US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington DC, March 25, 2019.
(photo credit: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo embraced Israel in a speech at the AIPAC policy conference in Washington on Monday.
"Israel should be admired, not attacked, embraced, not vilified," Pompeo stated at the annual gathering of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. "I’m proud to lead American diplomacy to support Israel’s right to defend itself, stand with the Jewish people, and champion the perennial cause of religious liberty."
Pompeo was one of the many elected officials from both Israel and America to speak at the event hosted by the pro-Israeli lobby. The State Department has historically been viewed by many pro-Israel activists as leaning toward pressuring Israel into compromise vis-a-vis the Palestinians. However the Trump Administration seems to have shifted the narrative, recognizing Israel's right to the Golan Heights on Monday. The strategic highlands was controlled by Syria from 1948 to 1967.
Last year, US President Donald Trump defended Israel's right to both eastern and western Jerusalem, moving the US embassy to the capital.
"The rise of antisemitism and anti-Zionism strikes at the very foundation of freedom," Pompeo added. "The Trump Administration opposes it unequivocally and will fight it relentlessly, from the fever swamp of the UN Human Rights Council to the world’s number one proponent of antisemitism: Iran."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was scheduled to speak at the conference but returned to Israel early Tuesday morning due to the rocket attack crisis.
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