Published: Fri, March 22, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Pompeo visits Holocaust Memorial, meets Israeli President Rivlin

Pompeo visits Holocaust Memorial, meets Israeli President Rivlin

Pompeo paid a solemn visit Thursday to Jerusalem's Western Wall along with Netanyahu in an apparent sign of support for Israel's control of the contested city. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

"President Trump has just made history".

'The message to people out there.

Trump's announcement could complicate his administration's plans to roll out its long-delayed Middle East peace plan after Israel's election.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, criticized Pompeo's visit to Israel absent any corresponding plans to meet with Palestinian officials.

"It's clear that this cynical move by Trump is not about the long-term interests of the USA or Israel, but rather about handing yet another political gift to Prime Minister Netanyahu in the hopes of boosting his chances for re-election next month", said Jeremy Ben-Ami the head of J Street, a liberal Mideast advocacy organization. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been pressuring the Trump administration over the last several weeks to make such a statement, which would bolster his re-election campaign back home. But Netanyahu, facing a tough challenge from a popular former military chief and reeling from a series of corruption allegations, has repeatedly sought to focus attention on his foreign policy record and strong ties with Trump.

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"The territorial integrity of countries is protected under int'l law", Kalin said in a tweet. Critics have condemned the legislation as racist, saying it enshrines discrimination against Israel's Palestinian minority into law. Most are residents of Israel but not full citizens. But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other US officials had denied in recent days that a change in official USA policy was in the offing.

"At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights", Netanyahu tweeted on Thursday.

There are now about 30 Israeli settlements on the land, which are home to 20,000 citizens.

Ariel Gold, co-director of feminist anti-war group CODEPINK, said Trump is solidifying his alliance with right-wing leaders around the world, including Netanyahu and Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro.

"This lets Israel know - like the embassy move did - that their government has the backing of the United States, and so, with the backing of the world's superpower, they don't need to take into account as much what will help create peace", Gold told MEE.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump, whose tenure in the White House thus far has been characterized by a profound attachment to and continuing adamant defense of the Jewish state, extended that attachment and defense one step further by calling for the United States government to formally and fully recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights border region.

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