Monday, August 11, 2008

The Golan was already RETURNED!!

Ehud Olmert, in his dillusional fantasy world in which he is much more popular than mosquitoes and ear infections, still entertains the idea of relinquishing Israeli control over the Golan Heights and giving it to Syria. Surrendering the Golan Heights would be a step towards peace with Syria and as we all know, the concept of "land for peace" has worked brilliantly whenever Israel has applied it. I recently took a 4 day tour throught the Golan and would like to share some reasons why giving up this valuable piece of land would be suicide for Israel.

Security: Americans, Canadians and even Europeans, who all live in coutries blessed with wide open spaces and great amounts of living room cannot fathom Israel's predicament. If Canada were to give up all of its territorial holdings West of Toronto, a person living in Montreal would barely be affected. They carelessly wave their hands and expect that Israel give up Judea, Samaria, the Golan, Jerusalem, etc. Let them eat cake. Everybody can live in Tel-Aviv. Little do they realize that in reality, Israel is so small that if it were to be dropped in the Great Lakes, the waters would barely rise a few centimeters. It is about the size of a frozen lake in Manitoba. There is simply no distance between Israel and its friendly neighbours. One can stand on a hill in Eilat and see clearly into Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. In the Golan, every mountain overlooks Lebanon and Syria. Giving up this vital place would bring Syrian and Hizbullah guns even closer to Israel's heartland.

From atop Mount Hermon, one can see with a pair of binoculars directly into homes in Damascus. By retaining control over the Golan, Israel wields enormous deterrance power over Syria, a regime that is wholly unfriendly and that does not seek Israel's welfare. When Syria controlled the Golan, from '47 to '67, Syrian snipers would shoot Jewish farms and houses in the Galilee. Israel must learn from history and never allow such a situation to occur again. The Golan is crucial to Israel's security, to its military capacities and power of deterrance and to give it to the Syrians would be suicidal folly.

Demography: Ariel Sharon's argument in support of the Disengagement plan from Gaza was that 7 000 Jews cannot rule over a million Arabs. A similar claim is repeated with regards to Judea and Samaria, that it is majority Arab and it would therefore be wrong to retain control over it. Such a thing cannot be said about the Golan. The Golan is home to over 30 000 Jews, a few thousand Druze living in 5 northern villages, and absolutely no Arabs (did I mention that the Golan is one of my favourite places in Israel?). The Golan is firmly Jewish.

Economy: The Golan has a tropical climate and is perfectly suited for many types of fruits that cannot be grown in Israel's center, due to the occasionnal chills in the winter. It is full of blooming mango, banana and other exotic fruit orchards. A very significant portion of Israel's produce comes from the Golan. It has a booming industry and every city and town has signs offering tzimmers, lodges for rent, at cheap prices. Israeli tourists flock to the Golan, whose vegetation and weather is very different from the south of the country. Uprooting the Golan's 30 000 Jews and destorying the flourishing industry would be a great blow to Israel's economy, one that is certainly not worth a false "peace" with a country that has not launched a shot at Israel since '73.

History: All of the countries of the Middle-East were artificially carved up by the colonialist powers of Britain and France in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. Syria was created out of several ethnic groups and French Mandatory rule ended in 1947. From 1947 until 1967, Syria ruled the Golan. Keep in mind that before 1947, there was no such country as Syria. For those who can do basic math, Syria's hold on the Golan lasted for 20 years. It has been over 40 years since Israel liberated the Golan, capturing it in a defensive war which Syria initiated. Seeing as Israel has controlled the Golan for twice as long as Syria, it seems rather ridiculous to speak of "giving the Golan back".

Of course, Israel's connection to the Golan goes back much longer than 40 years. After the Destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE, the Jewish center of life shifted to Yavne in the Galilee and then eventually into the Golan. Much of the Jerusalem Talmud was in fact written in the Jewish communities of the Golan. Over 22 ancient synagogues have been excavated in the Golan. Two thousand years ago, long before the Ishmaelites ever burst out of the Arabian peninsula, before a certain Muhammad had an epiphany in a cave, Jews were already praying towards Jerusalem, praying to be redeemed.


In 67 CE, the Romans, under the command of Vespasian, were brutally supressing the Jewish revolt in Judea. They besieged the large Jewish fortress city of Gamla, in the Golan mountains, a city of 9 000, swelled with refugees from all over Judea. Afetr a lenghty siege, the Romans burst through the walls and slaughtered 4 000 of the defenders. In desperation, the 5 000 remaining inhabitants flung themselves into the deep ravine on the side of the city, committing suicide rather than fall into Roman hands. The deep commitment of thse brave Jews not to fall into enemy hands and to preserve the freedom of Israel deeply inspires us.

Gamla will not fall again!


Cross-posted to Goat's Barnyard

6 comments:

Papa Frank said...

One of the most basic principles of defending yourself is to occupy the high ground. To relinquish this area makes completely no sense whatsoever.

Yehudi01 said...

I pray daily that Hashem will replace Olmert with Moshe Feiglin, as unlikely as it seems. It would be assured that he wouldn't hand over a centimeter of Jewish land, adn would, in fact, reclaim what is rightfully ours.

Ben-Yehudah said...

B"H

I think you need to go a little farther back in history.

The "Golan" was assigned to half of the tribe of Menashe, which chose to remain on he eastern side of the Jordan, and they needed the space.

Later Dan went northward from its territory (Tel-Aviv surrounding coast and inland) to conquer an additional piece of territory.

...thus the name "Tel Dan."

The "territories" as it were, were given to us. You are right that we got it back, but don't forget the additional hundreds of years beforehand, and don't forget HaShem's will and promise. That's the bottom line here.

kahaneloyalist said...

Nice reason but you have fallen into the same trap as so many others. The land is ours for one simple reason, it belongs to us, not security demography or anything else.

Jungle Mom said...

Hello from Paraguay, long time no see!

Mad Zionist said...

I've spent time in the Golan and the other surrounding northern areas. Your post was a trip down memory lane...thanks!