By Jackson Richman
This week, President Donald Trump announced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be replaced by CIA director Mike Pompeo. Were Pompeo to be confirmed as the nation’s top diplomat, he would the most pro-Israel Secretary of State yet.
“Mike Pompeo has been appointed to serve as Secretary of State by President Trump, one of the staunchest supporters of Israel among modern-era U.S. Presidents,” geopolitical strategist John Sitilides said. “One reason Rex Tillerson is no longer Secretary of State is his disagreement with President Trump on overarching foreign policy and national security issues confronting our Nation and our allies worldwide, including the security of Israel.”
Pompeo’s rise to fame in the pro-Israel community began in July 2015 when the then-Kansas congressman, along with Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), exposed the side deals the International Atomic Energy Agency made with Iran regarding inspections and other parts of the regime’s nuclear program amid the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Agreement between the United States and other members of the P5+1, and Iran.
The following November, Pompeo traveled to Israel and said that “Prime Minister Netanyahu is a true partner of the American people” and that the Israeli leader’s efforts to prevent a nuclear Iran are “incredibly admirable and deeply appreciated.”
Pompeo added that “[w]e must stand with our ally Israel and put a stop to terrorism. Ongoing attacks by the Palestinians serve only to distance the prospect of peace.”
With National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster reportedly on his way out, it is likely he will be replaced by Iran hawk and former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton, which only confirms the soon-to-be administration calculus on Iran: Barring a surprise, the U.S. will finally withdraw from what was the worst deal since Munich 1938.
The Republican Jewish Coalition has praised Pompeo for his support of Israel and his hawkish stance against Iran and the nuclear deal, which both threaten the Jewish State. “Throughout his years of public service, Rep. Pompeo has been a friend of American Jews and a true friend of Israel,” RJC executive director Matt Brooks said when Pompeo was nominated as CIA director. “His staunch opposition to the Iran nuclear deal shows he takes our interests to heart and we are proud to support him.”
RJC also backs Pompeo’s nomination to State. “Throughout his time in the House of Representatives and as Director of the CIA he has proven to be a bulwark against the aggression of Iran, and a great friend to Israel,” Brooks said in a statement. “Pompeo, widely respected at home and abroad, will be a force for good in the world.”
Regarding Iran’s regional aggression, Pompeo has said, “Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are the cudgels of a despotic theocracy, with the IRGC accountable only to a Supreme Leader…They’re the vanguard of a pernicious empire that is expanding its power and influence across the Middle East.” Having a Secretary of State who fully understands the Iranian threat, which is backed by Russia, is an asset who would also likely not make ceasefire agreements with Syria which threaten Israel’s security.
Under Tillerson, a ceasefire was brokered between the U.S. and Russia last July, which Netanyahu said would perpetuate Iran to set up a disruptive long-term presence on Israel’s northern border, something he has repeatedly vowed the Jewish state will not tolerate.
To be fair, the U.S. supported Israel’s response last February to an Israeli fighter jet shot down by an Iranian drone by bombing Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria. Nonetheless, a ceasefire which threatened Israeli national security should have never been made initially. With Pompeo at the helm, another similar agreement would be unlikely.
It is also expected Pompeo will reverse the State Department’s backing of the Palestine Liberation Organization this past week, as stated by groups like the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), which, along with other related groups, supports Pompeo’s nomination.
“The Anti-Terrorism Act is intended to deter terrorist acts against the U.S. and to give recourse to victims who seek justice. B’nai B’rith supports victims of terror and their families,” the organization told JNS in a statement.
Considering the infamous history of the relationship between Israel and the State Department circa the Jewish State’s founding in 1948, which then-Secretary of State George Marshall opposed, Pompeo would be a breath of fresh air and suck the anti-Israel oxygen out of the bureaucracy, even among career foreign service officials whose influence has waned under the Trump administration.
“Those officials who may have a genuine disagreement with the president’s policies can continue to press their arguments, and they can choose to resign – as some diplomats have with fanfare,” Sitilides said.
Sitilides added, “Given the deep divide among many foreign policy professionals over the Iran nuclear agreement, as well as Iranian aggression and destabilization tactics against Israel and our Sunni allies, over Hezbollah’s preparation for missile and rocket attacks against Israel and the inability of Palestinian negotiators to craft and propose a viable two-state solution with Israel, there will likely be energetic debates at the State Department and other executive branch departments and agencies over the direction of U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities.”
Under Pompeo, Foggy Bottom is about to get a rude wake-up call.