Last week, House Foreign Affairs Committee Member, Congressman Ron DeSantis (R.,-Fla.), proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act recognizing the Golan Heights as an integral part of Israel thereby validating Israel’s 1981 annexation of the territory. Though non-binding, the declarative resolution, which would have likely passed if brought to the House floor for a full vote, would have sent a strong message to the world, but chiefly Israel’s enemies, that after eight years of relentless hostility from the previous American administration, the US-Israel alliance is back on track and stronger than ever.
But for inexplicable reasons, the amendment didn’t pass muster with the House Rules Committee and consequently, never made it do the House floor for a full up or down vote. Sources close to the matter stated that the White House put pressure on Speaker Paul Ryan to kill the resolution and render it dead on arrival. The White House for its part denied playing any role in the shelving of the resolution claiming to have only recently become aware of its existence. When contacted by the Washington Free Beacon for comment on the matter, Speaker Ryan’s office remained uncharacteristically mute.
On the heels of President Donald Trump’s historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and transfer the United States embassy there in compliance with U.S. law, a congressional resolution recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan would have represented a powerful one-two combination. It would have signaled an end to past anachronistic foreign policies dictated by the swamp.
Up until June 1967, the Golan Heights, a rocky volcanic plateau overlooking Galilee, served as a platform for Syrian artillery strikes against Israeli Galilean villages and collectives. It is roughly 45 miles long and 17 miles wide at its widest point. From 1948 until 1967, Syrian artillery harried and harassed Israeli farmers tilling their fields and fishermen tending to their business in the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Kinneret. In addition to artillery strikes, the Syrians also tried to divert the Golan’s waters from flowing into the Jordan River in an effort to deprive Israel of water resources. In sum, rather than using the Golan for productive purposes, the Syrians used the plateau to rain death and destruction and make life for Israelis miserable.
On June 5th 1967, Israel, rather than waiting for its enemies to hit first, acted resolutely and launched a preemptive strike against its belligerent Arab neighbors. While Israel was engaged in battling Egyptians to the south and Jordanians to the east, Syria decided to take advantage of the situation to indiscriminately shell Israeli towns, villages and farming collectives in Galilee.
The Syrians were caught up in fabricated Arab propaganda and hysterics of phantom Arab victories. It’s likely that had they known the extent of defeat inflicted on their Arab brethren, they would have refrained from shelling Israel. Once Israel dispatched Egypt and Jordan, it turned its attention to Syria. On June 9, Israeli armor, mechanized and heli-borne infantry, backed by artillery and air power stormed the Golan and quickly overwhelmed and broke through strong Syrian defenses that had taken the Syrians years to construct. The Syrians, who proved to be adept at indiscriminately shelling civilians, proved to be no match for the Israel Defense Forces.
On June 10, the guns fell silent leaving Israel in full control of the Sinai Peninsula, Judea & Samaria, east Jerusalem and crucially, the strategic Golan Heights. No longer could the Syrians menace Israel as they had done before the Six-Day War.
In 1981, Israel passed the Golan Heights Law, which extended Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Syrian Druse residents of the Golan were given the option of accepting Israeli citizenship and many have since taken up Israel on the offer. Before 1967, the Golan was largely barren but today the land is productive featuring a booming tourist industry, the largest ski resort in the Middle East, cattle farms, a commercial green energy wind power station, and an abundance of wineries. In fact, some of the world’s premier wines herald from the Golan. Currently, there are approximately 20,000 Jews and 20,000 Druse living in the Golan in peace and tranquility. The area is in fact, among the most tranquil in Israel with many Israelis vacationing there to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life.
The Syrians, who never demonstrated any meaningful, good-faith effort to reach peaceful accommodation with Israel, despite Israeli flexibility on territorial concessions, attempted to retake the Golan Heights in October 1973 but were repulsed with severe losses. In 2011, Syria devolved into full-scale civil war that witnessed the use of poison gas by Assad as well as massacres and indiscriminate shelling. Syria no longer exists as an independent country. Instead, Assad can be viewed as a petty warlord who takes his dictates from Tehran.
No one seriously believes that Israel should be compelled to give back the Golan. Had it ceded the territory, a move encouraged by former Secretary of State John Kerry, Iran or ISIS would today be dipping their feet in the Kinneret. Though Representative DeSantis and supporters of a strong Israel haven’t received a plausible explanation as to why the Golan Heights resolution was shelved, DeSantis hasn’t given up the fight. Following the nixing of the resolution he tweeted, “With respect to US recognition of Israel control over the Golan Heights, we’ve only begun to fight…” We wish him Godspeed.
A 2018 demonstration against antisemitism in Berlin. Photo: Reuters / Fabrizio Bensch.
A slight drop in the number of antisemitic incidents in Berlin during the first half of this year is no excuse for complacency, the city’s antisemitism commissioner emphasized on Thursday following the publication of statistics for hate crimes targeting Jews in the German capital from January-June 2019.
“Antisemitism remains a serious problem that we cannot tolerate in Berlin,” Lorenz Korgel — the city’s commissioner for combating antisemitism — told local news outlet Berliner Morgenpost. “The number of antisemitic incidents remains at a high level. ”
People wear kippas at a demonstration in front of a Jewish synagogue denouncing an antisemitic attack on a young man wearing a kippa, in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018. (photo credit: FABRIZIO BENSCH / REUTERS)
The population of the State of Israel has increased 2.1% since last year, according to a report released in time for Rosh Hashanah by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
Today, there are 9.1 million citizens of Israel, of which some 6.7 million (74%) are Jewish, the report shows. The country’s citizens also include 1.9 million Arabs (21%) and 0.4% of “others,” including Christians and those of other minority groups.
A women holds up a sign against anti-Semitism at a rally in New York City on Sept. 22, 2019. Photo: Rhonda Hodas Hack.
JNS.org – Hundreds of demonstrators rallied in front of City Hall in New York on Sunday, calling on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and other municipal leaders, as well as those on the national level, to act against antisemitism and the wave of antisemitic hate crimes taking place against the Orthodox Jewish community.
The beach in Tel Aviv, Israel, May 17, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad.
On the eve of the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, ushering in the Jewish year of 5780, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics released its traditional end-of-the-year findings.
Israel’s population now stands at 9.092 million people — 6.744 million (74.2 percent) of whom are Jews, with 1.907 million (21 percent) Arabs and 441,000 (4.8 percent) listed as “other.”
Drew Seigla and Stephanie Lynne Mason. Photo: Instagram.
Drew Seigla and Stephanie Lynne Mason play Pertshik and Hodl, whose love story takes them all the way to Siberia in the award-winning show by the National Yiddish Theatre.
Sep 30, 2019 0Jeremy Hunt, the British Foreign secretary, has recently commissioned a report on the persecution of Christians, most acutely occurring in the Muslim World, and especially in the Arab/Muslim...
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“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” — Sherlock Holmes, The Boscombe Valley Mystery
“Israel must, in the most blunt and clear way possible, illustrate to Washington that the prosperity of Jordan is a first-rate Israeli security and strategic interest.” — Former head of Mossad Ephraim Halevy at “Between Jerusalem and Amman: 25 Years Since the Signing of the Peace Agreement Between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,” Institute for National Security Studies, Sept. 25, 2019.
A thought came to mind the other day.
For all the bluster about Judaism and anti-Semitism in America, I am not convinced that far-out-left and liberal young Jews, who have been very strident and even threatening on Israel-related issues and local American political battles, have done much on the ground to confront and quash, one way or another, attacks on Jews. They have portrayed themselves as gliding along a moral highway but have permitted immoral actions to exist quite close to home, far from Gaza (did any of them recite a public Kaddish in the town square for murdered and injured Jews, or their damaged and desecrated property)?
One of the hallmark features of Yom Kippur are the communal sins which we need to repent for. Most Jews focus on what we have done personally towards G-d and towards others. Little thought is given to how we could be better as a community. Or the sins we bear as a community.
However, the communal recitation of the Al Chet, repeated over and over on Yom Kippur is to drive the point home that we are responsible for one another
Incoming freshman Member of Knesset from the leftist, Democratic Union list, Yair Golan, did it again. Golan’s constant delegitimization of his political opponents on the right, smacks of the same delegitimization that tyrants, dictators, demagogues and assorted totalitarians always use, just before the Putsch.
In that regard, he’s right when he said recently, “I’m reminding people that the Nazis came to power democratically, so we have to be careful, very careful, so that radicals with a messianic view won’t exploit Israeli democracy to replace the system of government.” Think “
As Israeli frustration mounts about violence coming out of Gaza, the idea of a ground invasion, and once and for all to finish with Hamas aggression, becomes more appealing. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has endorsed this approach, saying, “There probably won’t be a choice but to topple the Hamas regime.” While sympathetic to this impulse, I worry that too much attention is paid to tactics and not enough to goals. The result could be harmful to Israel.