The US Secretary of State describes the global pro-Palestinian movement as a “cancer”, as he announced his plans to visit the occupied Golan Heights.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States would describe the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, which seeks to isolate Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians, as “anti-Semitic,” describing the movement as a “cancer.”
Pompeo said in a joint appearance with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Thursday.
The BDS Campaign is a non-violent, people-led movement that aims to put economic pressure on Israel to provide equal rights and the right of return to the Palestinians.
Similar to the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, it has inspired people from all over the world to boycott businesses and academic and cultural institutions that have a direct or indirect connection to Israel.
This includes companies associated with illegal Jewish settlements, those that provide services to the occupation, companies that exploit natural resources from the Palestinian territories, and companies that use Palestinians as cheap labor.
The UN Human Rights Office has identified more than 200 companies directly or indirectly linked to illegal settlements, most of them from Israel and the United States as well as from Germany and the Netherlands.
They include banking and tourism, as well as construction and technology companies.
Pompeo says he will visit the Golan Heights
Pompeo, who is in Israel as part of his recent trip to the Middle East as US Secretary of State, has said he will visit the Golan Heights, a land that Israel captured from Syria and occupied in the 1967 Middle East war.
“Today I will have the opportunity to visit the Golan Heights,” he said in Jerusalem on Thursday – in a statement that represented a departure from the policy of previous American administrations.
“ Just admitting this as part of Israel, too, was a decision President Trump made [in 2019] This is historically important and simply a recognition of reality. “
In March of last year, Trump recognized the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights when he signed a decree alongside Netanyahu at the White House.
The international community condemned this step, which does not recognize the seizure of land, while Syria described it as a “blatant attack” on its sovereignty.
Pompeo is also expected to become the first US Secretary of State to visit Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank on Thursday.
The anticipated visit to the Sagot winery will be another dramatic break-up by the Trump administration with the international community – which sees such settlement projects as illegal – and the traditional American line on the Middle East conflict.