Palestinians protest Pompeo visit to Judea and Samaria

Pompeo’s visit marks the first time a high-ranking American diplomat has formally visited Judea and Samaria.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Psagot Winery in Judea and Samaria, on the outskirts of Ramallah, on Thursday, to the dismay of Palestinians.

Earlier in the day, Pompeo confirmed that President Trump would honor a request from four Republican senators to officially change U.S. customs policy regarding products made in Judea and Samaria, so that said goods will be labeled “Made in Israel.”

Pompeo’s visit marks the first time a high-ranking American diplomat has formally visited Judea and Samaria.

In al-Bireh, a Ramallah suburb some 10 kilometers away from the Psagot Winery, Palestinians protested, waving flags and burning tires.

Holding signs with phrases such as “Pompeo Go Home” and “Pompeo is a Partner of a War Criminal,” scores of youth protested on the side of the road leading to Psagot.

“Pompeo’s visit is unprecedented. It makes him a participant in a war crime,” said Mustafa Barghouti, General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative and a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Central Council.

“This is an encouragement to the settlement building plans, and encouragement to the incremental annexation of the occupied Palestinian territories,” Barghouti told local media.

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Barghuouti’s cousin, Marwan Barghouti, was sentenced to five cumulative life sentences in 2004 for his involvement in planning and executing terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens and a Greek Orthodox priest.

A group of Palestinian activists held a press conference against the visit, in which they publicly condemned Pompeo.

“We are telling the Americans, when you drink that wine, you are drinking the blood of the Palestinian people,” said Abdul Jawad Saleh, an activist.

Saleh’s remarks call to mind classic blood libels against Jews, which falsely allege that Jews murder non-Jewish children in order to obtain their blood for religious rituals.

A common blood libel is that Jews use the blood of non-Jewish children to prepare Matzah for Passover. This falsehood is in direct contrast to Jewish dietary laws, which explicitly prohibit the consumption of blood.

Blood libels have historically led to deadly pogroms against Jews.