Monday, April 18, 2016

The Golan Heights That Obama and Netanyahu Are Arguing About These Days

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                        

Overview of UN zone and Syrian controlled territory from the Golan Heights
It's where Syria dropped bombs on Israeli farms below-working to drive out Jews.  
This is why it must remain in Israel's hands.  
On 19 June 1967, the Israeli cabinet voted to return the Golan to Syria in exchange for a peace agreement, although this was rejected after the Khartoum Resolution of September 1, 1967.
  Syria had their chance to get it back peacefully, and instead attacked 
Israel in the 1973 War.  That's a double reason to keep it in Israel's hands. 

The United States is saying that the Golan Heights are not a part of Israel.  They happen to be in the back yard of Safed, where I lived for over 4 years from 1981-1985.  Netanyahu had "vowed that the Golan Heights "will forever remain under Israeli sovereignty." Israel had finally annexed the Golan Heights in 1981.  
                                                                              Location of Golan Heights
Their history goes back to the Bible which is a part of our Jewish history-the most important part.  It begins with Golan, an ancient town of West Bashan.  Bashan was one of the cities of refuge in Israel as found in Joshua 20:8.  It was the capital of a region in the 2nd Temple times, and had a Jewish town until the 5th century CE.  The Golan was also the Western region of Bashan, named after its chief town. The Greeks called it Gaulanitis.  The tribe of Manasseh was to live here in Bashan.  

  •  The Golan Heights is a  plateau bordered by the Yarmouk River in the south, the Sea of Galilee and Hula Valley in the west,  Mount Hermon in the north, and Wadi Raqqad in the east. The western two-thirds of this region are currently occupied by Israel, whereas the eastern third is controlled by Syria.  They are 15 miles or 24 km  wide.  The Golan Heights
  • looks down on the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret) with Kibbutz Ein Gev just below and
  • across the lake sits Tiberias.  

The Upper Galilee was called Beth-Maachah in the Bible.  It stretched from Mt. Hermon to the Sea of Galilee and was pasture land, sparsely populated.  The Lower Galilee was called Geshur in the Bible and was rich and fertile land until the Arab invasion in the 700s.  

The Golan Heights  were, until 1967, under Syrian administration.  Syria had been recognized as a state in 1924 with King Feisal. In 1920, an independent Arab Kingdom of Syria was established under King Faisal of the Hashemite family, who later became the King of Iraq.  However, his rule over Syria ended after only a few months, following the clash between his Syrian Arab forces and regular French forces at the Battle of Maysalun. French troops occupied Syria later that year after the League of Nations put Syria under French mandate.  Palestine was under the British mandate.  
Syria, Egypt, Jordan and others attacked Israel in 1967 and Israel won, which doesn't seem to matter to the USA for saying that this land does not belong to them. It was on October 6, 1973--Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar when most all Jews were fasting and praying in their synagogues that Egypt and Syria opened a surprise attack against Israel again!  The equivalent of the total forces of NATO in Europe were mobilized on Israel's borders.  On the Golan Heights, about 180 Israeli tanks faced an onslaught of 1,4000 Syrian tanks.  Then, by October 22nd, the Security Council of the UN adopted Resolution 338 calling for All Parties to the present fighting to cease all firing and terminate all military activity immediately.  The vote came on the day that Israeli forces had cut off and isolated the Egyptian 3rd Army and were in a position to destrooy it.   Mostly Druze had been living in the Golan Heights and Druze are living there today, many being Israeli citizens.  They are safe and happy. 

In 1973, about 8,000 Arab Druzes were living on the Golan Heights which is 500 square miles or 1,250 square km.  The status has not changed since June 1967 except that it must remain in Israel's hands.  It's still an Israeli administered area now annexed by Israel.  
Druze IDF soldier

"On Sunday,  April 17th, 2016,  the Israeli cabinet held a special meeting on the Golan Heights and Netanyahu opened the meeting with a declaration that “the Golan Heights will always remain under Israeli control."

The Prime Minister also called upon the international community to recognize Israel’s control of the territory."  He has reason to need this area for protection.  Syria had been bombarding kibbutzim along the upper Jordan Valley from the Golan Heights when it was in their hands.  Due to the Six Day War of June 1967, it fell back into Israel's hands once again and the Israeli troops occupied it and subsequently it was extensively populated with Israeli villages and towns.  Its 1985 population was 22,500 including the Druze.  
Looking down on the Golan Heights which are
3,000' above the Galilee
Syria had used the Golan Heights, which tower 3,000 feet above the Galilee, to shell the kibbutz farms and villages and these attacks had been growing more frequent in 1965 and 1966.  At the same time, Nasser of Egypt's rhetoric was becoming increasingly more bellicose:  "We shall not enter Palestine with its soil covered in sand", he said on March 8, 1965.  "We shall enter it with its soil saturated in blood!"  He let Israel know of the Arabs' aspirations, which was that they aim for the destruction of the State of Israel.  their immediate aim then was the perfection of Arab military might so that their national aim would be fulfilled, to eradicate Israel.  Israel cannot take any chances today.  The enemy has changed slightly with Egypt and Jordan, but Syria is being taken over by ISIS who also have this pre-1967 goal in mind.  Syria is still full of thousands and thousands of missiles originally planned to be used on Israel.  

Syrian guns would fire from the Golan into Israeli farms below, forcing the children living on kibbutzim to sleep in bomb shelters.  Many roads in northern Israel could be crossed only after probing by mine-detection vehicles.  In late 1966 a young child was blown to pieces by a mine while playing football near the Lebanon border.  In some cases, attacks were carried out by Yasir Arafat's Fatah, which Syria allowed to operate from its territory.  Israel protested to the UN but to no avail.  So Israel would hold retaliatory raids after attacks from Syria, which brought about UN condemnation.  Again, Israel complained to the UN in October 1966 and Damascus's Ambassador said-"It is not our duty to stop them but to encourage and strengthen them", 
Mt Hermon
As for the Six Day War of 1967, things started popping on May 15, Israel's Independence Day.  Egyptian troops began moving into the Sinai and massing near the Israeli border.  By May 18, Syrian troops were prepared for battle along the Golan Heights up above.  Nasser told the UN Emergency Force to get lost and they did, they withdrew on May 16th.  Secretary-General U Thant complied with the demand without an argument, evidently, so fast that he didn't even bring the matter to the attention of the General Assembly as his predecessor had promised.  UNEF withdrew, and the Arabs chortled with their Voice of the Arabs proclaiming on May 18th that "As of today, there no longer exists an international emergency force to protect Israel.  We shall exercise patience NO MORE.  We shall not complain anymore to the UN about Israel.  The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence."  At the time, Hafez Assad was the Syrian Defense Minister.  Israel faced the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon who were sitting on their border and behind them ready to do battle against Israel stood the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation.  President Abdur Rahman Aref of Iraq put in his 2 bits saying that "The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified.  This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948."
Syria Golan Heights
June 9, 1967, Israel moved against Syrian forces on the Golan and by late afternoon, June 10th, Israel was in complete control of the plateau.  They had taken it only after 19 years of provocation from Syria and after unsuccessful efforts to get the international community to act against the aggressors.  

  Need I repeat?  Israel won the battle  in 6 days, and the only ally they had was HaShem.    The Arabs refused to sign a peace settlement.  Instead, they held a meeting in Khartoum and adopted a formula of 3 NOs. 
No peace with Israel.
No negotiations with Israel.
No recognition of Israel

But-Maintain the rights of the Palestinian people in their nation.  

In other words, they see Israel as a part of Palestine-the name the Romans gave to the land after winning a 3 year war with Aluf Bar Kochba of Jerusalem.  Facts belie them of the land having been in the Ottoman Empire of Turkey for 400 years, and them losing the War of WWI to the Allies of Europe and the USA and losing their empire's land.  Facts are just ignored about all the nations of the world in the UN voting for Israel to be re-born back in their promised Jewish Homeland-even though it is only 20% of the promise of the mandate of what it was to be.  England, while holding the mandate-broke their promise and had given away 80% of the Jewish Homeland after all the meetings deciding about the land-to Abdullah of Saudi Arabia who needed land to rule so that he too could be a king.  That's how Jordan came to be.  

Every time the United States does not back Israel, it's like turning on the green light for Arabs to act out.  Syria may never be trusted by Israel being Assad is still in power under Iran's thumb and with ISIS trying to take over as much as possible.  Is the United States now telling John Kerry to tell Palestinians they can have the Golan Heights, too?  What is Obama thinking?  

The USA said that U.S. State Department spokesperson John Kirby, Ass. Sec.  (Not John Kerry)  stressed Monday night that the Obama administration does not consider the Golan Heights to be part of Israel, one day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed they "will forever remain under Israeli sovereignty."This position was maintained by both Democratic and Republican administrations. Those territories are not part of Israel and the status of those territories should be determined through negotiations. The current situation in Syria does not allow this," Kirby continued. 

I believe that international lawyers and experts should agree that when a country is attacked and the attackers lose the battle-they lose land. That's the punishment for starting a war like a bunch of mad dogs all attacking Israel at once.   That land has already been annexed to Israel in 1981.  Why would Syria ever get to negotiate now?  It's been 49 years since 1967 already and Syria is barely a state now-being left basically just Damascus so far.  The USA and Kerry-Kirby made a ridiculous statement that only brings harm to Israel.  .  

Update: 4/19/16-7am:  Past American Presidents were not being realistic about the Golan Heights anymore than Obama is, but Obama can see the terrible change in Syria today being taken over by ISIS.  In 1981 after Israel annexed the Heights, Ronald Reagan suspended a strategic cooperation agreement.  On another occasion, he held up delivery of fighter planes because of an Israeli raid in Lebanon.  In 1991, George Herbert Walker Bush asked for a delay in considering Israel's request for loan guarantees to help absorb Soviet and Ethiopian Jews because of his disagreement with Israel's settlement policy in Judea and Samaria.  He used intemperate language that inflamed passions and provoked concern in the Jewish community that anti-Semitism would be aroused.  1991 was also the year the UN voted 142 to 2 to condemn Israeli behavior toward Palestinians in the territories taken in 1967.  It denounced Israeli administration of the Golan HEights.  The repeal vote was ruined by the fact that 13 of the 19 Arab countries, including those engaged in negotiations with Israel--Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, voted to retain the resolutions, as did Saudi Arabia.  6, including Egypt-who lobbied against repeal, were absent.  NO Arab country voted for repeal.  The PLO denounced the vote and the US role.  The Arabs voted once again to impugn the very birthright of the Jewish State.  The UN was stacked against Israel.

Update: 4/19/16 7:45am:  Victor Sharpe article in American Thinker:  According to a report dated April 16, 2016 in the sometimes reliable Debka Special Report, “Israel’s top political leaders and military commanders were stunned and shocked last weekend when they found out that US President Barack 
Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to support the return of the Golan to Syria.
Update 4/27/16 3:59pm PDT, Wrong decision by UN against Israel over Golan Heights:
UNSC Says Claim of Israeli Golan ‘Null and void’
Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon responded saying, “Holding a meeting on this topic completely ignores the reality in the Middle East."…/is_obama_plotting_yet_agai…
facts about israel,  from Division of Information, Ministry for foreign affairs, Jerusalem , booklet
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Messages From a Syrian Jew Trapped in Egypt-Golan Heights is part of a scene
Myths and Facts by Mitchell G. Bard, Joel Himelfarb


  1. Victor Sharpe's article on Golan Heights in American Thinker with lots of Biblical history:

  2. good article, nadene.

    "Need I repeat? Israel won the battle in 6 days, and the only ally they had was HaShem."

    oh yes.
    i love it.
    ...and will happen again....

  3. Thanks, Andre. May your good prayers for Israel reach HaShem and help Israel to win again.

  4. Very nice article...

  5. Very nice article...

  6. The people in the UN need to read it. They need to read facts which they are not doing. They WANT to put Israel in harm's way and get attacked so they are trying to do it by taking the Golan, but Netanyahu knows this and will not give it up. My question is: How can the UN be so dumb as to think that Netanyahu would give it up and then be bombed from there ALL THE TIME? For security reasons, Israel cannot give it up. For the Druze who can now live there in peace, Israel cannot give it up.