Pompeo visits Golan Heights, West Bank settlement

BDS US Labels Boycott Movement of Israel ‘Anti-Semitic

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: You can't stand here and stare out at what's across the border and deny the central thing that President Trump recognized that previous presidents had refused to do, that this is a part of Israel, and a central part of Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the "tremendous friendship" of Pompeo but, mindful of the future, he spoke by phone with Biden on Tuesday, in what the premier's office called a "warm" conversation.

He also issued guidelines for Israeli products made in settlements to be labelled "Made in Israel" or "Product of Israel" when exported to the United States, removing the distinction between goods made within Israel and those produced in occupied territory.

"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.

The PA denounced Abu Dhabi and Manama in the strongest terms, saying the Palestinian people were "stabbed in the back" by their fellow Arabs, and called for mass demonstrations in the two Gulf countries against their governments.

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Pompeo made this announcement during a visit to the Israeli settlement of Psagot in the West Bank, reportedly "marking the first time a sitting Secretary of State has travelled to an Israeli settlement".

An Israeli air force Blackhawk helicopter carrying US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hovers in the settlers industrial park of Sha'ar Binyamin near the Israeli Psagot settlement in the occupied West Bank north of Jerusalem November 19, 2020.

Pompeo's visit was in line with the Trump administration's stated policy and those who know him well argued that he was just doing his job.

"We will immediately take steps to identify organizations that engage in hateful BDS conduct and withdraw U.S. government support for such groups", Pompeo said during a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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

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The decision on labelling "blatantly violates worldwide law", said Nabil Abu Rudeinah, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, dismissing it as another biased move by Mr Trump's administration.

The Syrian government slammed Pompeo's visit to Golan as a "provocative step before the end of the Trump administration's team". "This is an outgoing administration, but it set a symbolic precedent", she said.

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

While holding a joint press conference in Israel Thursday, the USA official denounced the targeted practice against Israel known as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. "The United States is, therefore, committed to countering the Global BDS Campaign as a manifestation of anti-Semitism".

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