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Pompeo's West Bank trip would be unthinkable for any other US Secretary of State. But not him

November 19, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Psagot on Thursday marked the first time a top American diplomat has visited a settlement in the West Bank, considered illegal under international law. For any other Secretary of State, this move would have been unprecedented, breaking with decades of US foreign policy and ignoring UN Security Council resolutions. But not from Pompeo, who has been moving American policy in this direction since virtually the beginning of his time as the Trump administration's top diplomat.

Jerusalem (CNN)Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Psagot on Thursday marked the first time a top American diplomat has visited a settlement in the West Bank, considered illegal under international law.

Under Pompeo, the State Department ruled that settlements are not de facto illegal under international law, leaving it up to Israel's court system to determine the legality of construction on land the rest of the world considers occupied territory.

State Department officials were anxious ahead of the visit, saying this was Pompeo's call.

After his visit to the Psagot winery, Pompeo upended decades of US foreign policy once again, announcing that products made in Israeli settlements could be labeled "Made in Israel," instead of "Made in the West Bank. " The owners of the winery spearheaded this fight in Europe, suing the European Union in recent years for barring the winery from attaching a "Made in Israel" label to its products.

The guidelines Pompeo released stipulate that Israeli products made in Area C of the West Bank, where Israel has full security and civilian control, can be labeled "Made in Israel. " Area C constitutes some 60% of the West Bank, which the international community considers territory for a future Palestinian state.

Pompeo then took a helicopter to the Golan Heights, again celebrating America's modified foreign policy under the Trump administration, which recognized Israeli sovereignty in the territory taken from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War.

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