ASHKELON, Israel – Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited Israel in early January to show his support for its ongoing war with Hamas. He told CBN News why standing with Israel now is important for America and Christians during this darkest hour for the people of Israel since the Holocaust.
As we walked in one devastated area near Gaza, Pence was moved. “It’s heartbreaking,” he said. “Words fail. We were just in (Kibbutz) Kfar Aza.”
We met with the former vice president following his visit to some of the Israeli border communities attacked on October 7th.
We sat down in the bombed-out children’s unit of the Barziai Hospital in Ashkelon.
“I must tell you that I’ve been to war zones during my time as vice president and during my time as a member of Congress,” Pence reflected. “But the sites that I saw today, the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on October 7th, and even a site like this – the ongoing war on Israel by Hamas – it just was pure evil.”
Pence came with a message for the United States and its closest ally.
“These are dire hours for Israel. I think it’s actually, it’s so important that the United States make it clear that we are with Israel today, we will be with Israel tomorrow, and we’ll be with Israel every day until the threat of Hamas terrorism from Gaza is eliminated once and for all,” he said.
He also emphasized that the show of support must be widespread.
“I believe the United States needs to make it clear to other actors in the region, whether it be Hezbollah in Lebanon to the north, or most especially to the mullahs in Tehran, that the United States will be here for Israel, and that we will be prepared if there’s an effort to widen this conflict in any way,” he cautioned.
The Biden administration has been trying to limit and redirect the fighting going on in Gaza. However, a large majority of Israeli Jews, including soldiers, want to continue the fight.
We asked, “How would you respond to some of the limits that the Biden administration is trying to put on Israel?”
“I just don’t accept it,” Pence responded. “I was in Washington DC on 9/11 and America did what we believed needed to be done – taking the fight to the enemy in Afghanistan. I remember the way our allies stood with us and they didn’t question how we were going about bringing those to justice that had attacked our country. They just stood with us and I think Israel deserves the same now.”
We also asked him about discussions concerning the day after the Gaza fighting and his thoughts about how U.S. administration officials talk about a revitalized Palestinian Authority taking over in Gaza.
He answered, “I think we’re still waiting for the Palestinian Authority to condemn what happened on October the 7th. Look, I think those considerations will be proper for the government of Israel. And I think we should leave those to the elected leadership here in Israel and we’ll support their determination.”
In January, 2018, Pence addressed Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.
In that speech, he noted, “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.”
“As I said in that speech,” he explained, “we stand with Israel because her cause is our cause. Her values are our values and her fight is our fight. And I really believe that this is a moment where that relationship has been more important than ever before. And I just thought it was important for me to come here as a former vice president, but also just as an everyday American of faith to look the people of Israel in the eye and say, we’re with you, we’ll stand with you, we’ll be with you until the peace and security is restored. And I believe Israel and America will be blessed for that.”