Pompeo Threatens to Curb Israel Ties Over Growing Israeli Trade With China

Pompeo emphasizes 'risk' to doing business with Huawei

Fresh off the Trump Administration unconditionally recognizing the 1981 Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened to see the US curb its intelligence and military ties with Israel because the country is trading too much with China.

Pompeo said the US was troubled by Israel’s growing economic ties with China, and said that deals with companies like Huawei pose “risks” that would make the US share less intelligence with Israel, and be less willing to collocate forces with them.

The Trump Administration has been vilifying Huawei primarily with an eye toward ensuring that US companies get most of the international infrastructure deals for 5G network construction. Huawei is a major competitor in that market, and the US has been warning that they consider doing business with the major Chinese telecom unacceptable.

Though it gives some ammunition to Israelis who are arguing that accepting investment from China is a threat to national security, in practice the US threats are almost certainly empty, as the Trump Administration is so determined to position itself as pro-Israel, it would be unthinkable for them to suddenly reverse course over a cellphone infrastructure contract or two.

For Pompeo, this grandstanding in Israel about the “risk” of Huawei is likely just meant to give his words more weight when he arrives in the next country and gives the exact same warning.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.