An Israeli last-resort military action against Iran is a risk of American appeasement and emboldens the Islamic Republic, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said Tuesday at the Jerusalem Post Conference.
Military action is “not in the best interests of anyone,” he told Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Yaakov Katz.
Pompeo defended the Trump administration’s decision to leave the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iranian nuclear deal, in 2018, saying the policies it adopted had made the world safer from the Iranian regime.
“We denied them resources, and we denied them the ability to build out a Gulf-threatening culpability,” he said. “The strike on [former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force commander] Qasem Soleimani demonstrated our willingness to defend American interests around the world. The work we were engaged in would have prevented Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.”
In a speech to the UN General Assembly in September, US President Joe Biden said the US was seeking a return to the JCPOA.“
The current administration wants to re-enter the deal, longer, better, stronger? Well, I want it longer, I want it better, and I want it much, much stronger,” Pompeo said.
Had the Trump administration stayed in office for another year or two, the cooperation between it and Israel would have been able to prevent Iranian nuclear advancements, he said.
“We were never going to let Iran get a nuclear weapon on our watch,” he added.
Pompeo criticized the Biden administration for complying and returning to a “false principle that Israel is an illegal occupier” and called on Israel to confront that narrative, which he said is the beating heart of modern antisemitism and dubbed the “lie of occupation.”
“Occupation is a legal term whose definition does not apply to the State of Israel under the law,” Pompeo said, adding that US support of Israel is an expression of American patriotism.
“We want a legitimate discourse on policy, not a bunch of name-calling rhetoric that antisemitic squads like to throw around,” he said, referring to progressive Democrats who led efforts to defund the Iron Dome missile-defense system.
Pompeo said opening a US consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem is “a terrible idea for the United States, Israel and the Palestinian people.”
A Jerusalem consulate would be illegal under US law, he said, adding that a US-recognized nation such as Israel should not host a consulate in the same city where a US Embassy is located.
It is in the best interest of the Palestinians to engage in conversation with Israel, Pompeo said, but Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is not a partner for peace.
“The only way you get to a resolution in this conflict is through dialogue,” he said. “There are complex issues, but you cannot resolve them by urging your people to threaten intifada when things do not go your way.”
Asked how close Israel was to achieving normalization with Saudi Arabia, Pompeo said he is convinced there are multiple nations that will come to recognize Israel as a “partner in peace and prosperity.”
“The Abraham Accords are a demonstrable path forward that every people in this region can choose,” he said. “Israel is a nation of peace, and Palestinians can have better lives.”
HD Editor’s Note: Why Is This News Biblically Relevant?
(Read the full transcript of former Sec. of State Mike Pompeo’s speech at the Jerusalem Post Conference and Q&A Below the Editor’s Note)
Future Israeli Strike on Iran?
Amir Tsarfati of Behold Israel stated via Telegram that “By the end of this year, the world will see either a nuclear Iran or a strike on Iran. No deal will stop them at this point. Buckle up your seatbelt in preparation for a very stormy end of 2021.”
“The Middle East is reaching a boiling point,” he added.
Talk of significant military action taken by Israel against Iran has those familiar with Bible Prophecy watching very closely. In Isaiah 17, the Bible speaks of a future event in which Damascus, the capital of Syria, will be completely destroyed.
Isaiah 17:1 KJV – “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.”
Israel has conducted multiple strikes on Iranian targets in Syria, as the Islamic Republic has moved weaponry to attack the Jewish state throughout the region including in Damascus.
Although we are not told in Scripture how Damascus, one of the longest continually inhabited cities in the world, will become a “ruinous heap.” The increasing tensions between Israel and Iran in the region have many keeping a close eye on the city.
Damascus’s destruction could also be a catalyst to the Ezekiel 38-39 war in-which Russia, Iran, Turkey, and others come together from the north, with weaponry supplied by Russia, to attack the Jewish state.
Anti-Semitic Lies & US Anti-Israel Shift
In his speech to the Jerusalem Post conference (read the full transcript below), Pompeo urged that the “future of our nations demands a more forceful assertion of the truth,” specifically addressing the antisemitic lie that Israel is an “occupier.”
“The future of our nations demands a more forceful assertion of the truth. In Israel’s case, it specifically involves confronting a false narrative. That is the very beating heart of modern antisemitism. That beating heart is the lie. It is the lie that the State of Israel is an illegal occupier in the land of Israel,” Pompeo explained. “The lie of occupation provides Israel’s enemies a means to explain away all types of aggression and violence as merely resistance to the occupation. Just listen to what they have to say in the public rhetoric.”
“Given the negative connotation of the term occupier, antisemitic groups around the world use the word as often as possible in their messaging, as they carry out acts of cultural, political, and economic warfare upon Israel and its supporters,” he asserted. “This then leads to the term’s casual repetition by the media and its eventual use by policymakers as well. This presents a real risk. It is clear then that promoting the common misrepresentation of the Jewish state of Israel as an occupier in the land of Israel has become the primary antisemitic canard of the present generation.”
Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress are currently seeking to pass the “Two-State Solution Act,” which would make it United States official policy to refer to the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza as “Occupied Territories.”
This also comes as the United States pushes for a separate Palestinian Consulate in Jerusalem, which many warn would lay the groundwork for dividing the Jewish State. Pompeo referred to the idea of opening the consulate as “a terrible idea,” stating that it is simply not done and sends the wrong message.
Zechariah speaks of a time when all the nations of the world will have this obsession with the land of Israel. More specifically, they would have their sight set on the Eternal Capital of the Jewish State, Jerusalem, which they would seek to divide.
Zechariah 12:3 KJV – “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.”
“I think [God] puts his wrath on a government that curses Israel before anything else, I really do,” she explained. “That goes back to the Bible, Genesis 12:3. And if a government, be it a state government or a national government, be it a ministry, be it an individual is cursing Israel, then that entity, their state, and more than likely their country is going to receive the wrath of God. That is a huge concern of mine, as it concerns my country and this new administration and their policies. I am concerned that we are going to come under tremendous cursing, tremendous wrath from the Lord for what we are now doing to Israel. And the list is this long … that we are doing to Israel.”
Genesis 12:3 KJV – “And I [God] will bless them that bless thee [Israel], and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Speech at The Jerusalem Post Conference
Mike Pompeo — Thank you. Thanks for that kind introduction. It’s great to be with you all this afternoon. I know you’ve had the former director of Mossad, you’ve had the former ambassador, now me. We’ll have a good time today, and I’m looking forward to taking questions in a bit. But a couple of thoughts now, a few months removed from being America’s Secretary of State.
You should know that the United States’ support of Israel is an expression, in my heart, of American patriotism. It demonstrates our ability to recognize and defend our own democratic interests and values with absolute moral clarity.
This country, Israel, teaches us that we cannot long remain a land of the free if we do not proactively make sure to be a home truly of the brave. Our Jewish friends are not alone, and our interests in supporting Israel are one in the same. Our alliance enhances each of our two countries and all of the free world around us as well.
As we all know, a concerted campaign is being waged against the world’s one and only Jewish country, attacking virtually every aspect of its historic, legal, political, cultural life, with the singular aim of undermining the sovereignty, security, and legitimacy of Israel’s existence.
The future of our nations demands a more forceful assertion of the truth. In Israel’s case, it specifically involves confronting a false narrative. That is the very beating heart of modern antisemitism. That beating heart is the lie. It is the lie that the State of Israel is an illegal occupier in the land of Israel.
The lie of “occupation” provides Israel’s enemies a means to explain away all types of aggression and violence as merely resistance to the occupation. Just listen to what they have to say in the public rhetoric.
Given the negative connotation of the term occupier, antisemitic groups around the world use the word as often as possible in their messaging, as they carry out acts of cultural, political, and economic warfare upon Israel and its supporters.
“Occupier, occupier.” This then leads to the term’s casual repetition by the media and its eventual use by policymakers as well. This presents a real risk. It is clear then that promoting the common misrepresentation of the Jewish state of Israel as an occupier in the land of Israel has become the primary antisemitic canard of the present generation.
The bottom line is that occupation is a legal term, whose definition does not apply to the State of Israel under the law. Nevertheless, the term is intentionally misused. And it’s important that we know this. It is intentional misuse in order to shape negative misperceptions of Israel’s history and its legitimacy while perpetuating a sense of Arab victimhood.
In this very same context, “occupiers” is nothing more than a polite way of calling Israel a thief. That goes hand in hand with the denial and ratio of Jewish history through international institutions such as the United Nations.
To Christians, of course, this means that if the two Jewish temples never stood on the mountain Jerusalem, then Christ in His works are then equally invalidated.
One of the things I worked on in my time as America’s Secretary state was to set that record straight to clarify all the chaos that had been sown.
You should know that the situation I inherited from the State Department was a policy mess that had been festering since the time of the Carter administration, based on ignoring inconvenient legal history.
You know, as Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, not from my party, put it, “a person is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
And so I told my team at the State Department to conduct a strict factual and legal review and policy analysis which then formed the basis of our policy stance.
In practical terms, this ultimately meant confronting the lie of occupation with the truth, the truth that Israel exists within its present territory with full legal title and sovereign legitimacy as a matter of international law.
I’m honored dispositions become popularly known as the “Pompeo doctrine.” It’s not my idea. It is a legal historical record that undergirds this doctrine.
Following World War One, the Ottoman Empire ceded control over portions of the Empire to Allied Powers, who then through the League of Nations carried out an act of binding international law, that vested title in the Jewish people to re-establish their national home and the ancestral homeland, the place we sit today.
The United States specifically recognizes this right in their congressional joint resolution. This is the law. It was signed by President Warren G. Harding back in 1922.
That was followed by the Anglo-American Convention on Palestine in December of 1924 and proclaimed by President Calvin Coolidge after him in 1925. Later, the United Nations followed and incorporated this act of international law into what’s known as article 80 of its own charter.
This was the legal precedent for the establishment of the modern Jewish state of Israel. And this title has not been and cannot be superseded by any subsequent purported legal document at the UN, no resolution aiming to annul it or rescind the rights granted to the Jewish people over the former Mandate of Palestine can be upheld.
And again, I want to come back to the bottom line. The bottom line is that Israel is not indeed “an occupier.” The legal and factual basis for its right to be here is clear.
The hundreds of thousands of Jews and Christians who call it today and Samaria, an Eastern Jerusalem home, have a perfectly legitimate right to live there in safety under Israeli sovereignty.
Now, we’ve all lived these last years, we’ve seen for the last century, the dispossessing Jews of their title, sovereignty, and self-defense of its territory has served a common cause among too many different antisemitic ideologues, and appeasers that cause of course ultimately depends upon denying Jews, their religious and national history and identity.
This necessarily presents correlating questions to Christians about our religious Genesis and has taken shape in the absurd denial of Judeo Christian heritage in its obviously indigenous ancestral homeland here in Israel.
Sadly, the current administration in the United States is returning to this false principle that the Jewish state of Israel is an illegal occupier. I want them to say, not so fast.
We demand to hear fully for them to substantiate their assertion that Israel is unoccupied as a matter of law, historical fact, fight this unreason and law and fact. We want a legitimate discourse on policy, not a bunch of name-calling rhetoric that any Semitic squads like to throw around.
To that end, I’ve suggested that Congress be presented a bill that lays out this doctrine, as a matter of US law and of historical fact.
You should know that my understanding is the understanding of people around the world who understand the law and the facts. As a former soldier, if history teaches anything, it is that policies of appeasement are always destined to fail. And American weakness and generates risks to all of us, Americans and Israelis and people in the Gulf region, all around.
Over the last century, nothing has served this region more thoroughly than a strong relationship between the United States and Israel. I pray that this exchange, this effort, this cooperation will continue. It’s in the best interest of Israel, its investors, best interests of the Gulf states, and it is deeply in the best interest of the United States of America. Thank you for giving me the chance to be here with you all today.
Q&A with Jpost Editor-In-Cheif Yaakov Katz and Mike Pompeo
Jerusalem Post: Yaakov Katz — It’s great to have you. I’m curious, you know, Yossi Cohen, who was on stage and you guys overlapped a bit back when you were at the CIA and then also as a secretary state, spoke about the Iranian nuclear threat, saying, “Yes, of course, it’s dire. It’s very severe. But it’s not around the corner. It’s not about to happen.” Some people have been saying that it’s all failed. That the Trump withdrawal from the JCPOA, that whole idea did not work out. Did it? In the end? I mean, they’re pursuing, they still have more enriched uranium. But on the other hand, are we in a better place or a worse place?
Pompeo — Yeah, there’s no doubt that the policies that we adopted made Israel, the United States, and the world safer from the Iranian regime. I am as certain of that as I am sitting with you here today, Yaakov.
We denied them resources. In the end, a nuclear weapons program takes a handful of things, one of which is the capacity to do the work, the scientific knowledge, the infrastructure that goes with it—all of the money it takes to build out a nuclear weapons program.
The JCPOA, this nuclear deal, was nuts. It guaranteed a pathway for the Iranians to ultimately develop a nuclear weapon. You need only take a look at a handful of the documents that a great, wonderful Israeli mission conducted outside of Iran, that shows the Iranian intent to continue to build out its nuclear weapons program.
We denied them the capacity to build out their Shia militias in Iraq. We denied them resources. Hezbollah soldiers were making a fraction of the pay that they were making. When the Trump administration came into office, we had denied them the ability to build out a gulf threatening capability.
This administration says they want to re-enter the deal longer, better, stronger. Godspeed! I wanted longer, I wanted better, and I wanted much, much stronger. And I am convinced had we had another 12 months or 24 months that together the United States and Israel would have been able to deliver on that.
Katz — Do you think that we’ll find ourselves in a place that military action is the last resort? That’s what Israel did in 2007 and 1981. Can Israel do it again?
Pompeo — This is the risk of appeasement as you embolden your adversaries. Ultimately, they put nations in the place where they’re stuck with only one tool, a military tool. This is not in the best interest of anyone. I pray that we do not force Israel into a really difficult decision one day. But I pray even more than that, that if it is the case that something like that has to happen, if the world must deny the Iranians a nuclear weapon, that the United States will be part of making sure that that happens.
We were intent on it. We were prepared to do it. The strike on Qasem Soleimani demonstrated our willingness to defend American interests around the world. And I’m confident that the work that we were engaged in would have prevented Iran from getting a nuclear weapon way that I hope doesn’t have to end up resorting to military action.
Katz — So if I’m reading between the lines, had you remained in office, and the negotiations did not work as a possibility, that we would have seen military action on behalf of the Trump administration?
Pompeo — I think you’ve just laid out a hypothetical on top of a hypothetical. But make no mistake, you only need to go to President Trump’s Twitter account… We were never going to let Iran get a nuclear weapon on our watch.
Katz — I think, you know, these buildings better, probably better than most people. There’s talk now of opening a consulate in Jerusalem that would serve or represent the Palestinian people. Your thoughts on that?
Pompeo — It’s a terrible idea. It’s a terrible idea for the United States. It’s a terrible idea for Israel. And it’s a bad idea for the Palestinian people as well.
Two other thoughts. It’s illegal under US law, we just, as a rule, when we recognize nations, we have an embassy, we don’t place the consulate in the same city. Its a rule that we have, most nations have the same rule. But second, the message that this would send to the Palestinian leaders who continue to oppress their own people, is really bad. We want good things for the Palestinian people, right? We do.
But here’s what we don’t want. We don’t want to mislead them. And to think that the United States is somehow neutral between a country like Israel, a democracy like Israel, and an oppressive kleptocratic regime, like the regime that’s running the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank today.
Katz — So, talking about the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, is Mahmoud Abbas a partner for peace right now? This government in Jerusalem led by Naftali Bennett is not talking to him really. Is he a partner?
Pompeo — No, of course not. I don’t know what else to say… As a Christian, I pray that it will change, that he will see a way clear to understand, that it’s in the best interest of his people to engage in a conversation with Israel. But he’s all about no. And he’s all about no, because it’s deeply self-interest for him and I spent a fair amount of time with him. I always urged him to have the conversation. The only way you get to a resolution to this conflict is through dialogue and conversation. It’s going to be very fraught and very difficult and there’s some incredibly complex, difficult issues. But you can’t resolve them by urging your people to threaten Intifada when things don’t go your way.
And you can see the Abraham accords are a demonstrable, a demonstrable path forward that every people in this region can choose. Israel is a nation of peace, we’re in Jerusalem, for goodness sakes. This is a nation of peace.
The Palestinian people can have better lives as well, the Israelis that I spoke to in the leadership were perfectly prepared to do everything they could to make sure they had better lives as well. You simply can’t have a set of leaders that are so deeply connected to a corrupt regime and who have no interest in creating this peace.
Katz — Two last short questions. Number one is, you had that visit, I think it was to the city of Neom in Saudi Arabia. Prime Minister Netanyahu, I think Yossi Cohen was there you were there apparently, this is according to reports. What was that meeting like? And how close were we to normalizing ties with the Saudis?
Pompeo — So, you’re a great interviewer. I can neither confirm nor deny anyone’s presence in Neom that evening. The second question, I can actually address, I am convinced that there will be multiple nations who come to see that it is the appropriate thing to do, to recognize Israel as the rightful Jewish homeland and the State of Israel as a partner in peace and stability and prosperity.
I don’t know when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will make that decision. It does take American leadership. These were agreements between sovereign nations. But America’s role in this was central, that we weren’t guarantors for the agreement, but our good offices were very beneficial to helping these leaders get to the place where they could make the brave and bold decisions that they did to recognize Israel. We did it not once, not twice, but four times in the course of 120 days. And I am convinced that not only the people of Israel, the people of each of those nations can see the benefits that are flowing to them already from a security and prosperity standpoint, and that these will stand the test of history and the world will be better for it.
Katz — And just finally, Secretary, Jerusalem, as you know, is an ancient city, which has made history through millennia. It’s a place where announcements are sometimes made. And I’m just curious if there’s no better stage than right now to tell us your plans for the coming years. What we might see you doing in 2024?
Pompeo — I am happy to talk about my plans. I am going to continue the fight for freedom all across the world.
Katz — Secretary Pompeo is great to have you. Thank you very much.
Pompeo — Thank you. Bless you. Thanks, everyone.