Thursday, December 3, 2020

Pompeo says settlement merchandise to be labeled ‘Made in Israel’

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Nov 19, 2020 In a reversal of longstanding US coverage, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned Thursday that imports to the United States coming from settlements within the West Bank will now require a label indicating they have been made in Israel. Washington’s prime diplomat made the announcement throughout a high-profile go to to the Jewish state that additionally noticed him pledge to determine US-based teams that help the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) motion and label them anti-Semitic. 

In a move that Pompeo mentioned is “consistent with our reality-based foreign policy approach,” items produced in Israeli settlements and exported to the United States will probably be required to mark their merchandise as “Israel,” “Product of Israel” or “Made in Israel.” 

“We will continue to oppose those countries and international institutions which delegitimize or penalize Israel and Israeli producers in the West Bank through malicious measures that fail to recognize the reality on the ground,” Pompeo mentioned in an announcement. 

The move follows calls from a gaggle of Republican senators who issued a letter to Pompeo on Wednesday urging him to alter the country-of-origin labeling pointers and “continue [the administration’s] string of pro-Israel policy changes.”

Along with east Jerusalem, the West Bank is a part of the territory Palestinians are looking for for a future impartial state and Jewish settlements on the land are thought of unlawful by many of the worldwide group. As a part of his journey to Israel, Pompeo traveled to a vineyard on the settlement of Psagot, the primary time a sitting secretary of state has paid an official go to to an Israeli settlement.  Also throughout his go to, Pompeo introduced the United States will begin referring to the worldwide BDS motion, which goals to economically isolate Israel over its remedy of Palestinians, as “anti-Semitic.” Pompeo added that the United States would determine and withdraw US authorities help for teams that take part with BDS. 

“We want to stand with all other nations that recognise the BDS movement for the cancer that it is,” Pompeo mentioned throughout joint remarks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Thursday. 

The Palestinian-led nonviolent motion promotes the boycott of Israeli items, and its campaigners say they’re against anti-Semitism. In an announcement Thursday, Amnesty International slammed the move as a violation of freedom of expression. 

“Advocating for boycotts, divestment and sanctions is a form of non-violent advocacy and of free expression that must be protected,” mentioned Bob Goodfellow, the interim govt director of Amnesty International USA. “The US administration is following the Israeli government’s approach in using false and politically-motivated accusations of antisemitism to harm peaceful activists.”

Pompeo additionally visited the Golan Heights, an space Israel captured from Syria in 1967 and later annexed. Israel’s unilateral annexation, which the Donald Trump administration acknowledged final yr, is taken into account unlawful beneath worldwide legislation. 

In one other break with decades-long coverage on Israel, Pompeo introduced late final month that American residents born in Jerusalem might now listing “Israel” as their homeland on their passports. Trump formally acknowledged Israel’s capital as Jerusalem in 2017 and moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy metropolis months later. 

In a separate move that angered the Palestinians in October, the Trump administration ended restrictions on utilizing US taxpayer funding for scientific analysis initiatives carried out in Israeli settlements within the West Bank.

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