Lame duck US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, is on a visit to Israel. Pompeo knows the game is over for Trump and his own position will end in two months when Biden is sworn in as President.
So why is Pompeo in Israel? His visit, with its accompanying pronouncements, tells us three things:
Firstly, the continuing importance of Israel as a beachhead in the Middle East for US imperial interests. This has been the case since 1967 and with the US promising Israel almost four billion in “aid” every year for the next 10 years this will not change soon.
Israel works to ensure the current crop of dictators and medieval despots which rule Arab countries in the Middle East, and refuse democracy or freedom to their people, are kept in place.
While Israel upholds US interests in exchange for massive handouts, the US supports Israeli interests by condoning the wholesale theft of Palestinian land, denial of the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their land and homes in Israel, cover for the racist apartheid, policies towards Palestinian Israelis and Israel’s brutal military occupation of the entire area of historic Palestine.
On this visit Pompeo is announcing US policy to label products made in illegal Israeli settlements as “Made in Israel” and is promising to declare any support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel as anti-semitic.
Pompeo is showing contempt for international law and contempt for Palestinians and their basic human rights.
Secondly, Pompeo’s visit shows us how much he wants the Republican nomination to run for US President in 2024. This trip to Israel is the first step in his campaign.
Thirdly, his visit shows starkly the enormous power of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, whereby people around the world are campaigning for effective pressure on Israel to require it to abide by international law and United Nations resolutions.
The absurdity of Pompeo trying to equate support for BDS with anti-semitism shows just how vulnerable Israel is to the power of humanity joining hands around the world to force Israel to change direction. BDS was successful with apartheid South Africa and it will be successful with apartheid Israel.
Israel is terrified of BDS and the US is doing its best to forestall this popular movement with the likes of Pompeo tossing around claims of anti-semitism like confetti to try and protect filthy, racist, apartheid policies and unconscionable brutality towards Palestinians.
The international expert on apartheid, Bishop Desmond Tutu says the situation for Palestinians is worse that it was for black South Africans under apartheid there.
“I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing in the Holy Land that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under apartheid”.
Tutu points the way forward for the world when he says, in regard to Israeli polices, we should
“name it apartheid – and boycott”
In explaining this Tutu says:
“We (black South Africans) could not have achieved our democracy without the help of people around the world, who through… non-violent means, such as boycotts and disinvestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the apartheid regime,”
Pompeo has confirmed loudly and clearly that the international Palestinian solidarity movement is on the right path – BDS.
The last word in this blog should go to US based Jewish Voice for Peace which has denounced Pompeo’s idea that BDS is anti-semitic saying:
“We are proudly Jewish, proudly anti-Zionist, and proudly pro-BDS. BDS is a powerful tool in the work for Palestinian rights.”