Remarks by Vice President Pence and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel Before Bilateral Meeting

POLIN Museum of the History of the Polish Jews

Warsaw, Poland

14 February 2019

VICE PRESIDENT PENCE:  Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for the opportunity to meet with you.  Israel is our cherished ally.  And I bring greetings from your friend, the President of the United States, who is grateful for your leadership, grateful for your commitment to this historic alliance.

But let me also say it’s very humbling for me to be here with you in this very special place on this sacred ground, to hear a prayer sung, to remember the heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto.  To be able to share this moment with you and with members of the Jewish community here in Poland is deeply meaningful, and it reminds us of the strength of the bond between our two people that is unbreakable.

And meeting with you today, speaking of common concerns in the region and in the world, it’s my great honor to reaffirm that alliance and that commitment and our gratitude to you.

So, thank you very much.

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU:  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Mr. Vice President, the fact that we’re meeting here at the site of the Warsaw Ghetto is, as you said, deeply meaningful.  It’s merely some 75 years ago that the Jewish people were absolutely defenseless.  We were slaughtered by the millions here, by the Nazis and their collaborators.  And we could do nothing.

I think it’s significant in that, in this hour of despair, right here on this ground, the young Jewish heroes, with literally their last ounce of strength, withstood against thousands of Nazi troops.  They said, “If we must die, let us die as free men and women, and let us save the honor of the Jewish people.”

Little did they know that they were actually, in many ways, symbolizing the rebirth of the Jewish people, the rebirth of the Jewish state, which was soon to come, and the rebirth of the Jewish army that protects now the Jewish future.

When the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising took place, no one came here to help us.  Today, we have built our own capacities to defend ourselves, but we have a great friend.  And the greatest friend of all is the United States of America.  There is no alliance like ours.  There is no partnership like ours.  These are not words.  They don’t just come from the logic of fact; they come from the wellsprings of a heart.

There is a deep bond of sympathy and identification between the American people and the people of Israel, and vice versa.  We know we have no better friend in the world than the United States of America.  And we have, I’m sure, an equal knowledge on your part that you have no better friend and ally than Israel.

I know that you know this.  I know that President Trump knows this.  We appreciate his stalwart stance, his decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem, the support of your administration for Israel in the United Nations, which has been stellar.

This conference — in which you’ve brought together some 60 foreign ministers, and Arab foreign ministers with an Israeli prime minister, for the first time to stand together against Iran in such clarity, such unity — I think this is something that we deeply appreciate.  We have no better friends, and we know it.

And I want you to know, with your exceptional delegation with whom we work closely, that we look forward to continuing to strengthen this already incredibly strong alliance.

So I want to thank you for everything that you have done and are doing, and will do, to strengthen the Jewish State.  Thank you.

VICE PRESIDENT PENCE:  Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister.

Q    Prime Minister Netanyahu, will you support the Trump administration’s peace plan?  It appears, today, Mr. Kushner is speaking out about it.

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU:  I look forward to receiving the plan, and we’ll look at it once it’s presented.  I have to say that I know that the Trump administration seeks to ensure the security of Israel for generations.  And even though I always say, based on the experience that we endured here, that Israel must always be able to defend itself, by itself, against any threat, it’s comforting to know that we have such a strong ally in the United States of America.