Israel comes from approved a plan to double the 25,000 or so settlers in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. The annexation of the territory by Israel in 1981, which it seized by force in 1967, is “null and void” under international law (Resolution 497). The transfer of population to illegally annexed territory is a war crime. The Trump administration, however, in defiance of international law, recognized the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, the first and only country to do so. The dysfunctional Netanyahu-Trump bromance culminated in a nomination ceremony for a new Golan Heights settlement in 2019 – “Trump Heights.”
The weak Biden administration will not go so far as to reverse this decision. State Secretary Antony Blinken said there was legal issues surrounding the decision, but – a reversal has not occurred in the foreseeable future.
So, once again, and as with the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the US political establishment has given the green light to the bipartisan consensus. Trump could be as outrageous as he wanted, but when it came to Israel, he actually called the shots, and the Israel-loving Biden wouldn’t go against them.
This consensus emboldened Israeli Prime Minister, settler leader Naftali Bennett, to to say:
The Golan Heights are Israeli. It goes without saying… The fact that the Trump administration recognized this and the fact that the Biden administration made it clear that there had been no change in this policy are also important.
Consensus is just great, isn’t it obvious?
And what better way than to reflect such a consensus with an annexationist colonial government in Israel, where even the most left-wing Zionist parties, Meretz, not only support the illegal annexation but also the expansion of settlements and the increase in numbers. settlers?
Thus, on Sunday, the Israeli cabinet, comprising two ministers from Meretz (Tamar Zandberg and Nitzan Horowitz), held a meeting in these very occupied territories to launch a plan for massive settlement expansion, involving the injection of one billion dollars. shekels (approximately $ 317 million) with the goal of doubling the Jewish-Israeli settler population by 2030.
The encounter echoed First meeting of Netanyahu’s cabinet in the occupied Golan in 2016, where he vowed that the Golan Heights will always be part of Israel.
Zandberg of Meretz said the decision was “complicated”. “We support peace and hope that one day it will happen,” she added. Embrace and support brazen war crimes, and hope for peace one day.
Never has hope been so cheap!
The illegal meeting was a bit too much for Palestinian Meretz Minister Issawi Freij, who decided not to participate, like members of the conservative Islamist Ra’am party, also a coalition party in the new government. Palestinians know that there is something called colonialism and expansionism, and with all the desire to be relevant in the politics of the Jewish state, participation in such brazen violations can be damaging to credibility. moral of each.
But don’t worry, the decision has been passed and Meretz is still hoping for peace.
What many people don’t realize today is that the Golan Heights were ethnically cleansed in 1967. About 124,000 of Syria’s 130,000 residents were forcibly evicted in 1967 and about 200 villages were destroyed. Israel has allowed around 6,000 Druze to stay, as the Druze are traditionally in favor of Israel’s expansion and have been allies with the Jewish state since 1948, and have held numerous security posts.
Thus, Israel’s occupation of the Golan creates much less news, simply because there is no resistance there, unlike the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. In this sense, the Syrian Golan has become like a dream land for Israel’s colonialist expansion designs – “a land without a people for a people without a land,” as the fictional Zionist myth puts it.
And if there’s hardly anybody but the elect, then hey, what’s the problem, right? Just a few empty areas waiting to be settled is the classic British ‘terra nullius’ idea of Australia – no people, no problem.
But just as Netanyahu’s meeting in the Golan was a precursor to that of Bennett, so Israel’s current expansionist movement in the Golan is the forerunner of further settlement normalization elsewhere. It may be that the Meretz leadership sees this as only limited consensus on an issue less controversial than the annexation of the West Bank, simply because it hardly generates much noise in Israeli society (or resistance). But for Bennett and his ilk, this decision is only part of a bigger plan. In Bennett’s worldview, there is no significant difference between the Golan and the West Bank, everything is “eretz Israel”, the “land of Israel”, and for him it is obvious, because it is somewhere in the bible. Annexing Area C of the West Bank, which Bennett has long wanted, is a bit too much to swallow right now for the Biden administration, as well as for Meretz, and it will create a backlash – so why not go through it. back door and work with consensus?
Once again, the simple truth came from the Palestinian lawmaker Ahmed Tibi of the United Arab List of the Palestinian Representative Party. He tweeted.
No matter how many cabinet meetings are held in the Golan, it is occupied Syrian territory,
Tibi also pointed to the responsibility of the leftists:
All the elements of the coalition are responsible for the decisions taken during this council of ministers. As well as for the deepening of settlements in the West Bank and the violence of the settlers.
Zionist expansion was always a matter of securing broad consensus to cement the next expansionist gain. In the popular terminology of religious settlers, there is a term called “Messiah’s donkey”. It was invented by Rabbi Avraham Isaac Kook, and the idea was that secular Zionist Jews were the donkey, a necessity to transport Orthodox religious Jews in order to create a Jewish state that would hasten the coming of the Messiah. Kook’s son, Zvi Yehuda, continued his father’s ideology and is considered the ideological father of the religious Zionist settlement movement in the West Bank.
Naftali Bennett is certainly a follower of this ideology. And this messianic ideology needs a donkey. Meretz is happy to provide it, even several donkeys.
BEFORE YOU LEAVE – Stories like the one you just read are the result of years of efforts by activists and media like us supporting them by spreading the word, slowly but relentlessly.
It is not a coincidence. Our work has helped create breakthroughs in the way the general public understands the Palestinian struggle for freedom.
Mondoweiss is playing a key role in helping to change the narrative around Palestine. Will you donate so that we can continue to tell in 2022 the stories that will change the world in 2023, 2025 and 2030?