The Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, spent Christmas in Israel with his family, as part of a nine-day vacation, which includes some work meetings with government and business leaders.
While in Israel, as a visiting dignitary, Pence and his family were invited to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' annual Christmas dinner in Ramallah.
According to Caroline Glick, a senior contributing editor for The Jerusalem Post, in a Facebook post, Pence was notified that a car would be sent to pick him up and bring him to Abbas' office for an "unscheduled and unsolicited meeting" at 10:45 p.m.
"Governor Pence," Glick wrote, "in his inimitable wisdom, politely and firmly declined the summons."
Pence's support for the Jewish State is well-known.
During his tenure as Indiana congressman, Pence was considered one of Israel's staunchest government supporters.
“His support for Israel and the safety and security of her people is genuine, not politically motivated in the least,” said Protect Our Heritage PAC Co-Chair, Peggy Shapiro. "Protect Our Heritage PAC is an organization dedicated to maintaining the American-Israeli alliance."
“I have always been impressed with his knowledge of the region and the threats against Israel’s existence. He is a truly genuine friend of the Jewish people," she added.
In 2010, then-Congressman Pence, openly addressed his disgust with how US President Barack Obama's administration was treating Israel.
As reported in The Hill, Pence stressed to the Christian Broadcasting Network:
"I believe the Obama administration is the most anti-Israel administration in the modern history of the state of Israel and our relationship with her. Israel is our most cherished ally. The American people support Israel’s right to self-defense. The American people support the Jewish state of Israel, and the American people expect the American president to unambiguously do the same."
“I’ll be honest with you: I never thought I’d live to see the day that an American administration would denounce the Jewish state of Israel for rebuilding Jerusalem,” Pence added.
According to the Indiana government's official website, Governor Pence is joined by his wife and three children as well as members of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and two members of his security detail.
In addition to the family's holiday vacation, the purpose of Pence's trip is to discuss expanding economic ties between Indiana and the Jewish State.