Douay-Rheims), in the New International Version, a translation I believe is favored by Evangelicals.

    Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
    “May those who love you be secure.
    May there be peace within your walls
    and security within your citadels.”

    The psalm begins:

    I rejoiced with those who said to me,
    “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
    Our feet are standing
    in your gates, Jerusalem.

    Monsignor Knox’s version of verse 2 seems especially apt here:

    Within thy gates, Jerusalem, our feet stand at last…

    ***

    What I’m most familiar with, and have long loved, is from a version of the Douay in The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the poetic force of its beginning has in it somehow the joy I keep feeling since our President kept America’s promise to Israel:

    I was glad at the things that were said unto me:

    We will go into the house of the Lord;

    ​   Our feet were wont to stand

    In thy courts, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem.  ​

     

     

     

     

     

    • #20
  21. Gil Reich Inactive
    Gil Reich
    @GilReich

    Gil Reich (View Comment):

    Arizona Patriot (View Comment):

    Gil Reich (View Comment):

    JoelB (View Comment):
    Not to take anything away from the vice-president, but I couldn’t help but wonder if a man like the young Peter Robinson might have had a hand in this.

    Kudos to the speech writers. I’d be shocked if there wasn’t an Orthodox Zionist Jew involved in writing that speech. So many of those notes were so pitch-perfect to my ears that there must have been someone who shares my upbringing in that process.

    Perhaps, although my 14 years as an evangelical Christian suggests to me that we think exactly the same way. These ideas are precisely what my Bible study friends and I discuss when we speak of Israel.

    That’s interesting. I’ve been wondering about that. Glad to hear, thanks.

    I’ll add one more point. There’s a world of difference to my Jewish ears between “the Old Testament” and “the Hebrew Bible.” I appreciate the veep using the latter term.

    We have a verdict! Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (who is remarkable) played a large role in drafting the speech. https://www.timesofisrael.com/britains-former-chief-rabbi-behind-pences-biblical-knesset-address/

    May Jews and Christians always work together this well.

    • #21
  22. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Gil Reich (View Comment):

    We have a verdict! Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (who is remarkable) played a large role in drafting the speech. https://www.timesofisrael.com/britains-former-chief-rabbi-behind-pences-biblical-knesset-address/

     

    My wife is going to be thrilled about this.  She reads his books and parshas on a regular basis.  He’s one of my favorite Torah scholars as well!

     

    • #22

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