Syria only understands power

Not long after the Turks moved forces to the Syrian front, did the Assad regime finally gave up Alexandretta (Hatay). Why shouldn’t they give up the Golan Heights, a much smaller piece of land and less inhabited?

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Syrian counter-arguments to above objection


Syria and Turkey agreed to postpone the resolution of the Alexandretta issue until such a time in the future when relations between the Syrian and Turkish people were healthy enough to allow a frank discussion about the status of Alexandretta (Hatay). One would assume that, eventually, some special arrangement could be agreed upon to recognize the special status of that region.

Syrians do not consider Alexandretta an occupied territory that was taken from them by force. Turkey was practically given that region as a gift from France, which was occupying the Levant at the time. France wanted to bribe Turkey away from joining Hitler’s Germany in WWII. Elections in Alexandretta (the residents of which include Arabs, Armenians and Turks) produced an alleged small majority (22 out of 40) of representatives who opted to join Turkey. In 1939 France formally delivered the province to Turkey while Syria was still occupied by France.

In a sense Alexandretta is similar to Lebanon. Both were historically integral parts of historic greater Syria. Both were carved out of Syria by the French occupiers before Syria gained its independence.

The Golan, however, was taken by force. in 1967 Syria was an independent sovereign country. Many UN resolutions clearly state that the Golan Is Syrian. Syria can clearly make a strong case for demanding the return of its illegally occupied Golan Heights.

There are no UN resolutions supporting a Syrian claim to Lebanon or Alexandretta.

Incidentally, it is worth considering in this context the startling changes made in Syrian-Turkish relations. A decade ago Turkey was considered hostile to Syria. Today Turkey is one of Syria’s closest allies and a genuine friend. There is no reason why Israel and Syria cannot expect the same kind of neighborly relations in the future if and when Israel manages to respect international law by returning all occupied Arab territories.

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One Response to “Syria only understands power”

  1. 0
    Shaul Cohen, Private, Private wrote:

    It is very interesting that “International laws”, the legitimacy of borders and nations are always in the Middle East what the imperialists (that are supposed to be hated) designed and imposed.
    The borders of Europe, some newer, were never created by the same “legitimate International laws” that are imposed on us but by “natural laws” deriving from victories at wars, unions of nations or tribes and trading in land between nations. Belgium is one of the only none “natural” countries in Europe and it is not working as a nation 200 years later! Yet all these so called nations created by arrogant and ignorant European people (today legitimized by the US and Russia). They drew lines in the sand and are expecting them to function. Nobody dares comparing the “Illegitimate Basques and Kurds” to the “legitimate Palestinians” or to the “sovereign Lebanese”.
    It is such a disgusting hypocrisy that those that for years screamed at the illegitimacy of Imperialism and its consequences defend its results under the so called legitimacy of the impotent and corrupt UN and its tools. This is all over the “ex-colonized world” Middle East, Africa and some parts of Asia. Most conflicts in the world are a result of this yet we insist on protecting this so called “legitimacy”.
    Greater Syria should be the one united Middle East with and indigenous name and not a European related one. We are not to East of Europe, they are on our West. We came first in civilization.
    “Greater Syria” is not Syria as it stands today and definitely not under the Alawi minority that were themselves denied a nation by the French. The Middle East is not Europe and do not have to necessary work based on a Eurocentric model. It should not be a United Nation State but a United Economic Zone with respect and rights to many minorities that constitute it. The formula must be unique and create to suit the local people that wish to live together and not a formula borrowed from a different place and culture.
    If it has to be revived it should include Alexandrun, parts of Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, PLO Palestine, Gaza’s Hamastan and also Israel (including the Golan). As a model it could even grow beyond these borders to include the Kurds and other willing nations. Maybe for the majority Sunny Muslim it should be under the legitimacy of the House of Hashem (with Mecca and Medina), to the many other minorities under their chosen legitimacy and homelands. This can only happen if the economy is first integrated, if the fanatics are tamed.
    This is a tall order and we are not going in this direction. Imposing on us a western “peace” vision will only divide us further to exploit us.
    Soon the people of this region will feel the pressure from the Turks and the Iranians. They may wake up and realize that they are in the same boat. Their only hope is to embrace their Jewish enemies as the only guaranty for survival as free people. Until then the status quo can go on.
    The Golan is the least of the problems. The only so called “oppressed” Arabs there are Druze that lives there with probably the best self determination they could have dreamed off. In their villages it is the colorful Druze flag that is raised not the Syrian or the Israeli (it is the same in pre 67 Israel). The rest of the land is used by Israeli Jews since 1967 and the only refugees in Syria are not regarded refugees like the Palestinians because they are mainly Cherkess and they live now across the border in their “legitimate” countries. They themselves were imported by the Turks in the past to tame the indigenous.

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