Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who is in the middle of a nine day trip to Israel, met yesterday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The meeting was part of a busy day in Israel for Pence, which included stops at a Holocaust memorial and a meeting with the Israeli minister of economy. It’s the first of three days he’ll spend on an “economic development mission to bring jobs and investment to Indiana,” his office said — and part of a broader nine-day trip that’s included a visit to the Western Wall and time spent with Israeli troops. …
It’s the governor’s fifth “international job-hunting mission” as governor, according to his office, and while the trip was ostensibly organized around an economic development agenda, it’s also a signal he’s contemplating a presidential run.
In his meeting with Netanyahu (embedded below), Pence, a former Congressman, made a point of emphasizing American support for Israel.
From my 12 years on Capitol Hill, from my two years leading the great State of Indiana, I can say that support for Israel in the United States has never been stronger and the strong and broad and bipartisan support for the State of Israel I know will be reflected in decisions that our Congress makes in the months ahead to preserve the support the United States provides to Israel, to ensure that Israel is able to enter into negotiations to achieve defensible borders and secure its own peace and security in the years ahead. And I just, I would pledge to you from my vantage point in the heart of the heartland as well that not just during this very special time of the year for people who share my tradition, but all throughout the year, the appreciation for the State of Israel and the partnership between the State of Israel and America has never been stronger and from the heart of the heartland, I say thank you: Thank you for your leadership and thank you for welcoming us back to this great country.
Although Pence met with Netanyahu and attended a Christmas hosted by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, he declined to meet the Palestinian leader one-on-one.
The Indianapolis Star reports Pence also attended a Christmas Eve dinner hosted by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas but declined a head table seat and a private meeting.
“The governor is in Israel to strengthen economic ties between Indiana and Israel, to support Israel and to enjoy Christmas with his family. He declined to meet with President Abbas because that was not the purpose of the trip,” Pence spokeswoman Kara Brooks told the Star.
Earlier this year, Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts visited Israel as part of a trade mission to boost that state’s technology ties to Israel.
[Photo: IsraeliPM / YouTube ]