Pompeo’s farewell gifts to Israel

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Benjamin Netanyahu Mike Pompeo Joe Biden

Mike Pompeo with Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and alongside them Joe Biden

(Photo: Amos Ben Gershom GPO, AP)

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Who came to Israel for a farewell visit, went out of his way to To shower “gifts” on Israel – Just two months before the end of the Trump administration and the inauguration of the Democratic administration of the president-elect Joe Biden. Some see this as an attempt by Pompeo, an evangelist who supports Israel with great fervor, to signal his intention to run for the presidency of the United States in 2024 – and already to portray himself as Israel’s best friend.

Pompeo: We will declare BDS an antisemitic movement “

(Photo: GPO)

Pompeo, who today became the first American secretary of state to visit the Psagot Winery in Sha’ar Binyamin, announced that the United States would declare the BDS movement calling for a boycott of Israel as anti-Semitic, and that it would now classify settlement products as “Israeli products.”

It should be noted that these are, for the time being, only statements. In addition, American customs policy has not been implemented in practice and the settlers had no problem exporting products to the United States under the label “Israel”, although they were formally obliged to label them “products of the West Bank”. There is a kind of de facto recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the settlements.

This is, it seems, an attempt by Pompeo and the outgoing administration to “sandal” the Biden administration and impose on it a policy it opposes, and if it tries to change it and turn the wheel back – it may be perceived as anti-Israel. An Israeli source said it was a “bear hug” that could embarrass the Biden administration and force it to take active steps to turn the wheel back. Biden has already announced, for example, that he will not return the American embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. However, such measures, which are de facto familiar to the settlements, may lead him to take corrective action.

A wine named after Mike PompeoA wine named after Mike Pompeo

He also received gifts. The Pompeo wine at Psagot Winery

(Photo: AFP)

Pompeo announced his first “gift” regarding the fight against BDS in his joint statement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the end of their meeting this morning at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. He announced that the State Department would not only define the boycott movement as anti-Semitic, but would take immediate action against it, including preventing American financial support from organizations involved in the boycott movement’s activities.

“Today I want to state the decision of the State Department to state that the global BDS campaign is antisemitic. I know it sounds simple to you,” Pompeo told Netanyahu. BDS and avoided US support for such organizations. The time is right. “Pompeo called the BDS movement” cancer, “adding:” We are determined to fight it. ”

In a statement issued later, Pompeo said American policy is to fight anti-Semitism anywhere in the world and wherever it occurs, including all forms of discrimination and hatred rooted in anti-Semitism. “The United States strongly opposes the BDS campaign and its practices such as discriminatory labeling and the publication of databases of companies operating in Israel or the territories under Israeli control (the UN Human Rights Council’s blacklist),” he said.

Mike Pompeo's helicopterMike Pompeo's helicopter

Pompeo’s helicopter over peaks. First ever visit by a Secretary of State to the settlement

(Photo: AFP)

“As we have said, anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. The United States is therefore committed to seeing the global BDS campaign as an expression of anti-Semitism. To advance this policy I placed the Special Envoy for Anti-Semitism Supervision and Combat to identify organizations involved or supporting the BDS campaign. “In identifying such organizations, the Bureau of the Special Envoy will consider whether an organization engages in politically motivated actions and is intended to punish, or otherwise restrict, commercial relations, especially with Israel or people doing business in Israel or in any territory controlled by Israel.”

Pompeo added: “To ensure that US State money is not invested inconsistently with our administration’s commitment to fighting anti-Semitism, the State Department will review the use of its funds to confirm that they do not support the global BDS campaign. Furthermore, the State Department will conduct an examination. The United States calls on governments around the world to take appropriate steps to ensure that their funds are not transferred directly or indirectly to organizations engaged in antisemitic BDS activities. .

As mentioned, Pompeo’s second announcement was about a change in US government policy regarding the labeling of goods and goods from the settlements. Pompeo announced that under the new policy of the State Department, producers from the settlements will be able to label their products sold in the United States as “Israeli products.”

Benjamin Netanyahu and Mike PompeoBenjamin Netanyahu and Mike Pompeo

Pompeo with Netanyahu. Farewell visit

(Photo: Amos Ben Gershom, GPO)

Mike Pompeo and Gabi Ashkenazi in the helicopterMike Pompeo and Gabi Ashkenazi in the helicopter

Mike Pompeo and Gabi Ashkenazi in a helicopter on the way to the Golan Heights

To date, US customs policy has stipulated that goods coming from the West Bank or Gaza should be marked as coming from the “West Bank”, “Gaza” or a combination thereof. According to the official policy that has now been changed, it is forbidden to mark products that come from the settlements as “Israel”, “Made in Israel”, “Occupied Territories-Israel” or any similar version.

“Today, the State Department is initiating new guidelines to ensure that the country of origin of products for Israeli and Palestinian goods is in line with our reality-based foreign policy approach. According to this announcement, all manufacturers in the territories where Israel exercises its authority Mark their products as ‘Israel’ or ‘Made in Israel’ or ‘Made in Israel’ when they export them to the USA. This approach recognizes that Manufacturers of Surface C operate within the framework of Israel’s economic and administrative framework and that their products should be treated accordingly. This update will eliminate the confusion by acknowledging that manufacturers in other parts of the West Bank for practical purposes are administratively separate and that their goods should be labeled accordingly, “Pompeo said in a statement.

According to the declaration, goods from areas in the West Bank where the Palestinian Authority exercises its relevant authority should be marked as “West Bank products” and goods produced in Gaza will be marked as “Gaza products”.

US Ambassador"In Israel David Friedman with Mike Pompeo on a router"thirdUS Ambassador"In Israel David Friedman with Mike Pompeo on a router"third

Pompeo upon landing in Israel, yesterday

(Photo: AFP)

“Under the new approach, we will no longer accept the West Bank / Gaza mark or similar signs recognizing that Gaza and the West Bank are politically and administratively separate and must be treated accordingly. We remain committed to lasting and lasting peace as outlined in President Trump’s peace vision. We will continue to oppose them. “International countries and institutions that are delegitimizing or punishing Israel and Israeli producers in the West Bank through malicious measures that fail to recognize the reality on the ground.”

Pompeo announced a change in American policy regarding the labeling of products from the settlements after a visit to the Psagot winery in the Sha’ar Binyamin industrial zone. It was, as mentioned, the first ever visit by a Secretary of State to any settlement.

Pompeo rejected the criticism leveled at him for visiting there. “Unfortunately, Psagot Winery and other businesses have been harmed as a result of harmful EU labeling efforts, which allow for a boycott of Israeli companies,” Pompeo said. “The United States stands by Israel and will not tolerate any form of delegitimization.”

Peace Now demonstration against Pompeo

(Photo: Peace Now)

Psagot Winery, which is fighting in Europe against the labeling of settlement products, has produced a series of wines in his honor with the name “Pompeo” as a tribute to his declaration that the settlements are not illegal. His hosts also gave him an ancient coin found in wine-growing caves with ancient Hebrew writing on it. He was also given copies of important statements in the history of the Jewish people: the Cyrus Declaration, the Balfour Declaration, and Pompeo’s own statement on the US administration’s position on the settlements. The head of the regional council, Benjamin Israel Ganz, said: “We thank the administration for standing by the good of the State of Israel, the Jewish people and the Holy Land.”

Activists of the Peace Now movement demonstrated outside the winery during a visit by the Secretary of State. “Pompeo’s statement on the intention to define products from the Israeli-made settlements is playing into the hands of the BDS and fueling our enemies in the world. Another pathetic attempt by an illegitimate government defeated in the election to sabotage the prospect of peace.

Shai Hajaj, Chairman of the Center for Regional Councils, this evening welcomed Pompeo’s announcement regarding the labeling of products from the settlements. “The Secretary of State’s visit to Judea and Samaria The approval to mark products as Israeli products includes the US recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over Judea and Samaria and the recognition that localities beyond the Green Line are an integral part of Israel. “In the territories of the regional councils in Judea and Samaria, there are thousands of farmers and industrialists, whose business campaign has threatened the recognition. The recognition will affect the local economy and strengthen agriculture,” Hajjaj said.

The US Secretary of State also visited the Golan Heights today, where the Trump administration has already recognized Israel’s sovereignty. It has received an overview of the security and political challenges on the Syrian-Lebanese borders and there is an observation from Bentel towards the Syrian and Lebanese territory. In addition, Pompeo received a review from Avigdor Kahalani about the Battle of the Valley of Weeping in the Yom Kippur War.

Foreign Minister Ashkenazi thanked the US administration for its support for the security of the State of Israel over the years and for recognizing Israel’s sovereignty in the Golan Heights. In the shadow of the Israeli attack on Syria, Ashkenazi stressed that Israel considers the Syrian regime and the Assad administration to be responsible for everything that happens on its territory, territory and under its auspices, including Iranian activity and Iranian sponsorship. “We will not allow the Syrian regime to close its eyes to what is happening,” Ashkenazi said.

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