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Netanyahu's “Trump Heights” is Fake News [Updated]

TPM is reporting several Israeli papers are saying that “Trump Heights” — Netanyahu’s latest attempt to flatter Trump — is nothing more than a sign and may never be anything more than a sign.

No actual town or village has actually been founded at all. It appears to be little more than a PR stunt to curry favor with the President who continues to openly support Netanyahu as the country moves toward new elections in September. No money has been budgeted for the new town. Nor is there specific location. Indeed, there’s no commitment to build a town at all.

They picked this up from this story in Ha’aretz : Welcome to Trump Heights, the Israeli Town That Doesn't Exist :

We’ll begin at the end. No new community named for U.S. President Donald Trump was actually established on Sunday in the Golan Heights. As even the founder of the Knesset caucus for the Golan, Kahol Lavan MK Zvi Hauser, observed: “Anyone who reads the fine print of the ‘historic’ decision understands that this is a conceptual decision. There is no funding. There is no planning. There is no location and there is really no committed decision. That’s what the ‘Israbluff’” – to borrow a term from Israeli comedy, avoiding a problem with a fictional solution – “of establishing of a new community in the Golan Heights looks like.

And the concluding paragraph says it all (remember Ha’aretz hates Netanyahu):

The truth is that the Netanyahu government should be commended for a brilliant move. After all, what does Trump love more than seeing his name in golden letters on a big sign? The main thing is the picture, and who’s going to check afterward whether a community is built there or not. The honor has already been bestowed; the facts are marginal. After all, we live in the age of fake news, as President Trump likes to say.                                                    

The Jerusalem Post, which is more conservative than Ha’aretz, has a similar report: MK Hauser: Trump Heights nothing more than 'fake policy'    

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Trump, of course, fell for it:

Thank you PM @Netanyahu and the State of Israel for this great honor! Twitter

US and other media don’t seem to have figured this out yet, as far as I can tell. I’ll monitor from time to time and update if they do. But I have to say, this is an irony that Netanyahu may appreciate but that Trump surely will not.

Update: Washington Post’s PowerPost is now repeating the Ha’aretz and other stories.

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