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Photo: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Mike Pompeo, who was confirmed as Secretary of State today, will visit Israel on Sunday as part of his first trip in this new role, Israeli officials told me and a senior State Department official has confirmed.

Why it matters: Pompeo's decision to include Israel in his first trip abroad as Secretary of State is important because his predecessor Rex Tillerson visited Israel only once when he accompanied President Trump in his May 2017 visit. Tillerson never came to Israel on his own and had a very minor role in the U.S.-Israel relations during his year in office.

The state of play: Axios' Jonathan Swan reported yesterday that Pompeo will fly to Brussels to participate in a NATO meeting. Israeli officials say that one of his next stops after Brussels will be Jerusalem, adding that Pompeo is expected to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior Israeli official to discuss regional issues.

Pompeo has been heavily involved with Israel during his tenure as CIA director. Israeli officials say he visited Israel three times during the first year of the Trump administration to meet with both Israeli and Palestinian intelligence chiefs. Pompeo had a very close relationship with Director of Mossad Yossi Cohen.

  • Pompeo also had a close relationship with the director of the Palestinian intelligence service, General Majed Faraj. During the early days of the Trump administration, Pompeo was sent by President Trump to establish dialogue with Palestinian leadership.

Palestinian leadership has suspended all contacts with the White House since President Trump's December decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Pompeo's relationship with the Palestinian intelligence chief might provide an opening and an opportunity to renew U.S.-Palestinian dialogue, though the State Department official said Pompeo's schedule does not include meetings with Palestinian officials at the moment.

Go deeper

The week the Trump show ended

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Donald Trump was eclipsed in media attention last week by President Biden for the first time since Trump took office, according to viewership data on the internet, on social media and on cable news.

Why it matters: After Trump crowded out nearly every other news figure and topic for five years, momentum of the new administration took hold last week and the former president retreated, partly by choice and partly by being forced off the big platforms.

Pay TV's bleak post-pandemic outlook

Data: eMarketer; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic has taken a huge toll on the Pay-TV industry, and with the near-term future of live sports in question, there are no signs of it getting better in 2021.

Why it matters: The fraught Pay-TV landscape is forcing some smaller, niche cable channels out of business altogether.

2 hours ago - World

Biden sets his sights on China

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images  

The new administration's first few moves and statements on China suggest that President Biden may continue some of the Trump era's most assertive policies.

Why it matters: China's severe domestic repression, its dramatic rise as a technological superpower, and its increasingly aggressive actions around the globe mean that the world expects the American president to take action.