Wednesday, 02 December, 2020


Mike Pompeo backs West Bank settlements in landmark visit

Palestinians outraged as Pompeo visits illegal Israeli settlement BDS: US Labels Boycott Movement of Israel 'Anti-Semitic'
Bennie Garza | 21 November, 2020, 13:32

And then he took an Israeli military helicopter up to the Golan Heights.

"Imagine with (Syrian President Bashar) al-Assad in control of this place, the risk of the harm to the West and to Israel", Pompeo said.

Last year, Canada voted in favor of a almost identical resolution, with its envoy justifying the move as a response to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's decision to repudiate a State Department legal opinion that deemed Israeli settlements to be illegal.

Pompeo finally spoke on his fourth stop, in Jerusalem, where he pushed the Trump strategy of unstinting support for Israel and maximum pressure on Iran.

"I want you to know that we will immediately take steps to identify organizations that engage in hateful BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) conduct and withdraw United States government support", he said.

"We will immediately take steps to identify organisations that engage in hateful BDS conduct and withdraw United States government support for such groups", Pompeo said in a joint appearance with Netanyahu.

"Under the new approach, we will no longer accept "West Bank/Gaza" or similar markings, in recognition that Gaza and the West Bank are politically and administratively separate and should be treated accordingly", he said in a statement. However, Israel sees the movement as a threat to its state that seeks to strategically damage its security and economy.

Condemning Pompeo's announcement, Human Rights Watch said "the Trump administration has no business trying to tar groups because they back boycotts", which it said had been used to advance social justice throughout American history.

Pompeo - who has so far backed Trump in refusing to concede defeat to President-elect Joe Biden - is on what could be his final Europe and Middle East tour in the post.

The visits came a year after Pompeo broke with decades of USA foreign policy to announce that the United States under Trump no longer viewed Israel's settlements in the West Bank as "inconsistent with worldwide law".

Netanyahu, who has congratulated Biden, thanked Pompeo for his "unwavering support" of Israel, first as Central Intelligence Agency director and then secretary of state, while claiming that under Trump the US-Israeli relationship "reached unprecedented heights".

But Palestinians and much of the world regard those settlements as illegal under global law.

Area C also includes the strategic Jordan Valley and many Palestinian communities, areas that Israel considers to be disputed.

"Pompeo is intoxicated by apartheid wine stolen from Palestinian land".

Until now, USA policy has required products made in the West Bank to be labeled as such.

That decision effectively means that, at least through Mr Trump's remaining days in office, the USA will not recognise exports as coming from the Palestinian Territories.

It was a controversial move, but one in line with the Trump administration's policy.

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