On Thursday morning at NRB 2021, Joel Rosenberg, editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS, interviewed Mike Pompeo, former CIA director and secretary of state under the Trump administration. The two discussed Israel and the Middle East, the Abrahamic accords and international religious freedom.
Where Christianity, Islam, and Judaism all originated, the Middle East does not present the peace one might expect. War has always been at the forefront of the region, but Pompeo discussed some of the Trump administration’s accomplishments in the region in an effort to make it a safer place.
Pompeo highlighted the defeat of the terrorist organization ISIS, which in effect opened up religious freedom to Christians in Iraq, as well as improved relations with the Saudi prince. In addition to driving out the Islamic State, Pompeo praised former President Trump for moving the United States Embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.
Pompeo pointed out that Iran highlights the different policies of the Trump administration and the current Biden administration regarding Israel and the Middle East. President Biden is currently trying to work with the Iranian regime in a way that could potentially give Iran the possibility of acquiring a nuclear weapon.
“It would give them coercive influence in the Middle East,” Pompeo warned.
He stressed that it would be bad for the United States’ most reliable ally, Israel, for the Gulf States and for the United States. Pompeo sees Iran as one of the biggest enemies of the United States today, as Iran supports Hamas, a terrorist organization primarily in the Gaza Strip.
“We spoke to the world we saw, not the world we would have liked,” Pompeo said of his work under the Trump administration.
Rosenberg pointed out that the Trump administration had very different strategies from the current Biden administration. According to Rosenberg, President Biden believes that if the United States simply gives Iran money and respect to help it join the global community, then relations will improve. Pompeo affirmed this understanding.
“Iran is an ideological regime that seeks to wipe Israel off the face of the earth,” Pompeo said. “And no accommodation will change their revolutionary zeal.”
Pompeo said he thought it was important to stress that his Christian belief had an impact on his decisions as secretary of state. If a country did not treat its citizens as if they were made in the image of God, then the best interest of the United States in securing freedom was to approach that country with much more caution and boldness.
The Abraham Accords are perhaps the most significant achievement in Pompeo’s foreign policy as Secretary of State. The Arab states surrounding the nation of Israel have always wanted the destruction of Israel. However, with the 2020 Abraham Accords, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates joined two other Arab states (Jordan and Egypt) in normalizing their diplomatic relations with Israel. It was an important step towards peace in the region.
At the close of the session, NRB CEO Troy Miller presented the 2021 NRB President’s Award to former Secretary Pompeo for his work in protecting religious freedom and the persecuted church around the world. The NRB President’s Award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the faith and values upheld by the association and, more importantly, by the scriptures.