U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton gave speeches at the Christians United for Israel summit on Monday where they lauded Israel, condemned Iran, and promised further action from the Trump administration.
Bolton told the crowd in Washington, DC, that “the world is changing for the better and the American people are safer” thanks to Trump’s foreign policy. Bolton also took aim at the United Nations for criticizing Israel in the past and celebrated the administration’s withdrawal from the U.N. Human Rights Council last year. Bolton also took aim at the International Criminal Court (ICC), which he accused of anti-U.S. and anti-Israel bias.
Last June, we announced our withdrawal from the hypocritical Human Rights Council, which shielded the world’s worst human rights violators while devoting most of its time to condemning Israel; a thriving democracy. (Applause) We are also reevaluating U.N. peace-keeping missions, including those involving Israel to ensure support for effective, accountable, and efficient operations. We will not allow bureaucratic inertia to keep the United States in international organizations or agreements that undermine U.S. interests and values. (Applause)
For these reasons, in September of last year I announced that the United States would not fund, support, or cooperate with the International Criminal Court, or ICC (Applause). The ICC, which asserts near-universal jurisdiction over the citizens of every country without their consent. As I said then, the ICC is flawed to its core and we will let it die on its own. Applause) The Court is a favorite child of global governance advocates and it has failed repeatedly in its purported aim to deter and punish egregious human rights violations. Instead the ICC has become a forum for politicized attacks on the foreign policies of liberal democracies such as the United States and Israel.
In fact, in November 2017, the ICC prosecutor [Fatou Bensouda] requested to investigate alleged war crimes supposedly committed by American service members and intelligence professionals during the war in Afghanistan and at the behest of the so-called “state of Palestine”, the ICC has threatened to investigate Israeli housing projects in addition to targeting Israeli counter-terrorism efforts in the West Bank and Gaza. We can not and will not allow the ICC bureaucrats in The Hague to dictate our foreign policy or that of our most trusted allies, first and foremost: Israel. (Applause)
Bolton also praised Trump for leaving the Iran nuclear deal, which he called “the worst diplomatic debacle in American history”, and guaranteed continued U.S. pressure on the country:
I am here to tell you today, President Trump’s maximum pressure campaign against Iran is working. (Applause) A little over a year ago, our critics predicted we couldn’t do it. Our unilateral sanctions, they said, would not be effective. Since then, the United States has levied the toughest ever sanctions on the Iranian regime and Iran’s economy is, to quote the Financial Times, “collapsing under their weight.” (Applause)…
As I said earlier this year in Miami, under this administration no regime that chants “Death to America” or “Death to Israel” will get a deal from this administration. (Loud Applause) We will continue to increase the pressure on the Iranian regime until it abandons its nuclear program and ends its violent activities across the Middle East, including conducting and supporting terrorism around the world.
In addition to criticizing Iran and praising Israel, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used his speech to condemn the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, defend U.S. evangelicals, and double down on previous statements where he equated anti-Zionism with anti-semitism:
I’m from Kansas, and there are – yeah, I love it, we’ve got Kansans out there. I’m sure there’s more and you’re just quiet people. (Laughter.) A lot of people get spun up with the wrong ideas that American evangelicals want to impose a theocracy on America. I wish they would be concerned about the real theocratic takeover that has been happening in Iran for the last four decades. (Applause.) The ayatollahs have grievously deprived the Iranian people of that most basic, simple, fundamental right, their right to worship…..
I wanted to tell this story today for a couple of reasons, because similar threats to the Jewish people have marked other eras as well. Think of the Roman devastation of Jerusalem, the vicious pogroms throughout European history, and the Holocaust. The Jews have had a target on their back in every era of history. And as the Book of Ecclesiastes says, “There is [indeed] nothing new under the sun.”
But thank God. Thank God we have a leader in President Trump – an immovable friend of Israel. (Applause.) His commitment, his commitment – President Trump’s commitment is the strongest in history, and it’s been one of the best parts of my job to turn that commitment into real action. (Applause.)
You know the stories, but we’ve implemented the strongest pressure campaign in history against the Iranian regime, and we are not done. (Applause.) We’ve cut off billions in funds that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s leadership would have used for various nefarious purposes, not the least of which would have been their efforts to destroy the state of Israel….
And I think we’ve put the UN on notice, too, that its anti-Israel bias will no longer be tolerated. (Applause.)
And while I wasn’t there on the day that it happened, I was able to travel now twice to see our embassy, the State Department’s embassy, that was moved to Jerusalem to recognize the simple reality of Jerusalem, Israel’s capital – now and forever. (Applause.)
The other great thing about this administration is we live in a very real world, and for that reason I was able last March to declare a simple truth, that anti-Zionism is indeed anti-Semitism. Period. Full stop. (Applause.)
The Christians United for Israel summit ends on Tuesday. The Trump administration sent five senior advisors to the two-day conference.