J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami issued the following statement in response to the news that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will pre-tape a Tuesday night address to the Republican National Convention from Jerusalem:
“The Trump administration continues to break new ground in their shameless efforts to use the state of Israel as a political prop and a partisan football. For a sitting Secretary of State to make a partisan speech to a nominating convention is already unprecedented; to do so from one of the most diplomatically sensitive cities in the world, while on an official visit, is breathtakingly wrong.
“It’s clear that US policy towards Israel under Pompeo is now — like virtually the entire administration — just a tool to promote President Trump’s political interests and to sycophantically celebrate him personally. It has nothing to do with advancing the genuine interests of the United States and Israel, or with acknowledging the actual realities facing the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. Instead, it dangerously seeks to use Israel as the backdrop for extreme ideological symbolism and religious pageantry — with the goal of pandering to the president’s base of Evangelical Christian supporters.
“Just this month, the president openly admitted that the destructive decision to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem was made ‘for the evangelicals,’ who were ‘more excited by that than the Jewish people.’ Secretary Pompeo himself currently faces serious inquiry by lawmakers regarding claims that he used his office for inappropriate and possibly illegal political purposes.
“Trump is right that while some Evangelicals may cheer for their stunts, the overwhelming majority of American Jews and pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans are appalled at the damage that he and Pompeo are doing to US foreign policy, the US-Israel relationship and our democratic norms. It’s one of the many reasons why our community can’t wait to vote them out of office.”