Netanyahu named an illegal settlement in the Golan Heights after Donald Trump, saying he had “torn the mask off this hypocrisy which doesn’t recognize the obvious,” and Trump promptly thanked Netanyahu for the “great honor.”
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today he plans to name a settlement in the Golan Heights after President Donald Trump. A train station under construction in Jerusalem’s Old City will also be named after Trump. Both are located in occupied territory.
Before Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017, he says he got calls from “presidents, dictators, prime minister, kings, queens– everybody” and didn’t take the calls. Similar pressure kept previous presidents from making the move, he told the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas yesterday, but moving the embassy made his biggest donors, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, very happy.
US recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights will prove a boon for the Israeli right, which has been clamoring to annex vast areas of the West Bank and thereby drive a final nail into the coffin of the two-state solution. Israel’s right can now plausibly argue: “If Trump has consented to our illegal seizure of the Golan, why not also our theft of the West Bank?”
President Donald Trump recognized the Golan Heights as Israeli territory on Monday, stating Israel depends on the lands seized from Syria in the 1967 war for “defense, and perhaps offense” from an array of enemies in the Middle East naming Hizbollah in Syria, Iran, and the Gaza Strip.
President Donald Trump today announced over social media the U.S. should recognize Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, Syrian territory that was captured in the June 1967 war.
In what may signal a major break in longstanding US policy, the State Department referred to the occupied Syrian Golan Heights as “Israeli-controlled,” as opposed to the usual “Israeli-occupied,” for the first time in their 2018 human rights report published Wednesday. In the report, the State Department also failed to refer to the West Bank and Gaza Strip as occupied territories.
In a first, US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley declared that she would vote against a resolution condemning Israel’s control of Syrian Golan since 1967. Israel took the land for strict reasons of greed, as then Defense Minister Moshe Dayan conceded, though the illegal occupation is rarely mentioned in the US press.
Aaron Cantú visits Majdal Shams in the occupied Golan Heights and interviews Wael Tarabieh, who led a cultural center that became a center of local support for the Syrian revolution in 2011, and Kamara Abu Saleh, who works at the anti-occupation human rights group Al-Marsad. They discuss the changing understandings of Druze identity in Israel and the impact of the Syrian civil war on the Golan Heights.