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Trump Recognizes Israel’s Claim on the Golan Heights

Trump Recognizes Israel’s Claim on the Golan Heights

The left is upset, Trump just announced with a tweet yesterday that he was recognizing Golan Heights as part of Sovereign Israel, this is quickly generating cries from much of the world, along with many from the left. I say about time Mr. President, Israel is under no obligation under International Law to either hand it back or vacate the area.

The reason for this is rather simple, Israel and Syria are still in a state of war, have been since 1948, there has not been a peace treaty signed between the two sides, technically they have been at war for 71 years and counting.

This comes from the Syrian refusal to recognize Israel, they have not since Israel was created out of the Mandate of Palestine, something rather interesting since they to were reformed out of the Mandate of Syria, but as we see quite often the Arab Nations over there demand what they refuse to give.

I heard yesterday people claiming the only reason Israel has annexed the Golan Heights is there have been large quantities of oil deposits found under it, but that is not true if you look at the date of Israel annexing the area (14 December 1981), oil in the Golan was not even discovered until 2015, turns out making this claim ignores the reality of history, the discovery came 34 years after Israel effectively annexed the area.

Mandate of Palestine prior to the formation of Transjordan
Mandate of Palestine

So let’s dig into history, look at how Syria came into possession of the area.

In 1920 The Mandate of Palestine came into effect, along with the Mandate of Palestine was the Mandate of Syria. Britain was given the role of implementing the Mandate of Palestine. France was given the same duties as the Mandate of Syria. Under the Mandates each nation was to aid in setting up self-rule in each mandate, was not to cede any land, as was shown in Article 5 of the Mandate:

ART. 5.

The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign Power.

It turns out the first thing both nations did was violate the Mandate, started to switch lands without any consultation of the people the lands were being set up for.

The reason for this was simple, neither France nor England had any interest in setting up self-rule, they figured they were given the right, as they had done as a colonial power for years prior, to set up provinces in the land, yet was now part of that empire. England was so bad they promised parts of the Mandate of Palestine to many parties, many times the same exact area to more than one, just to aid in their quest to defeat Germany as they entered WW2.

Why the Mandates were set up was after the Ottoman conquest of the areas in the 1500’s they had never given them self-rule, it was figured the powers to be, France and Britain could aid in setting up the transition from being a territory to a nation, but what happened had nothing to do with aiding this, it was all about appeasing the population.

The problems with dispute over the land was the Mandates were very vague on the borders there, also, one has to remember, in the 50 cease-fire lines Syria demanded the right to stay in control of the land it had conquered, then in ’67 said this was not fair, they demanded to continue to control the land they had conquered in ’48, but now demanded that Israel could not do the same.

Logo of the UN
UN Logo

What made matters worse was the UN, as usual, they took the Arab side, made Israel the aggressor, even though Egypt started that war by implementing the blockade of the Straits of Tiran, which under international law is an act of war. When Israel demanded that this is opened up, Egypt responded thus:

“We challenge you, Eshkol, to try all your weapons. Put them to the test; they will spell Israel’s death and annihilation.”
– Egyptian government broadcast
(Voice of the Arabs, May 16, 1967; quoted in Walter Laqueur, The Road to War [Pelican Books, 1969], p. 82)

If this was all Israel was facing, that would have been one thing, but this is also what Syria and Lebanon were telling Israel:

“We have decided to drench this land with our blood, to oust you, aggressors, and throw you into the sea for good.”
– Syrian government broadcast
(Radio Damascus, May 24, 1966; quoted in Walter Laqueur, The Road to War [Pelican Books, 1969], p. 59)

“We will carry on operations until Israel has been eliminated.”
Syrian government broadcast
(Radio Damascus, January 16, 1967; quoted in Michael B. Oren, Six Days of War [Oxford University Press, 2002], p. 42)

Egypt even willingly admitted they knew the closing of the Straits would bring about war, to act like this was not planned is simply a false narrative:

“We knew that by closing the Gulf of Aqaba it might mean war with Israel. [If war comes] it will be total and the objective will be to destroy Israel.”
– Gamal Abdel Nasser
(Washington Post, May 27, 1967)

It was after the war that the UN decided to act, this was after Israel had soundly defeated the combined Arab armies, then while ignoring international law the UN passed Resolution 242 (1967), demanding Israel withdraw from territories it had come into possession of, yet ignored international law that states until a peace treaty is signed, no movement will happen, unless voluntary.

As for the law, this is a verbal law, the Geneva Convention protocols say nothing about if a nation goes to war with you with the intent to wipe you out, you are required to give back the land, this is why I question the whole claim that with the Golan Heights Israel is violating international law.

Members voting on the Geneva Convention rules
Geneva Convention

Today we see this with Judea and Samaria, today known as the West Bank (Jordan renamed it this in 1948 to try to remove Jewish identity to the land), Jordan invaded, moved in hundreds of thousands of Arabs into Judea and Samaria, after expelling the Jewish population, then annexed the land, land they had no legal claim to. Can you show me where the UN demanded they give back the land? Wait, they didn’t, in fact, to carry this on further, the Arabs, the ones that claim to have turned, as if by magic, into Palestinians in 1967 said this about the land:

Article 24: This Organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or in the Himmah Area. Its activities will be on the national popular level in the liberational, organizational, political and financial fields.

Isn’t it amazing how the “Palestinians” say they had no claim to the land in 1964, then in 1968 suddenly they as if by magic found their historical claim to the land, I must ask, what happened in between those two times? Could it be the ’67 war? I know history well, have to say, this is the only time in my life with all my years of study I have heard of a historical claim change according to who is controlling the land.

In the end, we have to look at what Trump has done with the Golan Heights, I love how Russia is condemning this, yet they went into Crimea without hostilities directed at them and took that land, seems they are being rather hypocritical. And don’t get me started with Europe or China, can we say Mongolia, Tibet? Is it OK for world powers to change the laws as it suits them, but when dealing with Israel and the Golan Heights they demand that Israel abide by laws they made up?

Synagogue ruins in Katzrin archaeological park
Synagogue ruins in the Golan

This land is Israeli land; you can see that in the ruins of Synagogues from the Judea time in Golan, it was the land that the tribes of Dan and Manasseh, it was part of the Jewish empire until the time of the Roman destruction of the state. Claiming this was part of Syria is nothing but nonsense, there, like Israel, was no Syria in existence in 1918, it was part of the Ottoman Empire, it was a territory, just like Israel was.

The Golan was part of Israel in ancient days, it is now part of Israel now!

About The Author

Timothy Benton

Student of history, a journalist for the last 2 years. Specialize in Middle East History, more specifically modern history with the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Also, a political commentator has been a lifetime fan of politics.

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