The Trump administration took a strong stand against the movement to economically isolate Israel Thursday as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo labeled the boycott, divestment and sanctions effort as anti-Semitic discrimination.
The BDS movement is supported by Palestinians and their advocates to put economic pressure on Israel.
During a visit to Israel that included a trip to a West Bank settlement and the Golan Heights, Pompeo said the administration is committed to fighting the BDS movement by denying U.S. funding to its supporters.
“It is the policy of the United States to combat anti-Semitism everywhere in the world and in whatever form it appears, including all forms of discrimination and hatred rooted in anti-Semitism,” Pompeo said in a statement. “The United States strongly opposes the global discriminatory boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign (Global BDS Campaign) and practices that facilitate it, such as discriminatory labeling and the publication of databases of companies that operate in Israel or Israeli-controlled areas.
“As we have made clear, anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. The United States is, therefore, committed to countering the Global BDS Campaign as a manifestation of anti-Semitism.”
In remarks Thursday in Jerusalem alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Pompeo said, “We will immediately take steps to identify organizations that engage in hateful BDS conduct and withdraw U.S. government support for such groups.”
He said the State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism will identify organizations that support the BDS effort and ensure that agencies funded by the department do not support the movement.
“We want to stand with all other nations that recognize the BDS movement for the cancer that it is, and we’re committed to combating it,” the secretary of state said. “Our record speaks for itself. During the Trump administration, America stands with Israel like never before.”
Twitter buzzed with the news.
We stand with Israel 🇮🇱
— The Republic Fifty (@RepublicFifty) November 19, 2020
Thank you @SecPompeo and the U.S. @realDonaldTrump Administration for your unwavering solidarity with #Israel and courage to stand up to the pernicious & Antisemitic BDS Movement, and all those who support and enable it, including in EU. https://t.co/Y0s3U2D6oT
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) November 19, 2020
— Michael Granoff (@mikejgr) November 19, 2020
As usual Pompeo is right. BDS is anti-Semitism & Obama Biden chose the 2016 transition as an opportunity to signal to the Jew haters of the world that Obama & Biden are willing to take a leadership role by engineering UNSCR 2334. Luckily DT was willing to standup to that Hate https://t.co/M4dlVCN3wO
— TJ King (@tjking) November 19, 2020
Pompeo noted that “for a long time, the State Department took the wrong view of settlements. It took a view that didn’t recognize the history of this special place. “
“And instead, now, today, the United States Department of State stands strongly to the recognition that settlements can be done in a way that are lawful and appropriate and proper,” he said.
He noted that Israel is vital to protecting the Middle East from Iran.
“We talked about how we can protect Americans and Israelis in the region from the regime in Tehran. You talked about this. They remain — we should not take for granted they remain the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in all the world,” Pompeo said.
“Israel has provided outstanding support to our pressure campaign, which we have no intention of relaxing,” he said.
Pompeo said that regional peace comes with one foundational principle — the recognition of Israel.
“People have come to recognize all across this region that the right thing to do is recognize the state of Israel as appropriate and proper and a great wonderful partner for all things economic and academic and security. I am confident that this one-way movement, this one-way ratchet towards peace, will continue,” he said.
During his visit to the Golan Heights, acquired from Syria by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967, Pompeo called the region “a part of Israel and a central part of Israel.”
The secretary of state recalled that early in his military career, there was “international pressure to return this very place to Syria.”
“It was all the rage in the salons in Europe and in the elite institutions in America to say that this should be returned to Syria,” he said. “Imagine, imagine with [Syrian leader Bashar] Assad in control of this place, the risk, the harm to the West and to Israel and to the people of Israel.
“President Trump just recognized the basic fact that this indeed is part of Israel.”
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