The Golan Heights were part of Syria until 1967, when Israel captured most of the area in the Six Day War, occupying it and annexing it in 1981. That unilateral annexation was not recognized internationally, and Syria demands the return of the territory.
Syria tried to regain the Heights in the 1973 Middle East war, but was thwarted. Israel and Syria signed an armistice in 1974 and the Golan had been relatively quiet since.
…Both sides covet the Golan’s water resources and naturally fertile soil.
…More than 40,000 people live on the Israeli-occupied Golan, more than half of them Druze residents.
The Druze are an Arab minority who practice an offshoot of Islam and many of its adherents in Syria have long been loyal to the Assad regime.
After annexing the Golan, Israel gave the Druze the option of citizenship, but most rejected it and still identify as Syrian. About another 20,000 Israeli settlers also live there, many of them working in farming and tourism.
…Israel doesn’t regard its annexation as irreversible, and not long ago treated the territory as a bargaining chip. As recently as the late 1990s, Israel almost returned most of the territory to Syria.
Negotiations failed because Israel was unwilling to withdraw to exactly the 1949 armistice lines, which would have restored Syrian access to the waters of Lake Tiberias. Israel insisted on keeping a strip of land that would deny Syria access to the lake, also known as the Sea of Galilee.
…A State Department human rights report this month described the Golan as “Israeli controlled” instead of the traditional U.S. designation, “Israeli occupied.”
…Confirming Israel’s seizure of this territory would render any territory in the world subject to conquest and annexation. There’d be no legal basis to insist, for example, that Russia must return Crimea to Ukraine. Indeed, Russia would be virtually invited to start gobbling up any parts of the former Soviet Union it regrets having let go of at the end of the Cold War. And that’s just Russia.
……Given the chaos in Syria, no one would ask Israel to make a territorial concession on the Golan Heights now. But that’s hardly a justification for a decades-old land grab. Like recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, confirming Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights is a solution in search of a problem. It would come at a steep cost and achieve nothing.
Asked why she believes they’re dangerous, Ward pointed to Kushner’s heavy involvement in the administration’s foreign policy, including the efforts to broker a peace agreement in the Middle East.
“Instead of solving Middle East peace, Jared nearly put us into a war in the region,” she said, as she described how he essentially took over the State Department from then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Incompetence bolstered by profound ignorance and money is indeed a very dangerous thing, when you mix in a complete and utter callousness towards others… Well, you get Trumps.
Suing or prosecuting an artist is such a spineless, pathetic, wussy move.