Seized from Syria in the Six Day War by Israel and illegally occupied since, the Golan Heights has been declared by US President Trump as Israeli territory. In the build up to Knesset elections in which Binyamin Netanyahu’s run as Prime Minister looked seriously threatened, this was a political gift from Donald Trump to a trusted lieutenant of imperialism.
Unsurprisingly, given Israel’s unparalleled record of disregarding UN resolutions, Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights is forbidden by UN Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) which stipulate that the Golan 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 the unfortunate reality. Historically and legally they are Syrian and Arab, and should be returned to Syria. But for over 50 years Israel has occupied, controlled and exploited the region. Their 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 a third of Israel’s water supply that is pumped in from Golan. Syria has not received a single penny for this naked daylight robbery.
The significance of the point of cash is that this is the same Israel which is determined to receive $250 billion compensation from Iran and seven Arab states: Syria, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Iraq, Egypt and Yemen. Netanyahu’s government announced it would seek this for property and assets of Jews who left these countries in 1948 to move to the newly formed Zionist entity.
The absurdity of the claim is many-fold. Firstly, as has been made clear, it is Israel which exploits stolen Syrian land and resources not vice versa. Secondly, 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 those killed in the attacks. Thirdly, in addition, Israel also stole lands from Egypt and Jordan in the Six Day War. Fourthly, as unjust as the financial claim is, if it actually did have any merit, this would have been cast aside by the ludicrous sums demanded. For example, $35 billion has been demanded from Tunisia when the entirety of Tunisian GDP is only $40 billion.
So Israel compensates no-one for its repeated flagrant crimes and thefts committed against its neighbours. Yet Arab countries and Iran are to compensate Israel, for those Arab countries and Iran, 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 therefore leaves a gateway open for Israel: it could very well take this issue through the US courts who will no doubt allow 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 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. These crimes continue to this day. For certain, all of us have seen footage of the Israeli imperialists at work, settlement building and forcibly removing Palestinians from their homes, and handing these homes over to Jews: Jewish Israelis, Jewish Americans, Jewish Europeans. For we must remember that Jews of all countries may find a home in the land formerly known as Palestine, yet Palestinians continue to be forcibly removed from said land. At its core Zionism is an ideology which says that Dutch Jews, French Jews, Canadian Jews were promised the land of Palestine by their God, therefore any Jew can move to the land of Palestine, a country wiped off the map by Zionism, whilst the people of that land, the Palestinians, have no right to be there and should be cleansed if necessary. The Jewish God is not only omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and benevolent, but is also an estate agent apparently.
Despite this, it is Israel which continues to devilishly play the victim card. And so we have the Golan announcement all under the tired old guise of ‘Israel must have a right to defend itself’. Such Israeli ‘self-defence’ measures were in full display on Saturday March 30th 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 resulted in at least 180 deaths, including journalists and medics, most notably Razan al-Najjar. On this anniversary commemoration a further 4 Palestinians were killed and a further 64 shot by Israeli forces.
That the recent Palestinian losses were relatively limited is due to two obvious factors. Firstly, 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.
Secondly, work in the background saw Egyptian intelligence secretly broker a period of ‘calm for calm’ between Israel and Hamas.
“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’ civilian employees, who have not received full salaries in years, and pay for fuel to double electricity to 8 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 (Mehul Srivastava, ‘Clashes at Gaza border leave several Palestinians dead’, 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 aforementioned Knesset elections Netanyahu made a promise to annex further Palestinian lands in the West Bank. Evidently feeling empowered by US imperialism’s recognition of the Golan Heights annexation, the Israelis have been further emboldened to advance the Zionist project. Or perhaps he just spoke to his estate agent imaginary friend in the sky.
“Binyamin 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 (Anshel Pfeffer, ‘Binyamin Netanyahu vows to annex West Bank settlements’, The Times: 8 April 2019).
Despite such election promises Netanyahu’s Likud Party have just about 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. Currently 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, more imprisoned children. The Zionist entity can do nothing else. In Russia there is a fable, the Scorpion and the Frog. In this a scorpion asks the 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. The relevance here is Zionists will act like Zionists. Zionism is a political ideology which relegates non-Jews to a status lower than Jews, the ‘chosen people’. It is an ideology which promises one people another people’s homeland. Therefore, the Zionists will not stop until all of Palestine has been wiped from the map and not an inch remains. If any other Arab lands such as the Golan Heights can be stolen for Jewish Lebensraum, then all the better for the Zionists.