newsIsrael at War

Pompeo in Israel: Most Americans are with you in war

Israel has a duty to do its best to ensure that nothing like the Oct. 7 massacres ever happens again, the visiting former secretary of state said.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks with Natalie Sanandaji, a New Yorker on vacation who survived the Supernova massacre, Feb. 13, 2024. Credit: Courtesy.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks with Natalie Sanandaji, a New Yorker on vacation who survived the Supernova massacre, Feb. 13, 2024. Credit: Courtesy.

The vast majority of Americans stand with Israel in the war against Hamas, and the military response against the Islamist terrorist group has been both “perfectly appropriate” and necessary, former U.S. Secretary of State and CIA Director Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday.

Pompeo spoke during a solidarity visit to communities along Israel’s border with Gaza, days after U.S. President Joe Biden said that the military response to Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack was “over the top.”

The former secretary of state, who served in the Trump administration, said that the current U.S. president should take care in choosing his words so as not to encourage both Hamas and its Iranian backers to “hang in there.

“Israel has a duty and responsibility no matter what the rest of the world says to do its level best to ensure that something like this [the Oct. 7 massacre] never happens again,” he said.

Flanked by his wife, Susan, as he toured the site of the Supernova music festival near Kibbutz Re’im that saw the worst carnage that autumn day and has since been turned into a makeshift memorial, Pompeo said that the attack was a vivid reminder that “evil remains” in the world, and that Israel must do what it needs to ensure its civilians are safe.

A total of 364 people were killed at the dance party, part of the 1,200 victims, mostly civilians, whom terrorists murdered that day.

“No nation in the world would allow this to happen,” Pompeo said, adding that in the big picture, it was clear that “the decision makers are in Teheran and not in Gaza.”

Knesset member and former Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon told the American, “We are committed to winning this war not only for our future but for modern civilization. Thank you for the moral clarity you bring to Israel.”

Sacred ground

Amid rows of photos of young party-goers affixed on poles together with Israeli flags, the Pompeos heard eyewitness testimony from a festival participant who survived the attack and a first responder.

“I danced among all these people who did not make it out alive,” said Natalie Sanandaji, 28, from New York, who was in Israel on vacation visiting family and friends on Oct. 7, as she gestured at the rows of photos of smiling youth against the terrain green from the winter rains. “We came to the party to escape from reality and you don’t expect reality to meet you there,” she said.

Israel Police international spokesman Dean Elsdunne said, “It’s four months later and the seasons have passed but there is blood in this ground right now, and the world still doesn’t understand the severity of what happened here.”

First responder Haim Autmazgin of the ZAKA search and rescue service recounted how he had to dress some of the corpses of young female victims whom the Palestinian terrorists stripped, sexually attacked and shot in their private parts. Other victims were set afire, their bodies burning for 10 hours, he said.

“We have to overcome this evil and not be afraid,” Susan Pompeo said.

She said the visit hit home as their son attended similar music festivals in Kansas, and shared the prayer she says daily for Israel as an evangelical Christian. “We must pray hard and just stamp it out.”

“God bless you and your family,” an American Jewish visitor called out to the Pompeos, whose faith is an integral part of their unflinching support for Israel.

“We are on scared ground,” Mike Pompeo said. “There is never anything like being on the ground even if you’ve read the stories and seen the videos.

“I am not surprised but amazed by the resilience of the Israeli people,” he said.

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