Pompeo visits Israel, slams the 'BDS' movement

Pompeo visits Israel, slams the 'BDS' movement
Source: Al Jazeera

The United States is reiterating its commitment to its Israeli allies by standing against the anti-Semitic “BDS” or “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” movement popular by student unions in American colleges. In a statement on Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in Jerusalem that the United States will officially classify the BDS campaign as anti-Semitic and will move to immediately defund organizations that support the movement.

“Today, I want to make one announcement with respect to a decision by the State Department that we will regard the global anti-Israel BDS campaign as anti-Semitic,” Pompeo stated while speaking to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I know this sounds simple to you, Mr. Prime Minister, it seems. It seems like a statement of fact but I want you to know that we will immediately take steps to identify organizations that engage in hateful BDS conduct and withdraw U.S. government support for such groups.”

“We want to stand with all other nations that recognize that the BDS movement for the cancer that it is and we’re committed to combatting it,” Pompeo added. “Our record speaks for itself. During the Trump administration, America stands with Israel like never before. Indeed, the commitment we’ve made, the iron clad commitment we’ve made to the Jewish state will continue, I’m confident of that after our conversation this morning.”

In addition, the State Department highlighted the United States’ relationship with Israel in an official statement.

NGO Monitor responded to the announcement in a statement, saying:

The equating of BDS with antisemitism echoes the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, which defines attempts to deny “the Jewish people their right to self-determination” and apply “double standards” as antisemitic.

Combating antisemitism and ending the exploitation of universal human rights are both issues of great importance, and the need to address these objectives should transcend political divisions. In this context, NGO Monitor has called for governments, as well as NGOs, to adopt the IHRA working definition of antisemitism.

Pompeo made the official visit to Israel to discuss the Trump administration’s historic Abraham Accords and national security issues pertaining to state-sponsored terrorism from the Islamic Republic of Iran.