Pence: Trump 'Actively Considering' How to Move Embassy to Jerusalem

Speaking at event marking 70th anniversary of UN vote that established Israel, U.S. VP says 'America will always stand with Israel.'

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, November 15, 2017.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, November 15, 2017. Ricardo B. Brazziell/AP

NEW YORK — At an event marking the 70th anniversary of a United Nations vote that called for the establishment of Israel, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said that Trump is actively considering how to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

During his election campaign, Trump said repeatedly that he would move the embassy to Jerusalem, but postponed the move after coming into office.

Israeli Transportation Minister Israel Katz, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon and Ron Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, also spoke at the event, which was organized by the World Jewish Congress and the Israeli mission to the UN. United States Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin was among those present.

Pence makes remarks at event marking 70 years since UN Vote calling for establishment of Israel

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz

Pence received a standing ovation before peaking to the audience gathered in New York on Tuesday to commemorate 70 years since UN Resolution 181, which called for the partition of British Mandate Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.

“I bring the congratulations and support of a champion of Israel, President Donald Trump," he said. "He asked that I be here today to express our appreciation for all who support the Jewish people. The president sent me with a simple message: Under our administration, America will always stand with Israel."

To applause, Pence said that the Jewish people deserve their eternal homeland. He was also met with applause when he spoke of the right of the Jewish people “to be the masters of their own fate like all sovereign nations.”

Delegates and audience members wait for the start of the event commemorating 70 years since UN Resolution 181, November 28, 2017.
Shachar Peled

"The days of Israel-bashing at the UN are over," he added.

The U.S. was proud to support the 1947 resolution, Pence said, “and under Trump, America stands with Israel because her values are our values and her fight is our fight.”

“President Trump demonstrates our unwavering commitment and I will reaffirm that when me and my family visit next month. I will address members of Knesset and pay our respects at Yad Vashem,” he said.

"As we speak, President Donald Trump is actively considering when and how to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem," Pence said.

"As the president just made clear, our administration is also committed to finally bringing peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," he added. "In recent months we've made valuable achievements toward achieving that and while compromise will be necessary, you can be assured that Donald Trump will never compromise the safety and security of the Jewish State of Israel."

Speaking via video link, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Israel "a thriving democracy that helps so many people around the world" with many allies, "including the United States." He expressed his gratitude to Trump as well as Haley.

Katz said that "The Trump administration and Vice President Pence are defending Israel in many international organizations, and first, in the UN. The U.S. is helping Israel's security with advanced weapons and stronger intelligence security cooperation that ever before."

"Our relationships are warmer and stronger than ever," he said, calling Israel "an island of stability and democracy in a stormy region."

"In the same hall in which the resolution was passed 70 years ago, I turn to you ... on behalf of the government of Israel, it's time for the U.S. to recognize Jerusalem ... as the capital of the State of Israel," he said. "It is time to fulfill President Trump's promise and vision of the prophets and move the embassy to Jerusalem."

Speaking by video link from Jerusalem, President Reuven Rivlin said that "the State of Israel was born out of the 2,000-year hope to return to our homeland, to return to Zion, to Jerusalem. The vote in the United Nations 70 years ago ... gave Israel something very special: a place among the family of nations."

Danon, who is currently under scrutiny for allegedly getting jobs for Likud associates in exchange for their political support, was introduced as “a magician” and was praised as the first Israeli representative to chair a permanent UN committee.

Danon talked about difficulties of getting the two-thirds majority votes in order for the resolution to go through, and the successes of Israel since then. "I am here today to proudly proclaim that ... the miracle of Israel will prevail forever," he said.

Lauder reprimanded the UN for not defending the newly established Jewish state when it was attacked by its neighbors following the 1947 vote, and condemned their modern-day resolutions against the country.

"Why of the 26 different resolutions last year, 23 were against Israel, that shows the weakness of the UN and the fact that people voted politically and that’s not the right thing to do,” he said.

He praised the new American administration and U.S. President Donald Trump's appointment of Nikki Haley as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. “President Trump sent a remarkable woman to the UN ... Ambassador Haley is fearless and demands the truth.”

The commemoration of the 1947 vote is being held in the building that served as the UN headquarters from 1946 to 1950 and today is home to New York’s Queens Museum.

During the ceremony, country representatives sat in the seats that their colleagues sat in 70 years ago.