US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has stated that the US will take steps against the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement, which calls for a global boycott of Israel. At the end of a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Pompeo said, "We will recognize the global BDS campaign as anti-Semitic. The time is right." The implication is that the US government will end support for any organization with ties to the BDS movement. Pompeo called the movement a "cancer" and said that its campaign was clearly anti-Semitic and that the US administration was therefore determined to act against it. Netanyahu responded by saying that Pompeo's announcement was "simply wonderful."
Pompeo added that he had talked with Netanyahu about ways to protect the countries of the region from Iran's aggression. He said that more Iranian organizations and individuals would be declared terrorist. On the agreements recently signed by Israel with the UAE and Bahrain, Pompeo said they brought hope that Israel and the Palestinians would be able to resolve their dispute, and that he was convinced that the process would continue.
By way of summing up President Trump's term as far as the region is concerned, Pompeo said, "The simple fact of recognizing the reality of Jerusalem as the rightful, proper, true capital of Israel - it’s crazy that the US hadn't done that for decades. Then we moved embassy. How simple, how right, how just." Pompeo also praised Trump's decision to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel. He is due to visit the area, accompanied by Minister of Defense Gabi Ashkenazi, after a visit to the Psagot winery in the Binyamin Regional Council north of Jerusalem, in an unprecedented move by a US official in Judea and Samaria.
Yesterday, Pompeo visited the City of David archaeological site in Jerusalem, after a tripartite meeting with Netanyahu and and Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, foreign minister of Bahrain, the first Bahraini government minister to visit Israel.
In his own remarks, Netanyahu thanked Pompeo as a friend of Israel. He also paid lavish tribute to President Trump. "Thanks to President Trump, the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moved its embassy here. Thanks to President Trump, the United States recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thanks to President Trump, the US pulled out of the dangerous nuclear deal with Iran, placed crippling sanctions on the Iranian regime and eliminated the mega-terrorist Qassem Soleimani. Thanks to President Trump, the United States proposed the first truly realistic plan for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. And thanks to President Trump, Israel was able to forge peace with three Arab countries: the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan," Netanyahu said.
On Iran, Netanyahu said, "Thanks to your tremendous efforts to carry out President Trump's maximum pressure campaign, Iran's feet have been held to the fire and we have seen a reduction in the amount of support that they are giving to their various proxies in the region. Your twelve points set the standard for what Iran needs to do if it wants to be treated like a normal country."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 19, 2020
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