‘US will always support Israel’s right to defend itself’

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“The United States and Israel are blessed nations, and we share a very special bond,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells 2020 AJC Global Forum. Pompeo is set to discuss “deal of the century” with top EU leaders.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday addressed the opening plenary of the 2020 AJC Global Forum and reaffirmed the strong bond between Washington and Jerusalem.

AJC’s signature annual event was originally scheduled to take place in Berlin but was changed to a video conference due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Addressing what the AJC said was thousands of people in the US and around the world, America’s top diplomat condemned the troubling uptick in global anti-Semitism and cautioned Iran against pursuing nuclear weapons and threatening Israel with annihilation.

“Since 1948, Israel has proven time and again that it’s up to any challenge to the Jewish people’s right to govern themselves in their ancestral homeland,” Pompeo said. “The United States will always support Israel’s right to defend itself.”

Touching on his visits to Israel since taking office, the latest just last month, Pompeo noted that “as a Christian, being in Israel is deeply moving, a very moving experience for me.”

“The United States and Israel are blessed nations, and we share a very special bond. Our bilateral partnership is all the more vital given the rise in anti-Semitism around the world.”

Commenting on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, deadlocked since 2014, Pompeo said that US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan “is the most realistic path to end the conflict for the good of both the Israeli and Palestinian people.”

He also praised the AJC for its leadership in fighting anti-Semitism worldwide.

“I truly admire the crucial work AJC is doing to fight back. With special envoy Elan Carr, you pushed for the adoption and implementation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism. You are confronting the vile BDS movement and textbooks that teach innocent Palestinian children to hate Jews, making peace that much harder.”

Commenting on Iran’s threats against Israel, he said, “We will continue to squeeze the regime until Iran starts behaving like a normal nation, stops threatening its own people and its neighbors.

“The mullahs must never be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon,” he asserted.

Concluding his address, Pompeo said that “with the AJC’s help, the US and Israel will proudly honor our shared foundation of freedom and democracy, and confront the challenges of the day.”

The secretary of state is slated to discuss the “deal of the century” with top European Union officials, including EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell.

Pompeo is also set to discuss the recent US sanctions against the International Criminal Court, and the tensions between Washington and Beijing.

It is expected that Borrell and the EU’s foreign ministers will convey their objection to Israel’s plan to apply sovereignty to large parts of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley, and that they will try to ascertain how far the Trump administration plans to go in its support for the move.

The EU has also voiced its objection to the US imposing any sanction on The Hague.

Originally posted at israelhayom.com


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