By Harrison Cann
Vice President Mike Pence was the guest of honor and keynote speaker at a reenactment on Tuesday that celebrated the U.N.’s vote to establish the State of Israel.
According to The Jerusalem Post, the event took place in New York’s Queens Museum, the site of the U.N’s headquarters when the vote for Resolution 181 was called on November 29, 1947—exactly 70 years ago.
Despite Pence being neither Jewish nor Israeli, he has been a strong supporter of the state in the past, and plays a major role in the U.S.’s political climate today.
“The United States of America was proud to support Resolution 181. We were proud to be the first nation in the world to recognize Israel’s independence soon after. And we were proud to stand by Israel and the Jewish people ever since,” Pence said.
Students said that although they may not agree with everything Pence is doing in office, his being chosen to speak as the guest of honor reveals the importance of the U.S.-Israel partnership.
“I’m not a huge fan of Mike Pence or Trump, but if he supports the state of Israel, which I think he does, then I don’t have a problem with it,” said Noam Kaplan, a freshman aerospace engineering major.
Pence had visited Israel during his time as governor of Indiana and is also set to visit Israel next month to discuss peace agreements, according to Politico. During his time as a member of the House, he advocated for strong military defense aid for Israel and was an opponent of the Iran Nuclear Deal.
His support of Israel and conservative political views coincide with that of most Republicans, but Kaplan said this event doesn’t necessarily have to do with political party.
“I mean he’s the vice president… I don’t think it’s necessarily a political message in support of a party,” Kaplan said. “If there was a democrat in charge I think it would be a democrat, I just think they need to be important.”
Having a vice president speak at such an event displays the significance of it, regardless of who the vice president is, said Quentin Boustany, a junior psychology and economics major.
“It really shows emphasis on the importance of the Israeli-United States partnership and alliance, and that we have faith in each other,” Boustany said. “Being someone so high up it shows a lot of respect and commitment.”
Ethan Navarre, a junior government and politics and economics major, said that the U.S. values its relationship with Israel, so a vice president makes sense, but any acting or former president would have worked just as well.
“I think that the United States has historically stood strongly with Israel as a partner in the Middle East in trying to further democracy, and it would be reasonable for any president to be there,” Navarre said.
Trump visited Israel while in the Middle East this past May, and has voiced his support for the country alongside his vice president. The administration’s political support for Israel is apparent, but Kaplan said there could be other guests that would prove how much they care about the state itself.
“I don’t think Mike Pence has done much for Israel…other than give money, which the US does to many countries,” Kaplan said. “If they’re really going to choose someone that cares about Israel, they should probably choose someone outside the political establishment, like someone in charge of a pro-Israel institution.”
Pence was joined by U.N. officials, ambassadors and other world figures at the event. According to the Jerusalem Post, the hall was decorated to resemble that of the U.N. headquarters at the time of the 1947 vote.
Since the formation of the State of Israel, the U.S. has been its largest ally. Spanning 70 years, and going from President Truman to President Trump, it is evident that the U.S. is continuing its support.