In Pompeo news:

Israel’s military occupation has received a symbolic US stamp of approval after Mike Pompeo toured an archaeological dig run by a far-right settler group and visited a settlement that farms grapes on land Palestinians say was stolen from them.

The trips on Wednesday and Thursday marked the first time a US secretary of state had officially visited settlements, a deeply provocative move that previous American administrations went to lengths to avoid.

And he does it weeks before they’re all kicked out. Charming. (I don’t think “went to lengths to avoid” is how you say that; I think it has to be “great lengths” or similar. Going to lengths just sounds meaningless.)

Speaking at a press conference in Jerusalem on Thursday with the Israeli leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, Pompeo said the state department had historically taken “the wrong view of settlements”, which he claimed “can be done in a way that [is] lawful, appropriate and proper”.

A majority of world powers consider settlements as illegal under international law.

Pompeo later released a statement saying products from settlements could be labelled “Made in Israel”.

Word is Pompeo hopes to get Trump’s job next round. Let us hope not.

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