ON Sunday, an absurd performance seemingly out of the twilight zone was witnessed in the occupied Golan Heights.
Here, Israel’s power elite — led by Benjamin Netanyahu — gathered to name an illegal settlement in occupied Syrian territory after the US president, to thank the incumbent of the White House for his many favours to Israel.
These include, of course, recognising the illegal occupation of Jerusalem and the Golan, approving unlawful settlements on Palestinian land, and giving the Zionist state a free hand to crush the Palestinians.
Behold Trump Heights — the latest real estate development on occupied Arab land.
The hamlet currently has a population of less than a dozen, but perhaps the Israeli government believes the new branding may result in a rush of investors to snap up the prized real estate, ignoring the inconvenient truth that Tel Aviv is giving away land that does not belong to it. But such prickly details have never bothered Israel, as its rapacious assault on Palestinian land since 1948 has shown. And though Donald Trump may have been a New York real estate mogul before entering the Oval Office, even he will have a difficult time justifying this shameless land grab in front of the international community.
Though ‘Trump Heights’ may be the butt of political jokes, it masks a much darker reality: that the Arabs — particularly the Palestinians — are powerless when it comes to defending their land from occupiers and encroachers. The UN recognises the Golan as Syrian territory, yet the US and Israel have shown utter contempt for international law by ‘normalising’ the illegal occupation of the region. The same is the case for the many Israeli settlements on Palestinian land; Tel Aviv has been emboldened by its American patrons to grab Palestinian land without a second thought, and there seems to be no one — in the international community, including the Arab and Muslim worlds — to stop this criminal land grabbing and raise a voice for the dispossessed Palestinians.
Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2019