Pompeo visits Golan Heights, West Bank settlement

Clay Curtis
November 21, 2020

"While we await the specifics of the proposal, one thing couldn't be clearer: the BDS movement, which seeks the destruction of Israel, is inherently antisemitic".

"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.

Israel sees BDS as a strategic threat and has long accused it of anti-Semitism, and a law passed in 2017 allows it to ban foreigners with links to the movement.

Pompeo also noted that products made on the territories administered by the Palestinian Authority will be recognised as products of the "West Bank", and goods made in Gaza will have a different label, since the new policy "recognises that the territories are separately administered by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip", as the media outlet puts it. "This is an outgoing administration, but it set a symbolic precedent", she said.

The envoys were originally recalled after PA President Mahmoud Abbas said that the two countries had "betrayed" the Palestinian cause by announcing normalization with Israel in August and September, respectively.

Amnesty International called BDS a "form of non-violent advocacy and of free expression that must be protected".

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Mr Netanyahu, who has congratulated Mr Biden, thanked Mr Pompeo for his "unwavering support" of Israel, first as Central Intelligence Agency director and later secretary of state.

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

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Mr Pompeo visits Golan Heights.

Winemaker Yaakov Berg, creator of the "Pompeo" wine, told AFP that Mr Pompeo's support will ensure he is remembered by Jews "100 years from now".

On the way there, he made a stop at Qasr el Yahud, revered as the site of the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan Valley, according to the same official.

Mr Pompeo said a year ago that the United States no longer considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be contrary to worldwide law.

Palestinians oppose settlements on land they claim for a future independent state.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center also tweeted that Pompeo "dealt [a] blow to BDSers #UN and #EU by declaring U.S. will label products from West Bank as made in #Israel!"

Pompeo and Netanyahu stood by the previous day when Bahrain's foreign minister called for fresh Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

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

The concluding remark of the statement appeared to take a direct shot at the European Union, which has led a policy obliging all 28 member states to label exports produced in Israeli towns beyond the Green Line as having been made in the settlements.

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