Israel is again defying the UN and the entire international community by insisting it will stay on the Syrian Golan Heights forever. But Netanyahu’s excuses don’t add up.
The Syrian land was captured in the 1967 war and annexed in 1981, although the rest of the world – including the United States – does not recognise this annexation.
They moved 20,000 colonial settlers in, and forced out hundreds of thousands of Syrians. 20,000 Syrians remain trapped in the Occupied Territory.
Twice before (in 2000 and 2008), Israel has been incredibly close to accepting it must leave the Golan. But now Benjamin Netanyahu says that will never happen.
“I have no intention of bringing Israeli forces down from the Golan,” he says.
And he has torn up past negotiations: “Everything that has taken place up to this point has no relevance.”
Netanyahu says he needs the Golan for military advantage in any future war with Syria. This is clearly a weak excuse.
Wars are no longer fought on who can see the furthest through binoculars, or where troops can be positioned. Israel doesn’t need a hill to spy on Syria, and it would use air power – not ground forces – in any war.
Remember why the 2000 talks broke down? Access to the Sea of Galilee. Syria wanted to share it, Israel wanted it all to itself.
No, it’s not military advantage that the Golan provides Israel. It’s something else – water. Stolen Syrian water.
(Photo: Agence France Press.)