By Batya Jerenberg, WorldIsraelNews.com
Mike Pompeo’s forthcoming memoir takes a shot at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while containing great praise of Israel’s “real special relationship” with America, The Forward reported Thursday after having obtained an advanced copy of the book.
Called Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love, the secretary of state during the Trump administration writes that after a meeting held in Lisbon, Portugal in December 2019, Netanyahu talked of a pledge they had discussed to encourage a formal defense treaty between the United States and Israel.
“It was false,” he notes in the book. “But it was a good story for him” for political reasons.
The meeting, which had been arranged quickly, came during the deadlocked negotiations after the second inconclusive elections in Israel in a year between the anti- and pro-Netanyahu camps, which led to a third election in early 2020.
After Covid-19 hit the country that March, Benny Gantz of Blue and White led his party into a year-long emergency coalition with the Likud to deal with the pandemic in a unity government.
The prime minister told reporters after the consultation that “The meeting with Pompeo was critical for Israeli security. We agreed to promote a defense pact.”
“This is one of our important goals for the coming months and we decided to speed up the work on it,” he added.
Just three months earlier, then-president Donald Trump had publicly expressed support in a tweet for moving forward with discussions on such a defense treaty.
Pompeo also put the Jewish state in a rarified class vis-à-vis the U.S., writing, “America’s real special relationship may be the one we have with Israel” because its survival “matters for the security and prosperity of every American.”
Great Britain is the country usually named as having a “special relationship” with its former colony, due to their shared history, language, culture and values.
Pompeo, an Evangelical Christian and long-time friend of Israel’s, wrote that he had been inspired early on by Israel’s story and “resolved to leave it even stronger than I found it.”
One of his most important statements was one that backed Israel’s historic and legal right to build in Judea and Samaria. In a policy shift for the U.S. government, he declared in November 2019 that Israeli settlements are not “per se, inconsistent with international law.”
Although the idea that all settlements in the disputed region are automatically illegal has been a Palestinian mantra adopted by most of the world, Article 80 of the UN Charter itself guaranteed that Jews had the unalterable right to live anywhere in what had been British-Mandate Palestine in the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
Pompeo became the first sitting secretary of state to visit Judea and Samaria when he paid a call that month on the Psagot winery, which had named a line of wines after him.
The memoir is set to hit the bookshelves on Tuesday, as Pompeo is rumored to be mulling a run for the Republican nomination for president.
Other prominent friends of Israel are also in the midst of deciding whether to challenge former president Donald Trump, who is the only one who has already declared that he will try for the 2024 nomination. These include Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, and his ambassador to the UN for two years, Nikki Haley.