Trump’s Secretary of State Affirms Strong Support for Israel

Rex Tillerson allays fears that he will favor old Arab oil partners over Israel as secretary of state

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Incoming US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday voiced strong support for Israel in his new role.

That was something of a relief. Tillerson was previously CEO of Exxon Mobil, and had for years done business with some of Israel’s Middle East foes.

But at his Senate confirmation hearing, Tillerson made no qualms about labeling Israel “our most important strategic partner in the region.”

He even took aim at outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry for being so hostile toward the Jewish state.

“The secretary’s speech, which followed that UN resolution (condemning the presence of Jews in areas claimed by the Arabs), I found quite troubling because of the attacks on Israel and in many ways undermining the government of Israel itself in terms of its own legitimacy and the talks,” said Tillerson.

When it comes to US foreign policy under Trump, Tillerson affirmed that “Israel is, has always been and remains our most important ally in the region. I think in the Trump administration, the president-elect already made it clear and, if I’m confirmed, I agree entirely and will support (Israel).”

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