Elyakim Haetzni
Photo: Dan Balilti

Golan is not for sale

Golan is being presented for sale as if it were meat in the market

Those who think that we can play with the Syrians a game of “talking” and “examining”, and stop a moment before finalizing a deal, should hear the story of the young man who was matched with a girl, and demanded that she take off her clothes first. After she did, he told her that he doesn’t like her nose.


Those who try to trick a country like Syria this way are playing with fire and inviting a war. And those who are unconcerned should be reminded that Egypt was in the soviet camp just like Syria today is part of the axis of evil, until Cairo decided its interests lie with the West. Then came Kissinger, offered Egypt a bonus – the Sinai plus $2 billion a year – and it made the shift.


Syria is a dictatorship, and we are unfamiliar with its deep currents. The day domestic Syrian interests push it towards the West, Golan residents (and us) will face a problem.


Today already the Golan is being presented for sale, like meat in the market – we are talking about sovereign Israeli territory, home to 20,000 residents, a national enterprise of dozens of communities, agriculture, wineries, a tourism industry, spas, and a history that dates back more than 3,000 years. The mere fact that public opinion even tolerates a discussion of this possibility is an indication that we are still far from being a people rooted deeply in the soil of its land.


The Golan is a “strategic and settlement asset” and it “belongs to the people of Israel,” Golan representatives say. They should not be focusing all their arguments on security considerations. We have already seen distinguished officers whose security considerations hid false peace agendas and brought upon us military and diplomatic disasters. It would be better to focus on the following question: Why does the Golan really “belong to the people of Israel?”


300 Jewish communities

Syria controlled the Golan for only 21 years, half the period it has been under Israeli rule. Almost half of its territory has been purchased by Rothschild and later robbed by the Syrian government. Jews settled in the Golan as early as 1886 but they were expelled, massacred, or fled because of malaria.


The Golan is where the tribes of Dan and Menashe settled, and Israeli kings ranging from Saul to Herod ruled there. The Golan saw consecutive Jewish settlement for 800 years; 300 Jewish communities from the time of the Mishna and Talmud were discovered there, along with the remnants of 27 synagogues. Later, 1,000 years of desolation followed, until the Jews returned. The Golan belongs to us because it is the estate of our forefathers and not only by the power of occupation in a defensive war against an aggressor, like America in Texas and Poland and former German territories.


We should be saying all this even before we talk about strategy and security.


And another issue we cannot avoid: The resistance. A poll found that 48% of the public said they would refuse an order to evacuate the Golan. This is a good result for Golan loyalists, and it appears to undermine Israel’s right to hand over parts of the country to other states.


With the exception of Stalinist Russia, states only expelled the populations of enemies defeated in war, rather than their own citizens. And just like depriving a person of his rights and freedoms is forbidden, “cleansing” the Golan off Jews would not only be a national sin, but also a crime against humanity, which allows for the right to resist. Should Golan leaders not internalize this, the Gush Katif tragedy shall repeat.


פרסום ראשון: 05.30.08, 14:15
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