Thursday, November 19, 2020 –
A few weeks after leaving office, Pompeo goes to a warehouse in Psagot where he announces that the products from the colonies will be labeled ‘Made in Israel’
Heiko Mass says in Israel that the partial annexation of the West Bank “is not compatible with international law”
It is not yet known if this is the last time that Mike Pompeo is in Israel as secretary of state, but it is the first visit by a head of US diplomacy to an Israeli settlement in the West Bank and to the Golan Heights. Under a strong aroma of farewell, Pompeo staged on the ground the change of position of Washington under the leadership of Donald Trump on two areas occupied by Israel in the war of ’67. A tour started with a meeting with his counterpart in Bahrin, Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, for the first time in Jerusalem, and the head of Government Benjamin Netanyahu aimed to consolidate the “Abraham Accords” and the anti-Iran front two months after the arrival of Joe Biden to the White House. His mandate once again changed the course set by Pompeo today in the disputed hills.
Exactly one year after stating that the “establishment of Israeli colonies in the West Bank is not in itself incompatible with international law,” Pompeo privately visited the Psagot colony vineyard and announced that the products of the colonies in the Zone C (Israeli civil and security control) of the West Bank may be labeled “Made in Israel”. Another gesture, in injury time and condemned by the PLO, that breaks with the policy of his country and the international community, especially the EU.
“It is a blessing to be here in Judea and Samaria,” Pompeo wrote in the guest book expressing his wish that he would not be the last secretary of state to do so. While receiving one of the wines that bears his name at the Psagot Winery, north of Jerusalem, from the neighboring Palestinian town of Al Bireh they denounced that it was created on much of the Palestinian lands of Jabal al Tawil and defined their visit as “crime because it contravenes all international resolutions”. Palestinian spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh added that “Pompeo’s visit to occupied land is an active participation in the occupation.” “(The colonies) will disappear sooner or later,” he proclaimed, counting the days until the presidential relay in the US after four hard years for the Palestinian cause.
In the Israeli Government they defend Pompeo’s initiative in the background (“He emphasizes the millenary connection of the Jewish people with Judea and Samaria”) and in the form (last weeks in office) by pointing out that shortly before leaving the White House, Barak Obama it did not exercise the veto to abort resolution 2334 of the UN Security Council that condemned and declared the colonies illegal. Four years after the decision executed by the then head of diplomacy John Kerry, It is the turn of his successor to star in a media coup at the table, although in the totally opposite direction.
Thanks from Netanyahu
In a joint appearance in Jerusalem and in an end-of-year setting, Netanyahu thanked Pompeo and Trump for a long list of measures to enumerate.: “Recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transfer of the embassy and of the sovereign Israel in the Golan; the abandonment of the dangerous nuclear agreement with Israel, the establishment of harsh sanctions against the Iranian regime and the neutralization of the mega terrorist Qasem Soleimani, the first realistic peace plan with the Palestinians and the possibility of Israel forging peace with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrin and Sudan. “
Pompeo and his wife – both evangelists – went to Qasr el Yehud, the place where Christian tradition places the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. Later, visited the Golan plateau on which the change of focus has been resounding. To mediate between Israel and Syria for the Israeli withdrawal from the Golan in exchange for an agreement to recognize Trump’s sovereign Israel in 2019 endorsed by Pompeo on top of a mountain: “Imagine if President Assad had control of this place. What a risk it would have posed to the Israelis and the West if the Golan had been returned to Syria! “
Pompeo announced that he would declare the BDS movement promoting the boycott against Israel as “anti-Semitic.” Aware that Biden will demand a limitation on construction in the colonies, Netanyahu could seek the green light from Trump to resurrect frozen projects. The recent tender for 1,257 houses in the Jewish enclave Givat Hamatos, strategically located between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, expires two days before the date marked in red on the Israeli and Palestinian calendar: the investiture of Biden.
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