Republican Indiana Governor Mike Pence spent Christmas with his family in Israel, part of a nine-day trip that includes a three-day jobs mission to meet with government and business leaders to discuss expanding economic ties between Indiana and the Jewish State.
According to a Facebook post by Caroline Glick, senior contributing editor of The Jerusalem Post:
As a visiting dignitary, Pence and his family were invited to PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas’s annual Christmas dinner, where he was notified that a car would be sent to fetch him to Abbas’s office for an unscheduled and unsolicited meeting at 10:45pm.
Governor Pence in his inimitable wisdom, politely and firmly declined the summons.
Pence’s support for Israel is not new.
During his tenure as congressman, representing Indiana’s 2nd and 6th Districts, Pence was regarded as one of Israel’s staunchest supporters.
“His support for Israel and the safety and security of her people is genuine, not politically motivated in the least,” said Protect Our Heritage PAC Co-Chair, Peggy Shapiro. “I have always been impressed with his knowledge of the region and the threats against Israel’s existence. He is a truly genuine friend of the Jewish people.”
In 2010, then-Congressman Pence revealed his disgust with the way the Obama administration was treating the Jewish State. As reported in The Hill, he told the Christian Broadcasting Network:
I believe the Obama administration is the most anti-Israel administration in the modern history of the state of Israel and our relationship with her. Israel is our most cherished ally. The American people support Israel’s right to self-defense. The American people support the Jewish state of Israel, and the American people expect the American president to unambiguously do the same.
He added, “I’ll be honest with you: I never thought I’d live to see the day that an American administration would denounce the Jewish state of Israel for rebuilding Jerusalem.”
According to the official Indiana government website, Mr. Pence is being accompanied by his wife and three children, along with three members of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and two members of the governor’s security detail. Private donations and personal funds are covering the cost of the trip, with the exception of the security detail paid for by Indiana taxpayers.
A call and email to the governor’s press secretary went unanswered.
A request for comment via phone and email to the Palestinian ambassador in Washington was also unanswered.