Pompeo becomes first top US diplomat to visit an Israeli settlement

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday became the first top American diplomat to visit an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.

It comes as the State Department announced that products from the settlements can be labelled “Made in Israel.”

Pompeo also announced that the US would brand the international Palestinian-led boycott movement against Israel as “anti-Semitic”, and bar any groups linked to it from receiving government funding.

It was not immediately clear which groups would be affected by the move.

Hall Gardner, professor of International Politics at the American University of Paris, told Euronews that the Trump administration is “for the first time reversing US policy and legitimising the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Golan Heights.”

“There are several factors at play here,” he added. “In addition to legitimising the settlements”, the US is “legitimising the products made in the settlements, so that they can be sold in the American market as made in Israel.”

But the move of the Trump administration is according to Gardner also aimed at catching the “white Evangelical vote” in the “two senator races that are still standing in the United States”.

(You can watch the full interview in the player above).


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