Hands off the Golan Heights

Peace Now wants to abandon territory vital to Israel's security.

October 18, 2006 22:18
Hands off the Golan Heights

golan heights 88. (photo credit: courtesy photo)

Peace Now refuses to give up. The fact that its secretary-general is currently serving in the IDF reserves has given it no reason to halt its efforts to weaken Israel and drive it into submission. In a huge ad, framed in excessive and abusive language, which appeared in Haaretz (of course), Peace Now hurled the following offensive question at the prime minister: "Olmert: Have you lost your mind?" This reaction on its part is a bit puzzling because after all, Peace Now could not hope for a government better suited to its purposes than the present one. It is a government that was formed on the doctrine of uprooting of Jews from their communities in the Land of Israel; a government dedicated to further unilateral withdrawals in Judea and Samaria; a government some of whose most prominent members have made a 180-degree about-face from the traditions and heritage of Betar, to the point of virtually embracing the leftist doctrines of Meretz; a government whose most important minister after the prime minister - the minister of defense - is just about the last person suited for such a huge responsibility, as the summer of 2006 in South Lebanon demonstrated. So what is troubling Peace Now? It is not satisfied with pressuring this submissive government so that it will take more forceful action against Jewish settlements and outposts in Judea and Samaria. Now it has decided to work in the service of a key member of the Axis of Evil, none other than the president of Syria, stirring up unrest on yet another front, the one that Bashar Assad has his eye on. Since the shameful visit to Damascus by the disloyal Knesset Member Azmi Bishara, a visit he made without the legal authorities taking any real steps against him, the entire Syrian issue has become a free-for-all. Bishara is evidently Assad's "horse whisperer." He is apparently the one that gave him PR advice worth its weight in gold: come out with statements hinting at peace, thereby embarrassing the Israeli government, while gaining support in the West. And indeed, for the past few weeks, the Syrian ruler has cloaked himself in the mantle of peacemaker yearning to negotiate with Israel, accompanying his honey-drenched declarations with unmistakable threats of war. Our leftist politicians - backed by a number of defeatist columnists, such as former general Shlomo Gazit ("I am not defending Damascus," he argues), jumped at the "opportunity" and immediately came out with pronouncements that we should respond favorably to the new wind blowing from Syria toward Israel and agree to enter into negotiations. EVERYONE OF course understands that as far as Syria is concerned, the word "negotiations" is merely a euphemism for "withdrawal from the Golan Heights." In return for "peace," say proponents of "negotiations," we'll give the Syrians what they want, we'll destroy everything we have created in almost 40 years and we'll slink back down into the valley deep below. Negotiations? The Syrians will not relinquish even a single square centimeter, a single grain of sand, and will not sign anything until they are assured that they will be able to splash their feet in the water of the Kinneret. The advice Azmi Bishara gave Bashar Assad has already produced rotten fruit in Israel. Assad's calls for negotiations - coming from the man who pulled the Hizbullah strings in the recent war in Lebanon and who continues to provide protection for the most extremist Palestinian terrorist leaders - has already stirred up a tempest in Israel. There are debates, discussions, a willingness to meet all the "justified" Syrian demands. In all the ruckus, has anyone mentioned the Golan Law? Has anyone mentioned international law, which recognizes our justified claim to territory taken from an aggressor that attacked us continually, year after year, from the top of these cliffs? AND NOW of course Peace Now has joined its voice to that of the rest of the strident pro-withdrawal chorus. It has crudely attacked the prime minister out of the mistaken assumption that if he supported the uprooting of Gush Katif and is toying with ideas of "realignment" here and there, he is likely to be tempted into taking a "great" and "historic" step and contemplate a summit in the Syrian capital. There, over a plate of Damascus-style humous, perhaps the uprooting of the Jewish communities in the Golan Heights can finally get off the ground. "You say no?" the ad goes on, challenging the prime minister, threatening him that "slamming the door in the face of the Syrians" will lead to war. In other words: Ehud Olmert and the government of Israel are to blame, they will be the ones that caused, are causing and will cause the region to lapse into war - at least according to Peace Now. One doesn't need to be a rightist to understand that the Golan Heights is not up for discussion, or a veteran resident of the Golan to grasp that since 1981 it has been an inseparable part of the State of Israel, by law, and that it is not a subject for negotiations. Where the Golan Heights is concerned, I think that we should place our trust in the prime minister and his official statements that we will never abandon the Golan Heights. I sincerely hope that Ehud Olmert will take the raving cries coming from the indefatigable Peace Now in stride, and not fall into the trap that Bishara and Bashar are trying to lay for him. Yes, there is room for negotiations with Syria - after it has proved with its actions that it truly seeks peace. And I would not have a single word of criticism for the prime minister were he one day to participate in a historic summit with Assad. But he would have to make it beforehand that our claim to the Golan Heights is 1,000 times better than his. Israel would be happy to have Syrian tourists come visit this lovely and flourishing part of our country, and if they like, among other attractions, they can splash their feet in the Kinneret.

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