Kiss The Golan Heights Goodbye?

It seems that way. Ha’aretz reports Israel and Syria have been holding secret talks for more than two years. (This may explain why Israel did not attack Syria during the Lebanon War this past summer.) It looks like a deal will be reached giving the entire Golan to Syria. Most of that will be a joint Syrian-Israeli park. Details. Document. Background. Timeline. Map below:

Syria_map

Is this good? Bad? Not sure? Absoultely sure? Heard it from God Himself? I’m cautiously optimistic. Very cautiously. Readers?

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Kiss The Golan Heights Goodbye?

  1. I’m not sure what to think of this, but both governments are being very quick to deny and disavow all knowledge of these proceedings…I have a sneaking suspicion this will go the way of Geneva (remember that?), but I hope I’m proved wrong. I share your cautious optimism, at least for now…

  2. Anonymous

    Cautious optimism?!! What the hell are you smoking?

  3. Yochanan Lavie

    I have always supported the Alon plan. (For those who don’t know, that’s a non-messianic, secular plan for Israel in secure borders. Yigal Alon proposed it in the 70’s. It would give the Arabs Gaza, and most of the West Bank, in exchange for the Golan Hts & Jerusalem & environs, as well as a strip of the Shomron abutting the vunerable coastal plan). Also, isn’t Syria in bed with Iran & Hezbollocks? But if there was a chance for real peace, as opposed to a “hudna,” i’d support it.

  4. Isa

    Remember this, Syria does not have an embassy in Beirut because it considers Lebanon part of Syria. Also Syria considers Palestine (present day Israel) to be part of Syria. Syria would have an extremely difficult time with recognizing even 1947 Israel. Syria by the way is permitting Iran to build holy sites inside Syria for Shia pilgrims- this process is even bothering Sunni religious authorities in Saudi Arabia. The Syrian power caste are Alawities that is distinct onto itself-btw the Alawities celebrate christmas

  5. Sykes-Picot

    The Golan only became “Syrian” after World War I, given to Syria as part of the Sykes-Picot plan.

    Down to the Kinneret? I pray not.

  6. If this is true, and Syria would agree to the terms that were also talked about in these secret meetings, then it would be great. The golan is a great thing for Israel to have, but technically all we really need is control of the Kinneret and the Jordan. The rest still has old Syrian army bases on it, so who needs it? If they are really interested in peace, give it back. I’d take peace over some hills. If eventually they prove to not be so peaceful, Israel can always take it back. But of course, this is all hypothetical, they may not actually be willing to go for it.

  7. rebeljew

    Loss of the Golan would be a calamity, giving Syrian generals a view of everything in Northern Isreal and giving them quick strike capability. I imagine it is part of the US package or deal or die. Remember when negotiations resumed briefly before, the Syrians claimed that Rabin had promised them the Heights, and they refused to start negotiations without that assurance. Trading the Heights for a deal with Syria (which they could break in an hour and achieve 50000 casualties) is so absurd that I cannot believe that it is anything more than a ploy.

  8. The Sinai peninsula is also demilitarized and open to Israeli tourists- in theory. In reality, bomb smugglers use the Sinai as an excellent hideout and Israeli tourists are warned to stay away.

    Joseph’s Tomb was supposed to be under Palestinian control and open to Jewish worshippers. in reality, this holy site was demolished as soon as Israel gave it away.

    Should I go on, or do you get the picture? Giving away the Golan would be a disaster. No wonder I’m cautiously pessimistic.

  9. Michoyel

    Bad bad bad. As others have said, if there could really be *true* peace for eternity, it would be worth it to give “some hills”–but anyone not naive knows that won’t happen. Israel would be foolish to give it back. Unlike Judaea and Samaria, which have a restive 1 million plus Palestinian population bomb that will destroy the Jewish state if we DON’T allow a Palestinian-Arab state to arise there, despite its Jewish historical past, the Golan just has a few thousand Druze, about half of whom pay lip service to being “loyal Syrians” and half of whom are content to be part of the loyal Israeli-Druze MINORITY (and don’t seek to be a majority that will displace the Jews, like the Palestinian Arabs). And of course the Golan’s topography and resources make it vital to the state to keep it.The person who said Israel can “always reconquer it” if necessary is forgetting the terrible price exacted in Israeli blood to acheive that aim, in 1967 and 1973. I really hope Israel doesn’t give them all the Golan–at most, I would support the idea of a token concession “on the Golan” (but not a withdrawal “FROM the Golan” if that would appease the Syrians, but we know it won’t. They will accept nothing less than all, and that is their starting point. Other nations have territorial disputes and claims on each other’s lands without it being the sine qua non for peace–e.g., Japan still formally claims ownership and sovereignty over the Kurile Islands and Sakhalin Islands (or parts thereof) which following WW2 became part of the USSR and subsequently Russia. Maybe they *claim* it, (and Spain stills claims Spanish sovereignty over Gibraltar–we can come up with a big list)but that claim never prevented Japan from having postwar diplomatic relations and peace with the USSR and Russia.The Russians’ attitude is–so the Japanese think Kuriles is still theirs, “geh gezunt’ahe” they can “claim” it–and we can have embassies in each other’s capitals, trade, tourism, the whole megilla, and the Japanese agree and still press their claims. So, if the Syrians were mamish serious about peace they wouldn’t make it the sole condition–I prefer to have a state of non-beligerency and mutual non-recognition (like the USA has with Cuba) than an ersatz peace where Israel weakens itself by giving up such a valuable asset.

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