Seized from Syria in the six-day war by Israel and illegally occupied ever since, the Golan Heights has been declared by US president Donald Trump to be Israeli territory. In the build-up to elections to Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, in which Benjamin Netanyahu’s run as prime minister looked seriously threatened, this was a political gift from President Trump to a trusted lieutenant of imperialism.
Flouting international law with continued impunity
Unsurprisingly, given Israel’s unparalleled record of disregarding United Nations resolutions, Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights is forbidden by UN resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which stipulate that the heights are Syrian territory and must be returned to the Syria Arab Republic.
Unlike when Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city, all he has done in effect is recognise reality. Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights is an unfortunate fact. Historically and legally the territory is Syrian and Arab, and should be returned to Syria, but for over 50 years Israel has occupied, controlled and exploited the area.
The heights’ sovereignty is not made so by Donald Trump, or even dependent upon resolutions from the United Nations – it is made possible by economic, military and political power, and this usurped sovereignty has been made evident by decades of exploitation of Syrian oil, and the fact that a third of Israel’s water supply is pumped from Golan. Syria has not received a single penny for this naked robbery.
Israeli thief demands payment from its Arab victims
The significance of this point regarding cash is that this is the same Israel that is determined to receive $250bn compensation from Iran and seven Arab states: Syria, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Iraq, Egypt and Yemen. Netanyahu’s government announced it would seek this in return for the property and assets of jews who left these countries in 1948 to move to the newly formed Israeli state.
The absurdity of the claim is many-fold. First, as has been made clear, it is Israel that exploits stolen Syrian land and resources not vice versa. Second, Israel bombed and destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981; not a penny was received by Iraq for the destruction of this asset, not to mention for the lives of those killed in the attacks.
Third, Israel also stole lands from Egypt and Jordan in the six-day war. Fourth, as unjust as the financial claim is, if it actually did have any merit, this would have been negated by the ludicrous sums being demanded. For example, $35bn has been demanded from Tunisia, although the entire Tunisian GDP is only $40bn.
So Israel makes no compensation for the repeated and flagrant crimes and thefts committed against its neighbours, yet Arab countries and Iran are to compensate Israel for having allegedly ‘seized’ assets and property resting on their own soil over 70 years ago.
The jews who left these countries in 1948 were citizens of said countries, not citizens of Israel; their property and assets rested on the soil of Iraq, Iran, Syria etc, not on the soil of Israel. There can be no logical or ‘moral’ argument that Israel should be ‘compensated’ for the ‘seizure’ of assets of Iraqi, Iranian or Syrian citizens’ property some 71 years ago.
As George Galloway told RT, the Israeli claims would be laughable if not for the fact that some of these countries, including Iran, have assets frozen in the United States. This leaves a gateway open for Israel to pursue its outrageous demands through the friendly US courts, which will no doubt permit Israel to access these frozen assets and commit legalised robbery.
Adding insult to injury, there are over 10 million Palestinian refugees scattered over the world who have had their homes and assets stolen by Israel and have received not a single penny from the zionist entity, nor are they ever likely to. And the criminal theft continues to this day.
All of us have seen footage of the Israeli imperialists at work: settlement building, forcibly removing Palestinians from their homes, and handing these homes over to jews, whether these be jewish Israelis, jewish Americans or jewish Europeans. And that while jews of all countries may find a home in the land formerly known as Palestine, Palestinians continue to be forcibly removed from that land.
At its core, zionism is an ideology which says that Dutch jews, French jews, Canadian jews et al have been promised the land of Palestine by their god, and that therefore any jew can move to the land of Palestine – a country being slowly wiped off the map by zionism – whilst the people of that land, the Palestinians, have no right to be there and should be cleansed as necessary. The jewish god is not only omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and benevolent, but is also, apparently, an estate agent.
Despite this, it is Israel that continues disgustingly to play the ‘victim’ card. And so we witness the Golan announcement under the tired old guise of Israel ‘having a right to defend itself’.
Israel ‘defends itself’ by murdering unarmed protestors
Such Israeli ‘self-defence’ measures were in full display on Saturday 30 March as hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were out in force to mark the first anniversary of the Great March of Return demonstrations.
The brutal and bloody Israeli repression of these demonstrations has resulted in at least 180 murders, including of journalists and medics, the most publicised being that of young medic Razan al-Najjar. On this anniversary commemoration four more Palestinians were killed and a further 64 were wounded by Israeli forces.
That the recent Palestinian losses were relatively limited is due to two factors. First, even given the hawkish Israeli public, it would have been reckless of Netanyahu to unleash the snipers as he did last year, less than a fortnight away from Knesset elections.
Second, work in the background saw Egyptian intelligence secretly broker a period of ‘calm for calm’ between Israel and the forces of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, which nominally ‘runs’ the Gaza strip (to the extent that an open-air prison denied access to trade and basic necessities like water, medicines, building materials and electricity can be meaningfully managed).
“The details remained veiled, but people briefed on the discussions said they hinged on whether Israel would approve a European-funded 161KV power line to Gaza, widen a fishing corridor and allow more exports of vegetables into Israel. Israel has enforced a land, sea and air blockade of Gaza since 2007, which has destroyed its economy, weakened Hamas and impoverished its residents …
“[Netanyahu’s] allies accuse him of caving in to blackmail. The concessions Mr Netanyahu has made so far, which have included allowing Qatar to pay $15m in cash salaries each month to Hamas’s civilian employees, who have not received full salaries in years, and pay for fuel to double electricity to eight hours a day, have not dented unemployment or food insecurity.
“Instead, the data shows that Gaza is entering a dangerous phase of economic collapse, said Omar Shaban, the director of PalThink for Strategic Studies, prompting rare street protests that Hamas responded to with mass arrests and violence in the past two weeks.” (Clashes at Gaza border leave several Palestinians dead by Mehul Srivastava, Financial Times, 30 March 2019)
Despite this Egyptian-brokered military calm, there are few signs of political calm from the Israeli side. Indeed, on the eve of the elections Netanyahu made a promise to annex further Palestinian lands in the West Bank of what is still officially meant to be ‘Palestine’.
Promises of further land-grabs to come
Evidently feeling empowered by US imperialism’s recognition of the Golan Heights’s annexation, the Israelis have been further emboldened to advance the zionist project. Or perhaps Netanyahu just spoke to his imaginary estate agent friend in the sky.
“Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to annex some of the jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank if he wins a fifth term in Israel’s general election tomorrow.
“Israel has held the West Bank since capturing it from Jordan in 1967, but despite allowing hundreds of thousands of Israelis to settle there, it has never extended its sovereignty beyond the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem.
“Some Israeli commentators considered the prime minister’s pledge on Saturday to be an attempt to steal votes from ultranationalist rivals, who have long advocated annexation.
“For years, Mr Netanyahu had resisted the far right’s calls to formally put land in the West Bank under permanent Israeli control, but he may have been emboldened to change his policy because of President Trump, who announced last month that he recognised Israel’s sovereignty over another disputed area, the Golan Heights.
“‘Who says that we won’t do it? We are on the way and we are discussing it,’ Mr Netanyahu told Israel’s Channel 12 news on Saturday.” (Binyamin Netanyahu vows to annex West Bank settlements by Anshel Pfeffer, The Times, 8 April 2019)
Despite such election promises, Netanyahu’s Likud party has only just done enough to form a government. Having tied with the newly-formed Blue and White party (a merger of existing parties) on 35 seats apiece, Netanyahu was invited to form the next government in alliance with an array of religious extremist groups.
At present he is in talks with such groups as United Right, Yisrael Beyntenu and United Torah Judaism. To say the least, these outfits are unlikely to prove a moderate calming influence on the rabid Netanyahu.
Instead, we should expect more annexations, more land seizures, more settlement building, more aggression, more violence, more murder and more imprisoned children. The zionist entity can do nothing else.
Israeli scorpion stings the Palestinian frog and dooms itself
In Russia, there is a fable: The Scorpion and the Frog. A scorpion asks a frog to carry it over a river. The frog is unconvinced, expecting that it will be stung by the scorpion. The scorpion explains that if it does this they will both drown and die. Eventually, the frog agrees and swims across the river with the scorpion on its back. Halfway across, the scorpion stings the frog. Dismayed, the frog asks the scorpion why it stung it. The scorpion simply says it could not help but do so; it is a scorpion, and the scorpion’s nature is to sting.
In much the same way, zionists cannot help but act like zionists. Zionism is a political ideology that relegates non-jews to a lower status than jews, who are considered to be God’s ‘chosen people’, and promises one people another people’s homeland.
According to the logic of their own ideology, the zionists cannot stop expanding until all of Palestine has been wiped from the map and not an inch remains, even if this means that they are actually destroying the long-term viability of their own state’s existence. After all, if a separate Palestinian state is no longer viable, the only remaining option will be a multinational state on the soil of historic Palestine. That state, by its very nature, cannot be Israel, which is envisioned purely as a land for jews.
Meanwhile, if any other Arab lands such as the Golan Heights can be stolen for the jewish Lebensraum, the zionists will be more than happy to jump at them, thus building up further opposition to their fascistic statelet and bringing closer the day of its demise.