Pompeo at AIPAC: anti-Zionism is antisemitism
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday addressed the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC.
“It is truly wonderful to be here tonight. My wife Susan and I just returned from Israel. I have been to Israel many times but my latest visit was the first time I got to visit our new embassy in Jerusalem. I also became the first Secretary of State to visit the Western Wall and the highest-ranking US official to visit it with the Prime Minister of Israel.”
“As most of you have probably seen by now, President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu signed a decree affirming Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan,” said Pompeo, recalling a visit with his boys through the sites of the tank war on the Golan during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
“I am deeply worried about an old threat that is reemerging – the threat of antisemitism,” said the Secretary of State, who noted that antisemitism “is a cancer metastasizing in the Middle East, America, and Europe and indeed sadly in the United States as well.”
“The United States stands with the Jewish people and Israel in the fight against the world’s oldest bigotry. This bigotry is taking on an insidious new form in the guise of anti-Zionism. It’s discussed by our media. It’s supported by certain members of Congress, none of whom I suppose are here tonight,” he continued.
“Don’t get me wrong, criticizing Israel’s policies is an acceptable thing to do in a democracy. But criticizing the very existence of Israel is not acceptable. Anti-Zionism denies the very legitimacy of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people,” stressed Pompeo.
“Friends, let me go on record: Anti-Zionism IS antisemitism. The Trump administration opposes it unequivocally and we will fight for it relentlessly,” he made clear.
Pompeo criticized those politicians who “think that antisemitism can actually win them votes. And we have to correct the record. We all have an obligation to do so, because Israel should be admired, not attacked. Embraced, not vilified. Emulated, not ostracized.”
“President Trump has made the fight against antisemitism a top priority. You can see it in our actions. In June, we left the fever swamp of the UN Human Rights Council, which since its creation has adopted more resolutions condemning Israel than all other nations combined.”
“At the State Department, I reinvigorated the position of special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, and we have a real fighter in that role, Elan Carr.”
Pompeo noted that the US is confronting Iran, which he described as “the world’s number one proponent of antisemitism.”
“We pulled out of the incurably flawed Iran nuclear deal, which put more than $100 billion in the pockets of the Ayatollah and funded the Islamic Republic’s violent quest for regional domination.”
The US, since pulling out of the deal, has enacted “the strongest pressure campaign in history against Iran and its proxies, and they are feeling the pain,” continued the Secretary of State.
He noted his visit to Lebanon last week, where Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah “recently begged for contributions from the very people in Lebanon that he and his Iranian masters have subjugated and terrorized. Hassan Nasrallah passing the tin cup is good news.”
Pompeo pointed out the efforts of Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt to bring peace between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs and also said that his team “is working to mobilize nations all across the Middle East to find common ground. In February, our Polish friends partnered with the State Department for a conference in Warsaw. Over 64 ministers attended, and Arab leaders from all around the world sat with Israel’s leaders. It was truly historic.”
“Jews, Muslims and Christians working together to defeat Islamist terrorists, defeat the vociferous antisemites in Iran and protect each of our nations was the right thing to do for each of those countries.”
Antisemitism, reiterated Pompeo, “must be rejected by all decent people. Anti-Zionism is antisemitism and any nation that espouses anti-Zionism, like Iran, must be confronted. We must defend the rightful homeland of the Jewish people.”
He concluded by stressing, “Know with confidence that the Trump administration will not grow weary of the fight. To abandon it would be to abandon our principles, and as Secretary of State, and as a Christian, I’m proud to lead American diplomacy to support Israel’s right to defend itself. And I am proud to stand with the Jewish people and to champion the cause of religious liberty and in America.”