U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen were on the clock Tuesday afternoon when they arrived for a quick visit to Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.
It was their final stop before heading to Ben Gurion International Airport to board Air Force Two to return to Washington DC, following a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum, after a morning meeting with President Reuven Rivlin.
The vice president was accompanied during the visit by U.S. Ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman and Special Representative to International Negotiations Jason D. Greenblatt. No Israeli government officials were present for the visit.
Wearing a somber black yarmulka for the event, Pence was escorted by Chief Rabbi of the Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, and by Western Wall Heritage Foundation Director Mordechai Eliav – the same escort provided to U.S. President Donald Trump during his visit last May.
Rabbi Rabinovich pointed out to the vice president as they walked that they were just beneath the site of the Temple Mount, where “King Solomon built the Temple. We draw our strength from our deep connection to the Land of the Bible, and our commitment to the words of the Prophets,” the rabbi told Pence.
From there it was a short, brisk walk for the vice president to reach the Wall, and had already prepared his note to place within its crevices. He then said a short personal prayer, and then stepped away.
Karen Pence prayed separately in the women’s section of the Western Wall.
The vice president signed the Western Wall Guest Book at the end of his visit, writing: “It is my great honor to pray here at this sacred place. God bless the Jewish people and God bless the state of Israel always.”
Following his visit, Pence told reporters he found the experience “inspiring.”