Historically speaking, the Golan is more Israeli than Syrian

The Golan contains numerous Jewish landmarks which are about 2,000 years old. The Golan featured prominently in the Jewish struggle for independence against the Romans.

The international border between the English and French mandate was set arbitrarily between these two world power in the case of Syria and Palestine (later Israel) as much as it was set arbitrarily everywhere else. Therefore, it should not form the basis for a long term border between the Israeli and Syrian nations. Even the Syrians are insisting on a different line—the armistice line of 1949.

Thus, Syria is insisting on getting a piece of land which historically been connected very strongly to the Jewish people, and which it has controlled for only about 20 years, while Israel has controlled the area for 40 years.

The Syrians should recognize that both in the distant past and in the recent past, Israel’s claim to the Golan is stronger than the Syrian claim.

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Syrian counter-arguments to above objection


Arguments that claim land based on historical assertions are futile and they perpetuate the state of war in the region. Can a Syrian Christian, for example, claim that pre-1967 Israel "contains numerous Christian landmarks which are 2000 years old" and that Palestine 'featured prominently" in the New Testament? Can such a claim justify some hypothetical claim that in historic perspective Palestine (Israel) belongs to the Christians?

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There is no question that the Golan was part of the internationally recognized state of Syria before Israel occupied it illegally since 1967. The United Nations, the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, the Arab League, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch, for example, are amongst many other countries and entities that consider the Golan Heights to be occupied territories not part of Israel proper.

The United Nations resolutions are crystal clear in rejecting Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights.  The UN Security Council Resolution 497 states that “the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect" (section 1).

To realize peace and stability in the Middle East is a dream shared by Israelis and Arabs alike.  Few on either side prefer the status quo of instability and the threat of wars and the loss of life over the option of a thriving Middle East with its richness in culture, history and natural resources.  The benefits and dividends of peace clearly outweigh the false sense of security that Israel derives from keeping the Golan Heights occupied in violation of International laws and treaties.

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3 Responses to “Historically speaking, the Golan is more Israeli than Syrian”

  1. 4
    Dr. Elie Elhadj, www.daringopinion.com, Former CEO, Arab National Bank, Saudi Arabia wrote:

    Genesis’ 15:19: “The Lord made a covenant with Abraham, saying, ‘unto thy seed have I given this land from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates’” is rejected by secular and religious Arabs as a basis to drive them out of the land of their ancestors.
    Arabs believe that historical antiquity does not establish a claim.
    Politicizing the Bible politicized the Quran, instigating a war that will go on for a thousand year unless a single secular state in Palestine is achieved for Arabs and Jews.


  2. 4
    Brad Allen, Researcher, History of the Mid-East wrote:

    Using this argument, the Jews can lay claim to half the planet. The jewish people have existed for over 5000 years and populated many countries around the world where they settled and flourished. They were also persecuted in many parts of the world where they had to fight for survival. If you use this argument, the jews have far bigger claim to Germany than to Palestine. {see “the invention of the jewish people”, by Shlomo Sand}.

    The point that any people may have inhabited and setteled in a region and therefore giving them a “forever” claim to the land goes againts any logic and understanding of human evolution. Civilizations would have perished centuries ago had they not willingly migrated and sought other lands to inhabit and grow. Moving the clock back and trying to settle who lived where and what claim they may have to the region would destroy the world as we move towards a global economy and open borders.

    The Golan was taken during a war between 2 nations that belong to the UN. The same world body that created Israel and drew its borders. The same body that has repeatedly rejected Israel claim and occupation to this land. The fact that Israel has been able to hold on to this land for a long time does not legitimize the occupation. If the jews think they have a historical claim to this land, they need to have the UN take up this argument and at the same time, take up every claim around the world using the same argument. Chaos will prevail.

  3. 1
    Sami Eini, Self Employed wrote:

    The Golan was part of Palestine till 1922. The British decided to give it to the French who made it part of the new Syrian independent State. Syria’s 100% claim to the Golan is not crystal clear.

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