Secretary of State Mike Pompeo makes historic visit to West Bank settlement

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made history Thursday by becoming the first top American diplomat to visit an Israeli settlement in the West Bank — as the US announced in a major policy shift that products from the “occupied” area can be labeled “Made in Israel.”

A State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed Pompeo’s visit to the Psagot winery near Jerusalem to reporters who were traveling with him but were not allowed to join during that part of the visit.

The West Bank winery had named one of its wines after Pompeo, a salute to his announcement last year that the Trump administration would no longer deem Israeli settlements there as violating international law, The Times of Israel reported.

“It is a blessing to be here in Judea and Samaria,” Pompeo wrote in the Psagot visitor’s book, using the Hebrew names for the West Bank area. “May I not be the last Secretary of State to visit this beautiful land.”

In a statement later, Pompeo said the US will label exports from Jewish settlements as Israeli.

“All producers within areas where Israel exercises the relevant authorities…  will be required to mark  goods as ‘Israel,’ ’Product of Israel,’ or ‘Made in Israel’  when exporting to the United States,” he said, The Times of Israel reported.

He said the new guidelines apply “most notably” to Area C, where Israel retains full civil and military control and where much of the West Bank settler population lives.


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