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The New Arab Staff

Angered by US policies, Palestinian shoemaker engraves Trump's name on shoes

Hajj-Muhammad sells the shoes at around $65 a pair. [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 October, 2020

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The 57-year-old shoemaker says he wants to put Trump's name on the 'lowest thing' - the shoe.

A Palestinian shoemaker is expressing his frustrations with US President Trump's policies towards Palestinians by engraving his name on the shoes he makes from his West Bank workshop.

The 57-year-old Imad Haj-Muhammad produces the shoes, popular among Palestinian-Americans, as a form of protest against the Trump administration's policies concerning the Israeli conflict. 

In an interview with Al Araby TV, Haj-Muhammad accused Trump of "selling" Jerusalem to Israel, referring to the US leader's controversial recognition of the city as the capital of Israel in 2018.

"When you observe body language, the lowest thing is the shoe. So the best thing to do is to put... Trump on the shoes of Palestinians," Haj-Muhammad said.

Haj-Muhammad, who has a sign on the door of his shop addressed at "all American and British citizens" demanding an "apology" over the 1917 Balfour Declaration to be granted entry to his shop.

"Before entering, you should offer your apologies and hold responsibility for the Balfour's Declaration And Trump's dirty decision which has caused all the pain and suffering for the Palestinians since the declaration till this very moment," the sign reads.

The shoemaker also carves the word "Balfour" on his creations and draws similarities between Trump's policies – which he says are biased towards Israel – and the policies of the late British Foreign Secretary, Lord Balfour.

The declaration by the British government paved the way for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine and is seen by Palestinians as leading to what they call the 1948 Nakba – or catastrophe – when hundreds of thousands fled or were expelled during the war surrounding Israel's creation at the end of the British mandate in the region.

Read also: US election 2020: What's at stake for Palestine?

At the time of the British government's support for the creation of a homeland for the Jewish, Palestine was only 6 percent Jewish and 94 percent Palestinian Arabs.

Palestinians also argue that the UK had no legal right to designate the future of a territory it did not control or possess.

Imad began his unique protest in May 2018, after Trump violated a decades-long policy that the United States had pursued by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

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