Mike Pompeo’s Historic Visit to Israel Recognizes Realities, and Jewish Rights

Nov. 25 2020

Last week, the American secretary of state arrived in Israel, visiting, among other places, the Golan Heights and the West Bank village of Psagot—where he toured a winery that has named a wine after him. Secretary Pompeo’s itinerary provoked outrage from the usual corners, with one commentator accusing him of “trolling the world.” But even the widely repeated claim that Pompeo was the first secretary of state to visit the Golan is false—Warren Christopher went there in official capacity in 1993. As for the criticisms, Dan Diker writes:

Pompeo’s visit to Psagot . . . reflected the agreed legal and diplomatic framework of the 1995 Oslo Interim Accords, which were internationally witnessed and guaranteed by the United States, Russia, Egypt, Jordan, Norway, and the European Union. The accords affirmed in no uncertain terms that Israeli and Palestinian Authority construction and building rights in areas under their respective jurisdictions would continue until the final status negotiated disposition of the territories.

Psagot is located in what Oslo designates as Area C, where Israel is given exclusive rights. Of course, writes Diker, these subtleties are lost on those who rush to proclaim it an “illegal settlement.”

It is regrettable that some uninformed or willfully blind journalists and commentators took the liberty of recasting Psagot and other Jewish communities east of the 1949 armistice lines as “illegal.” . . . Pompeo’s visit and his statements were correctives to [such] errors of judgment.

Likewise, Diker takes issue with the New York Times’s description of Pompeo’s visit, and his concomitant condemnation of anti-Israel boycotts, as “Trump’s gifts to Israel”:

Pompeo’s recognition of Jewish communities in Area C of Judea and Samaria and his condemnation of anti-Semitic product labeling and of the boycott, divest, and sanction movement (BDS) were the U.S. administration’s affirmations of . . . Jewish rights. They were also expressions of much needed moral clarity. Regrettably, political propagandists and various [self-styled] authorities in Israel and abroad have for years politicized Israel’s fundamental legal and historical rights.

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Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Golan Heights, Mike Pompeo, Oslo Accords, West Bank

Don’t Let Iran Go Nuclear

Sept. 29 2022

In an interview on Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the Biden administration remains committed to nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, even as it pursues its brutal crackdown on the protests that have swept the country. Robert Satloff argues not only that it is foolish to pursue the renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal, but also that the White House’s current approach is failing on its own terms:

[The] nuclear threat is much worse today than it was when President Biden took office. Oddly, Washington hasn’t really done much about it. On the diplomatic front, the administration has sweetened its offer to entice Iran into a new nuclear deal. While it quite rightly held firm on Iran’s demand to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from an official list of “foreign terrorist organizations,” Washington has given ground on many other items.

On the nuclear side of the agreement, the United States has purportedly agreed to allow Iran to keep, in storage, thousands of advanced centrifuges it has made contrary to the terms of the original deal. . . . And on economic matters, the new deal purportedly gives Iran immediate access to a certain amount of blocked assets, before it even exports most of its massive stockpile of enriched uranium for safekeeping in a third country. . . . Even with these added incentives, Iran is still holding out on an agreement. Indeed, according to the most recent reports, Tehran has actually hardened its position.

Regardless of the exact reason why, the menacing reality is that Iran’s nuclear program is galloping ahead—and the United States is doing very little about it. . . . The result has been a stunning passivity in U.S. policy toward the Iran nuclear issue.

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy