As Israel marks the 50th anniversary of their military victory over the Golan Heights during the Six-Day War, Reuven Rivlin goes out and asks the International Community to recognize Israel’s control of the area. Rivlin believes that it is absolutely essential for the survival of the Jewish state, writes the newspaper Times of Israel.
– The nations of the world must formally recognize the Golan as an integral part of Israel and that the area is crucial for the survival of our people. The Golan is strategically important for the state of Israel’s ability to protect the country’s own people, says the Israeli President.
Israel gained control of the Golan when Syrian forces were driven out of the area 50 years ago. The Golan has never been formally annexed, but in 1981 Israeli law was introduced there. It actually made the area part of Israel.
Rivlin believes that in light of the regional challenges posed by the ongoing civil war in Syria, it is difficult to argue that the Golan is strategically important to Israel. Previously, there was debate about what to do with the Golan, but now most in Israel agree that the area must remain in Israeli hands. For should the Golan again fall into Syrian hands, all who live in the Galilee region of northern Israel will be within the reach of the Syrian artillery.
– I promise the people of Galilee that they will never be subjected to the atrocities and weapons of a regime that massacres its own people, says a determined president.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also said that Israel will never relinquish control of the Golan. He believes the area now belongs to Israel and that a withdrawal will give Islamist extremists control of the area.
– The Golan will always remain under Israeli sovereignty. We will never leave this area. It’s ours. “If we are not here, then radical Islam will be here, and we all understand the consequences,” Netanyahu said earlier this month.
Before the Syrian civil war, some felt that Israel had to consider withdrawing from the Golan to reach a peace agreement with Syria. The two countries are still formally at war. But due to the Syrian civil war and the unmanageable situation that has arisen in the neighboring country. there are few who think it is still relevant.
Notes, sources, and references (with links)
Originally published on June 20, 2017 in Norwegian. In Danish by Inger Irene Hansen, April 2018.