Four Republican senators sent a letter to President Donald Trump this week encouraging him to issue an executive order before Inauguration Day permitting goods produced in the Jewish settlements in the West Bank to be labelled ”Made in Israel,” Axios reported on Wednesday.
While the rest of the world regards settlements as illegal under international law and not part of Israel, the Trump administration has made several moves to legitimize them and blur the differentiation between Israel and the West Bank.
In an expression of this policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Israel on Wednesday and is expected on Thursday to become the first person in his position to visit an Israeli settlement.
The senators warned that an administration headed by Democrat Joe Biden would return to a policy adopted by all previous U.S. administrations since Israel captured the territories in 1967 of differentiating between Israel and the Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
That would make products from the settlements ”prime targets for BDS boycotts,” they wrote, referring to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement.
The letter — signed by Sens. Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Kelly Loeffler —was also sent to Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf.
It stated that the UN and prominent members of the Democratic Party back BDS and hope to damage Israel economically over its settlement policy.
The letter emphasized that Trump’s signing of the executive order ”would support Israel and push back against anti-Semitism and the BDS movement,” in addition to placing another hurdle for Biden if, as expected, he seeks to reverse Trump’s policies on settlements.