‘Entire Middle East’ should look like Israel – Pompeo

Israel is everything the US wishes the Middle East would be, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared in a speech, while bashing the Obama administration’s approach to Iran as resembling a “Disney movie.”

Speaking at the annual Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) dinner in Washington on Wednesday, Pompeo argued that Israel “is democratic and prosperous, it desires peace, it is a home to a free press and a thriving economy,” calling it “everything we want the entire Middle East to look like going forward.”

Israel’s enemy number one Iran, meanwhile, has “corrupt leaders” who “assault the human rights of their own people and finance terrorism in every corner of the Middle East,” according to Pompeo.

He went on to habitually bash the Obama administration for trying to solve problems with Iran peacefully.

“President Obama thought that if he made dangerous concessions, removed economic sanctions and flew a plane full of cash to Tehran, he could somehow hug Iran’s leaders into behaving well… but those leaders aren’t from a Disney movie,” Pompeo said, then himself went on to paint Iranian leaders as movie villains: “They’re real. They are murderers and funders of terrorism who lead chants today, still, of ‘Death to America’.”

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, September 27, 2018. © Caitlin Ochs

After decades of US presidents at least maintaining the facade of honest brokers between Israel and its Arab neighbors, the Trump administration went all-out onto Israel’s side. The US embassy was moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing Israel’s claim to the city in violation of UN resolutions and to the outrage of most of the Muslim world.

Washington has also cut funding to UN agencies charged with helping the displaced Palestinians, as well as direct aid to the Palestinian Authority and Gaza. Meanwhile, Israeli forces have killed almost 200 and injured over 20,000 Palestinians who have been protesting along the Gaza border fence since March.

In addition to its unapologetic support for Israel, the US under Trump switched gears into open hostility with Iran. In March, Trump left the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration – and praised as effective by all other signatories – and re-imposed a wide range of sanctions on Tehran. US diplomats have gone so far as to threaten other countries daring to do business with Iran that they would be punished for doing so.

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