Israel has high expectations for the presidency of Donald Trump, and the Republican president-elect’s first round of political appointments did not disappoint.
Trump at the weekend named Rep. Michael Pompeo as the next director of the CIA, and Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Michael Flynn as his National Security Advisor.
Both Pompeo and Flynn have taken hard lines in regards to Islamic terror, and both are believed to be opposed to the Iran nuclear agreement.
Pompeo is also a retired Army officer, and a graduate of both West Point and Harvard Law School. Troubling to many liberals is his advocacy for government surveillance and the use of “enhanced” interrogation against foreign terrorists.
“These positions and others merit serious public scrutiny through a confirmation process,” insisted Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.
But Pompeo will face a Republican-dominated Congress, and is already well-regarded by many Democrats, including those with whom he disagrees.
“Mike is very bright and hard-working, and will devote himself to helping the agency develop the best possible intelligence for policy makers,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. “I know that he is someone who is willing to listen and engage.”
Israel is most pleased by Pompeo’s outright opposition to the Iran nuclear agreement. “I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism,” he tweeted last week.
General Flynn is a bit more of a mixed bag. He has said controversial things about the liberal Jewish community in America. At the same time, he is very warm toward Israel, and will take a no-nonsense approach to combatting the forces of radical Islam.