Vice President Mike Pence didn't dally in getting to the point of his speaking Monday night at the 12th Annual Christians United for Israel Washington Summit.
"Now, as the Good Book says, 'If you owe debts, pay debts. If honor, then honor. If respect, then respect,'" he said at the outset. "I'm really here on the president's behalf, and our entire team's behalf, to pay a debt of gratitude to all of you who helped elect a president who is fighting every single day to defend faith, restore freedom and strengthen America's unbreakable bond with our most cherished ally, Israel."
Discussing President Donald Trump's visit last month to Israel, he noted the Jewish state was one of the very first countries he visited after taking office, and that while standing in Jerusalem, he had declared "for all the world to hear" that under his leadership, the U.S. would always stand with Israel. He said CUFI proves the truth in the president's words when he said during that foreign visit that "the bond between America and Israel is woven together in the hearts of our people."
"You know it was only 11 years ago that my friend Pastor John Hagee had the courage and vision to unite American Christians to rally around those ancient words, 'For Zion's sake, I will not keep silent,'" he said. "Pastor John Hagee, I thank you for your leadership on behalf of this nation and the Jewish state of Israel. Today, through Christians United for Israel, more than 3.3 million believers raised their voices, have not been silent in support of Israel, and you can be heard in every city in town across America and in every office on Capitol Hill.
"Rest assured, the man down the street at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue hears you, too."
The vice president said that when he looks at Israel, he sees that "the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob keeps his promises." Paraphrasing Ezekiel 37, he added that as unlikely as Israel's birth has been, so has been her survival—and her thriving.
"Since the moment of their independence, the Jewish people have awed the world with their strength of will and their strength of character," he said. "Indeed, anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear must acknowledge that Israel is a living testimony to the power of hope over hate and so will she always be. The Jewish people have turned the desert into a garden, sickness into health, scarcity into plenty, despair into hope and slander into blessings, rebuking all who condemn them not for what they do wrong, but for what they do right.
"Under President Donald Trump, if the world knows nothing else, the world will know this America stands with Israel now and always. President Trump and I stand with Israel for the same reason every freedom-loving American stands with Israel: because her cause is our cause, her values are our values and her fight is our fight."
You can watch the full speech in the video clip above.