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Pompeo: Donald Trump may have been sent to save the Jewish people

In a visit to Jerusalem, the US secretary of state suggests president could be on a holy mission to save Jews from 'an Iranian menace'
His visit also marks the first high-ranking American official visit to the Western Wall in occupied East Jerusalem with an Israeli Prime Minister (Reuters)

US President Donald Trump may have been sent to Earth to save the Jewish people, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a Christian news network on Thursday during a visit to Jerusalem.

Pompeo's interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) coincided with Purim, a Jewish holiday that commemorates the biblical story of Queen Esther saving Jews from being massacred in the ancient Persian Empire.

According to the Book of Esther - part of both the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament - the queen convinces Haman, a minister under the Persian King Xerxes I, to halt an order to slaughter Jewish people.

Drawing a comparison between modern-day Iran and ancient Persia, CBN's Chris Mitchell said: “We’re talking about the fact that Esther, 2,500 years ago, saved the Jewish people with God’s help from Haman, and now 2,500 years later, there’s a new Haman here in the Middle East that wants to eradicate the Jewish people just like Haman did, the state of Iran.”

“Could it be that President Trump is being raised for such a time as this, just like Queen Esther, to help save the Jewish people from an Iranian menace?” Mitchell asked.

Smiling, Pompeo responded: “As a Christian, I certainly believe that that’s possible.”

Pompeo's stop in Israel was one of three during the top US diplomat's latest regional tour, focused largely on challenging Iran. 

Earlier he visited Kuwait, where he called for unity in the Gulf before heading to Israel where he reportedly met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at least three times. 

In an unusual move, the White House blocked mainstream media from covering Pompeo’s tour, offering exclusivity to Christian media outlets.

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In Jerusalem, Pompeo visited the Western Wall and toured controversial tunnels dug beneath the Al-Aqsa compound, which contains some of Islam's holiest sites.

In the same interview, Pompeo told CBN:  "It was remarkable - so we were down in the tunnels where we could see 3,000 years ago, and 2,000 years ago - if I have the history just right - to see the remarkable history of the faith in this place and the work that our administration's done to make sure that this democracy in the Middle East, that this Jewish state remains.”

"I am confident that the Lord is at work here," Pompeo added.

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat called the visit a "total change of US policy".

"If continued, it will be the classical recipe for conflict between Palestinians and Israelis for another century," he said.

Pompeo has made no secret of his Christian evangelical convictions, declaring in a trip to Egypt earlier this year: “I keep a Bible open on my desk to remind me of God and His Word, and The Truth.”

In the past, he has also said that Jesus was "the only solution for our world” and has referred to politics as “a never-ending struggle ... until the rapture".

Commentators suggest he views American foreign policy in the Middle East largely through the lens of Biblical chapter and verse.