Golan is not for sale
Elyakim Haetzni
Published: 30.05.08, 14:15
Comment Comment
Print comment Print comment
Back to article
39 Talkbacks for this article
1. The people of Israel are against giving away the Golan.
Simone Cobart ,   Israel   (05.30.08)
Yossi Peled, former Northern District Command chief for the IDF, called a withdrawal from the Golan Heights "suicide." Peled took a philosophical turn and concluded by saying, "Peace for the Jewish State is not a goal. Peace is a means to a goal, and our goal is to ensure the physical existence of the Jewish State. That is the goal and hopefully we will then be able to achieve peace." There is no majority in the Knesset, nor in the nation for withdrawal from the Golan - more than 70 out of the 120 Knesset Members oppose withdrawal from the Golan Heights. Among the Israeli public, Katz claimed, 70% oppose concessions on the Golan. More about the dangers of abandoning the Golan Hights at : http://tinyurl.com/6grear
2. Syria has owned Golan for thousands of years
Sayid ,   Sweden   (05.30.08)
beginning with the Syrian civilizations of Amorites and later Aramaeans, Then came the few jewish settlers that lived there for a short period of time. Also during the Ottoman Empire (1517-1917), the Golan was considered a part of the Syrian (Southern) district of their empire. When France ceded Golan to Syria this was a correction of the mistake of putting it together with Palestine in the first place, since historically, geographically and rightfully it is Syria's and no one else's.
3. The Golan
Yehudi ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (05.30.08)
Absolutely true. The Golan is part of the Land of Israel. We Jews belong to the Land and Land belongs to us. Our connection with the Land is part of our soul. We must never even think of giving it up.
4. O.K., all cool, but can anybody answer one question...
John ,   Europe   (05.30.08)
WHAT THEN YOU PROPOSE!? You kept territories, you had war. You are giving territories, and, by this article, you will have war. So what do you suggest? Extermination of all Arabs? Nobody will stand that. Expulsion of all Arabs from Israel, based on "Israel is Jewish country!"? You will have instant expulsion of Jews from Arab and Western Countries. And Israel cannot integrate ALL of them in matter of weeks. No country can. So if you stick to the "all-2-us" politics, you will have occasional bomb attacks, shehids etc. etc. And the rest of the world will not, as you know, give a damn. But, there is positive precedence in form of Egypt, where you returned Synai and had peace. O.k., you can argue "But Egypt doesn't love us, they are antysheme", and you are RIGHT, but - who cares? You do not have Egypt attacks every day, and that is most important! So, if anybody has better suggestions, how to keep the territories, have peace and not make (too) many victims, write. Couse there is ONE MORE thing that all here forget: when you make peace with Arabs, you will HAVE THEM AS NEIGHBOURS. And bad blood... Well, as you all know on French and British example, doesn't go off so easily
5. I forgot
John ,   Europe   (05.30.08)
There IS one negative pull-out example, Gaza. So, you guys are in state of perpetual war in which you will not know if your children will be killed in next 5 minutes. And there is no sun in horizon.
6. Sayid, I live in gaza and even I know better than that. The
Siad ,   gaza   (05.30.08)
Golan DOES belong to Israel.
7. everybody say after me "thaaank you ooolmert".
luca   (05.30.08)
8. Sayid, what planet are you on?
Jay3 ,   Israel   (05.30.08)
Jews have lived in that region for over 3000 years. The Assyrians have nothing to do with the existing shiite muslim Iranian controlled Syria of today. France illegaly ceded the territory to Syria in the first place. Your distortions of facts is pathetic.....go back to school.
11. #2, yeah right, and Jesus was a "Palestinian"
Jake   (05.30.08)
"Syrian civilizations of Amorites and later Aramaeans" You are equating the modern Arab Republic of Syria with these ancient peoples, but the term "Syria" itself was invented by the Greek historical tourist Herodotus, as a misnomer for "Assyria". Today's Syria is an Arab republic, and has nothing to do with these extinct peoples. Speaking of Aramaeans, the Bible clearly shows that the ancient Hebrews were intimately connected with a part of the Aramaeans (Aram Naharaim, where they originated and the patriarchs took their wives from there). In fact "Aram" is named as a descendant from Abraham's brother, Nahor (Genesis 22). In Deuteronomy 26 the Israelites are told to recollect that "a wandering Aramaean was my father". Furthermore, the area of Aram Damascus was part of the Israelite kingdoms of David and Solomon. Also, Aramaic has been preserved as a major language for Jewish liturgy, second only to Hebrew. As for the Golan, it was designated as one of the "cities of refuge" in ancient Israel. After the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, the Galilee and Golan became the main centers for Jewish settlement and cultural life in the Land. More recently, the core of the Golan was populated mostly by Druzes and Circassians. The main Arab town on the Golan, Quneitra, has been returned to Syria, together with the eastern portion of the Golan, in 1974. The Golan's main significance to Arab Nationalism has been its use as a spring board for attacks and artillery strikes on Israel. Syria built military bunkers, tunnels, and pillboxes on the Golan. Israel builds wineries, wind farms, resorts, and villages there. So who is the rightful owner?
SHALIM   (05.30.08)
YITZAK BEN SHLOMO   (05.30.08)
WARNING & CAUTION !!!!!!! any attempt to harm Israeli sovereignty in the Golan will cause severe damage to state security and thus is doomed to fail .Israel SHALL asserts its right to retain the area under the text of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 without reservation and in complete favor protecting the ISRAELI SECURITY INTEREST as TOP PRIORITY. GOLAN NOT NEGOTIABLE . WE WILL SLAUGHTERED THE ENEMIES AND FEED THEIR MEAT TO THE DOGS !
14. #8
joseph ,   Israel   (05.30.08)
Syria is not a "Shiite muslim regime". Syria is an apartheid regime where the "ethnically superior" Alawi control the more numerous Sunni. The Alawi are a branch of Shiite. This is one reason Syrian Alawi Arabs ally themselves with the Persians of Iran against the Sunni
15. Under international law, Israel cannot gain territory....
Bilal ,   Leeds, UK   (05.30.08)
...by force and cannot transfer its own citizens to those occupied territories. Israel has done both these in the golan and israel rejecting this shows that it IS a pariah state that does not respect the geneva convention and should be confronted by all the peace-loving peoples of the world.
GUESS WHO ?   (05.30.08)
17. "Quiet border"
DkS ,   J'lem, IL   (05.30.08)
Our border in the Golan might be quiet, but in return Syria is burning our borders on all other sides (Gaza, Lebanon). The only reason why ourdirect border with Syria was quiet in recent years is the fact that the Syrians were afraid of a direct confrontation with us. After our military debacle in Lebanon, that fear is gone. The question is what you people want. Return the Golan after another bloody war in which plenty of Israeli lives will be lost (the Sinai scenario repeated); or return the Golan after peace negotiations and try to get the most out of it. Furthermore: that whole "the Golan has strategic value"-argument is nonsense too. The Syrians really don't need the Golan in order to shoot missiles at us. They operate Hamas & Hizbullah for that and can shoot them from Damascus too. And the Syrians commanding a tank division down the Golan with our army waiting for them on the other side, would be military suicide. Any military strategist will tell you this. Wake up people: The Golan is nice and we all love it. But in the end we're better of without it.
18. Poop on International law, the the Golan is JEWISH land now.
Bunnie Meyer ,   Santa Monica,CA USA   (05.30.08)
19. bilal#15 tell that to usa,russia,china,morocco
trumpeldor ,   eurabia   (05.30.08)
That is the way human history is made ,even for arabs! LOST TERRITORIES GO TO WAR WINNERS ! Syria fired on israeli communities from golan for years NOW IT IS OVER !
20. #15 - Bilal, Under which international law?
Joe ,   Ramat Gan   (05.30.08)
Please point out to me exactly which international law you are referring to when you state, "[a nation] cannot gain territory by force and cannot transfer its own citizens to those occupied territories." Also, please provide me with the legal definition of "occupation". Thank you.
21. #10 - Atilla, And Eastern Turkey and Azerbaijan belong...
Joe ,   Ramat Gan   (05.30.08)
And Eastern Turkey and Azerbaijan belong to the Armenians, Kurds and Assyrians. So... when will the Turks be packing their bags and heading back to Western China?
In Biblical times, the Golan Heights was referred to as "Bashan;" the word "Golan" apparently derives from the biblical city of "Golan in Bashan," (Deuteronomy 4:43, Joshua 21:27). The area was assigned to the tribe of Manasseh (Joshua 13:29-31). In early First Temple times (953-586 BCE), the area was contested between the northern Jewish kingdom of Israel and the Aramean kingdom based on Damascus. King Ahab of Israel (reigned c. 874-852 BCE) defeated Ben-Hadad I of Damascus near the site of Kibbutz Afik in the southern Golan (I Kings 20:26-30), and the prophet Elisha prophesied that King Jehoash of Israel (reigned c. 801-785 BCE) would defeat Ben-Hadad III of Damascus, also near Kibbutz Afik (11 Kings 13:17). In the late 6th and 5th centuries BCE, the region was settled by returning Jewish exiles from Babylonia (modern Iraq). In the mid 2nd century BCE, Judah Maccabee and his brothers came to the aid of the local Jewish communities when the latter came under attack from their non-Jewish neighbors (I Maccabees 5). Judah Maccabee's grandnephew, the Hasmonean King Alexander Jannai (reigned 103-76 BCE) later added the Heights to his kingdom. The Greeks referred to the area as "Gaulanitis", a term also adopted by the Romans, which led to the current application of the word "Golan" for the entire area. Gamla became the Golan's chief city and was the area's last Jewish stronghold to resist the Romans during the Great Revolt, falling in the year 67 (see Josephus, The Jewish War, Chap. 13, Penguin edition). Despite the failure of the revolt, Jewish communities on the Heights continued, and even flourished; the remains of no less than 25 synagogues from the period between the revolt and the Islamic conquest in 636 have been excavated. (Several Byzantine monasteries from this period have also been excavated on the Heights.) The decisive battle in which the Arabs under Caliph Omar, crushed the Byzantines and established Islamic control over what is now Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, was fought in the Yarmouk Valley, on the southern edge of the Heights, in August 636. Organized Jewish settlement on the Golan came to an end at this time. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Druze began to settle in the northern Golan and on the slopes of Mt. Hermon. During the brief period of Egyptian rule (1831-1840) and in the ensuing decades, Sudanese, Algerians, Turkomans and Samarian Arabs settled on the Heights. The Turks brought in Circassians in the 1880's to fight against Bedouin brigands.
The Jewish presence on the Golan was renewed in 1886, when the B'nei Yehuda society of Safed purchased a plot of land four kilometers north of the present-day religious moshav of Keshet, but the community -- named Ramataniya -- failed one year later. In 1887, the society purchased lands between the modern-day B'nei Yehuda and Kibbutz Ein Gev. This community survived until 1920, when two of its last members were murdered in the anti-Jewish riots which erupted in the spring of that year. In 1891, Baron Rothschild purchased approximately 18,000 acres of land about 15 km. east of Ramat Hamagshimim, in what is now Syria. First Aliyah (1881-1903) immigrants established five small communities on this land, but were forced to leave by the Turks in 1898. The lands were farmed until 1947 by the Palestine Colonization Association and the Israel Colonization Association, when they were seized by the Syrian army. Most of the Golan Heights were included within Mandatory Palestine when the Mandate was formally granted in 1922, but Britain ceded the area to France in the Franco-British Agreement of 7 March 1923. The Heights became part of Syria upon the termination of the French mandate in 1944. After the 1948-49 War of Independence, the Syrians built extensive fortifications on the Heights, from where they systematically shelled civilian targets in Israel and launched terrorist attacks (in gross violation of Article III of the Israel-Syria Armistice Agreement of 20 July 1949). 140 Israelis were killed and many more were injured in these attacks between 1949 and 1967; heavy property damage was also inflicted. During the 1967 Six-Day War, the IDF captured the Golan Heights -- in response to Syrian attacks -- in just over 24 hours of intense fighting on 9-10 June. Nearly all of the Golan's Arab inhabitants fled as a result of the war; four Druze villages remain, three on the slopes of Mt. Hermon and one in the northern Golan.
The renewal of the Jewish presence on the Heights almost immediately followed the war. Kibbutz Merom Golan was founded in July 1967, at the initiative of kibbutzim in the nearby Upper Galilee and Hula Valley. By 1970, there were 12 Jewish communities on the Golan. On 6 October 1973, Syrian forces attacked across the 1967 cease-fire line and made their greatest gains in the central Golan, almost reaching the escarpment, before being pushed back beyond the 1967 line by the main Israeli counterattack, which began on the morning of 8 October. Israel and Syria signed a Separation of Forces Agreement on 31 May 1974; this agreement remains in force
25. #17. Old, tired, worn-out argument
Jake   (05.30.08)
"And the Syrians commanding a tank division down the Golan with our army waiting for them on the other side, would be military suicide." Sorry, but who is thinking in the past here? Get this. Syria is not willing or interested or able to give up its strategic alliances with the new rising stars Hizbullah, Hamas, Iran, and co. as part of a "peace deal with Israel". If it does so, the Syrian regime will be weakened, crippled even, in Arab/ Islamic eyes. Remember that this Alawite regime is an ethnic-religious minority with a limited power base, unlike the Nasserist Sunni Arab regime of Anwar Sadat and Mubarak in Egypt. When Syria decides to give tax breaks to various Arab groups to "return to the Golan" and establish "new villages", what's to stop its old friends, the usual suspects (Hamas, Hizbullah, PFLP, DFLP, Fatah General Command, etc. etc.), from setting up camp in the Golan, just as Hizbullah has done in the entire south of the sovereign Lebanese territory? Not only they won't need Syrian tanks to terrorize Israel, but the Syrian army will be effectively prevented from clamping down on these groups, because any peace agreement Israel signs with Syria would demand demilitarization of the Golan. And even if, hypothetically speaking, the Syrians were able to prevent terrorist infiltrations from the Golan, leaving the Iranian axis means Syria will have no ability to reign in Hizbullah in Lebanon, which has surpassed a critical point on depending on Syrian good will alone for its survival. Hamas in Gaza was able to arm itself despite Egypt "clamping down on smugglers", and Hizbullah in Lebanon will find ways to keep itself well stocked up. In the end, Israel will still have to face 20,000 Hizbullah Katyushas from Lebanon, but minus the Golan.
26. "Peace" with Syria means demilitarization of Golan
Jake   (05.30.08)
which means no Syrian army in Golan, which means power vacuum in Golan, which means establishment of Hizbullah/Hamastan/Fatahland/PFLP in Golan, which means bad news for Israel. OR peace with Syria allowing Syria to build up their forces again on the Golan "to preserve order", which means if ever Israel is involved in a military debackle with any of its Arab neighbors, including the PA or Hamastan Gaza, Syria will again open up their artillery barrages or worse, in Arab solidarity, which means trouble for Israel. OR maintain the status quo. Take your pick.
27. #4, John -- Israel has peace with Syria already
Rick B. ,   Cambridge, MA USA   (05.30.08)
John, you are confusing having a piece of paper with having peace. The truth is that Israel's border with Syria is probably less dangerous to Israel than any of its other borders, not to mention Israel's relationship with the Palestinian Arabs. And, unlike Egypt, Syria currently doesn't have access to high tech American weaponry. The lack of a treaty means nothing. It's been a peaceful border for 34 years and, with the Golan in Israel's hands, it is likely to remain so.
28. One very important but often overlooked danger
Jonathan   (05.30.08)
When you make deals with a leader, you may be lucky enough that such person will respect that deal, for a while. But what about those who follow? Politics in the ME is unpredictable and filled with dangers and extremes. Yes, Israel and the US made a deal with Sadat... but Egypt is boiling with discontent and one day, sooner than you think, a new leader will emerge that may cancel all previous agreements made with the West and Israel. And what will you have then? A piece of paper? Will you go to the UN and complain? Now, a deal with Syria may result in "peace" for a few months. Syria will rush to repopulate the Golan with their own people. Then it may, under pressure from Iran, renegue on the peace agreement, and Israel will have no Golan and no peace. Peace happens when two countries truly want to live in peace and friendship. Being forced to give up land in exchange for not being attacked is not peace at all. There's a different name for that.
29. Israeli Kings like Herod
Observer   (05.31.08)
Well let me correct something: Although Herod the Great was a practicing Jew, he was at the same time an Arab. Another thing, Philip the Arab the great emperor of Rome was from the Golan Heights area... Mixing Judaism which is a religion with the history of the region, as if the current population in the middle east has nothing to do with these ancient people, is BS.
30. Without Question the Golan Must Remain Israeli
Wisconsin Marshall ,   USA   (05.31.08)
"Those who try to trick a country like Syria this way are playing with fire and inviting a war." Absolutely so. Israel was founded as a modern state in 1948 and Syria was, I believe, founded in 1946. Not a day has gone by that Syria has not technically been at war with Israel. It prides itself on being the Arab leader in fighting Israel, which is Syria's only claim to fame. It has always hosted the murderers row of organizations, whose members have killed Israelis on a weekly basis year after year. It fought two wars of annihilation against Israel('48 and '67) and lost the Golan in the second one. When Begin extended Israeli law to the Golan, it was annexed. That is the end of it. ...It should be pointed out that with the Golan Israel has a secure water source, and without it does not. This is as important a fact as the Heights military strategic value. Look to Lebanon to see what Syria does when it can. With the Golan, Syria is not only more of a threat to Israel, but it is more of a threat to the Hashemites in Jordan. Peace for peace.
Next talkbacks
Back to article