31 March 2019 — Strategic Culture Foundation
For the indigenous people of the Levant, three major “Declarations” have brought them historic, catastrophic damage. The “First Declaration” was God giving the land of the “Indigenous People” to the “Chosen People”. The “Second Declaration”, widely referred to as “The Balfour Declaration”, was the 1917 decision by the British Government to establish a “national home for the Jewish people” in the “Indigenous People’s” Palestine. The “Third Declaration”, was Trump’s announcement this week, illegally, immorally and at the expense of the “Indigenous People”, granting the Israeli-Occupied Syrian Golan to the “Chosen People”, the Jews.
Two thirds of the Syrian Golan have been occupied by Israel since the 1967 War. After the War, Lord Caradon, the British ambassador to the UN, sponsored a resolution, supported by Arthur Goldberg, the American ambassador, which was adopted unanimously by the Security Council as Resolution 242. In its preamble, Resolution 242 asserts the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”. An operative paragraph calls upon Israel “to withdraw from territories occupied” in the War. Irrespective of the controversy as to whether “withdraw from territories” means all the territory or part of the territory, the Resolution asserts the principle of Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Syrian Golan. This resolution was subsequently followed by Security Council Resolution 338, adopted after the Arab-Israeli 1973 War, reaffirming the principles enunciated in resolution 242. Other resolutions were adopted affirming the principle of Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories.
Following the Madrid Conference of 1991, peace negotiations commenced between Israel and Syria based on the “Land for Peace” formula. The basis for negotiations presumed Israeli withdrawal from the Golan and peace between the two states. In addition to the formal and public negotiations between the Syrian and Israeli delegations, there were many secret ‘Track Two Diplomacy’ negotiations in which I personally participated. Some of the Israelis I encountered were very close to the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. All the Syrian-Israeli negotiations were based on the premise of Israeli withdrawal from the Golan for peace; which implied, very clearly, an Israeli admission that the Golan is occupied Syrian territory. This admission by Israel lasted for 52 years.
Irrespective of the truth, morality, legality, American national interest and in violation of International Law, international consensus, and a multitude of UN resolutions, Netanyahu recently, and suddenly, decided that the Golan belongs to Israel. This was further ratified by the farcical tweet of US President Donald Trump. The tragic content of this declaration may only, arguably, be matched by its medium of delivery; Twitter. Trump’s con job of a tweet stated: “After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!”
To add further insult, a resolution was submitted to the US Congress stating: “It is in the United States national security interest to ensure that Israel retains control of the Golan Heights […]” The fate of the resolution is not in doubt, particularly in view of the Jewish control of the Congress; it has been said that Congress is “Israeli occupied territory”
Netanyahu’s ludicrous claim that the Golan belongs to Israel and Trump’s ratification and complicit lunacy raises two very dangerous concerns. First, if the Golan belongs to Israel, and it liberated two thirds of it in the 1967 War, as Netanyahu claims, it stands to reason that the remaining one third of the Golan “occupied” by Syria also belongs to Israel and should be liberated. Second, since there is no international border within Syria and the Golan, a province, Netanyahu and Trump may equally – once again – unilaterally, illegally and immorally designate any Syrian contiguous territory as part of the Golan. The two have now formally set a dangerous global precedent, which de facto renders any global order, including International Law and the United Nations, irrelevant.
Since the Israeli occupation of the Golan, no Israeli government or American administration ever hinted that the Golan is sovereign Israeli territory. The Israeli governments, with American support, always expressed the willingness to withdraw from the Golan in exchange for peace; the contentious point was always the line of withdrawal. During the Syrian-Israeli peace negotiations, the Syrians were not willing to surrender even a small fraction of the Golan. Trump’s handing over of the Syrian Golan to Israel is the last nail hammered in the coffin of the peace process.
Reflecting on this dangerous and destabilizing regional development, I cannot help but wonder if Netanyahu claims sovereignty over the Syrian Golan, what is to stop him from claiming the historically and religiously more relevant Judea and Samaria. What is to stop Trump from ratifying and enforcing these claims. As according to Judaism, God’s promises of Judea and Samaria would mean an eventual Israeli annexation of the West Bank and the establishment of “Great Israel” from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
What the ‘under-investigation’ conmen, Netanyahu and Trump, have done, and the US Congress will follow soon, is not a panacea for regional stability; it is a road map for permanent upheaval: The paradox of an irresistible force colliding with an immovable object.