Oh no Pompeo!

JVL Introduction

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has as little concern for the US Constitution as he does for International Law.

He has followed up his visit to an illegal Israeli settlement with an attempt to ban support for BDS in contravention of the First Amendment.

He claims to be prohibiting “anti-Semitic BDS activities” – if that was his limited attempt we would endorse it, as we do all attempts to oppose antisemitic activities.

His essential concern is to falsely identify anti-Zionism with antisemitism, whose only effect is to justify Israel’s countless breaches of international law.

We reject his false assertion. Opposition to an ideology – Zionism – is not the same as hostility based upon hatred of Jews as Jews, – antisemitism.

Secondly, the claim that all BDS is, in itself, anti-Zionist is quite simply false. There are many Jewish Zionists who believe that Israel’s actions bring shame upon Zionism and that BDS is an appropriate means of purifying Zionism.

Pompeo is a Trumpian true believer wishing to project his mentor’s distorted vision globally. Our struggle must be to support our American colleagues who will be trying to get Biden to roll back the excesses of Trump’s Israel policy as a step towards ending US indulgence of Israel’s crimes.

This article was originally published by US State Department. Read the original here.

Identifying Organizations Engaged in Anti-Semitic BDS Activities



NOVEMBER 19, 2020



It is the policy of the United States to combat anti-Semitism everywhere in the world and in whatever form it appears, including all forms of discrimination and hatred rooted in anti-Semitism. The United States strongly opposes the global discriminatory boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign (Global BDS Campaign) and practices that facilitate it, such as discriminatory labeling and the publication of databases of companies that operate in Israel or Israeli-controlled areas.

As we have made clear, anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. The United States is, therefore, committed to countering the Global BDS Campaign as a manifestation of anti-Semitism.

To advance this policy, I have directed the Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism to identify organizations that engage in, or otherwise support, the Global BDS Campaign. In identifying such organizations, the Office of the Special Envoy will consider whether an organization is engaged in actions that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize, or otherwise limit, commercial relations specifically with Israel or persons doing business in Israel or in any territory controlled by Israel.

To ensure that Department funds are not spent in a manner that is inconsistent with our government’s commitment to combat anti-Semitism, the State Department will review the use of its funds to confirm that they are not supporting the Global BDS Campaign. Further, the State Department will conduct a review of options consistent with applicable law to ensure that its foreign assistance funding is not provided to foreign organizations engaged in anti-Semitic BDS activities.

The United States urges governments around the world to take appropriate steps to ensure that their funds are not provided directly or indirectly to organizations engaged in anti-Semitic BDS activities.

Comments (8)

  • Bob Jones says:

    For more on this, plus the response of the Palestinian BDS Committee, see the following in the indispensable Mondoweiss:



  • RC says:

    I think Pompeo’s attack should be condemned across the entire LP. Who in the LP would. support this outrageous further attempt by the US to control the entire world.
    What legitimate motive could they possibly have for supporting such a totalitarian intrusion into every other country in the world, not to mention the UN and its procedures?

  • Edward Hill says:

    The leaked Labour Party report of April 2020 states: “Antisemitic conspiracies about Jews often now use the term “Zionist” “, and lists accompanying words or phrases as signs to watch for, ending with the blank cheque of “etc.” (page 772)
    The Campaign Against Antisemitism website states: “Those claiming to be only antiZionist, not antisemitic, are denying Israel’s right to exist, which is considered to be one of the manifestations of antisemitism.”
    The Equality and Human Rights Commission, in taking on the C.A.A. complaint of antisemitism in the Labour Party, and failing to define antisemitism or make reference to “zionism” in its report, has given acceptability to the C.A.A. viewpoint. When a similarly ‘independent’ body is commissioned to “handle and determine antisemitism complaints” in the party, it may find simply irresistible the maxim endorsed by the United States government, “AntiZionism is antiSemitism.”

  • John C says:

    Eric Blair is saying to himself it’s as if I was never born and never writ.

  • Stephen Richards says:

    The IHRA definition will always be cited in support of ‘Zionism’. Any attempts made to claim that Israel is an apartheid state or a racist endeavour, is by this definition anti-Semitism. Comparison with the apartheid state of South Afrika & its violent past will also been seen as evidence of anti-Semitism as anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. The British Labour Party have embraced a cancer that will not stop until Palestine becomes Israel & anyone who is not a Jew is cleansed from the homeland.

  • John Hall says:

    Even Eric Blair might be a bit surprised that criticism of a largely Christian movement – (settler-colonial) Zionism – is called “anti-semitism”, by a current senior US politician. There again, surprisingly few question this – not the publishers, not the majority of the Public, and certainly not Starmer and most in the Labour Party

  • Malcolm Ede says:

    It is significant that Pompeo does not address, or comment on, Israel’s flagrant breaches of International Law with regard to the building of illegal settlements on Palestinian land. Therefore, one can only conclude that he fully agrees with what the Israeli government is doing in this regard. He does not say or accept that the BDS movement is only there to “fight back” against the injustices inflicted on those suffering from those injustices.

  • Dr Paul says:

    Pompeo claims: ‘As we have made clear, anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.’ So, by this logic, criticism of a political philosophy and of actions resulting from that political philosophy is the same as a prejudiced attitude towards a people associated with that philosophy. If we are to extend this principle from this one example to the world at large — and surely that is necessary, if we are not to treat Zionism as a special, unique case — then this renders politics almost impossible, as large numbers of political philosophies are nationalist in nature, and one may therefore only criticise them at the risk of being considered as prejudiced against the national group associated which each of them. An example: criticism of Irish Republicanism would be construed as a prejudiced attitude towards Irish people. We have already seen that, in fact, this principle is being used by supporters of the current Indian government: the ‘Modi-fiers’ are saying that criticism of Indian nationalism is identical to a prejudiced attitude towards Indian people.

    This principle also introduces another factor: it implies that criticism of Zionism as a political philosophy and as a basis for governmental action is predicated upon a prejudiced attitude towards Jews. Now, whilst this can be true — for example, with fascist groups for which anti-Semitism is a driving force — it must surely be the responsibility of the accuser to prove that anti-Jewish feelings are the cause of the critic’s attitude towards Zionism, and not implicitly or explicitly to assume that such feelings are the basis of the critic’s standpoint.

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