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 2008 protest by ver.di Jugend in Karlsruhe, Germany. Photo: Wikipedia commons.
A German youth organization affiliated with the country’s second largest trade union has disavowed the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, as well as an anti-Zionist group that endorses a “one state” solution.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, ver.di Jugend announced that it passed a motion at its annual conference to reject BDS and FOR-Palestine, a group that advocates for a Palestinian-majority state in lieu of Israel and strongly opposes Zionism — the movement that supports the Jewish people’s right to national self-determination.
And the many peoples shall go and say: “Come, Let us go up to the Mount of Hashem, To the House of the God of Yaakov; That He may instruct us in His ways, And that we may walk in His paths.” For instruction shall come forth from Tzion, The word of Hashem from Yerushalayim. Isaiah 2:3 (The Israel Bible™)
One year following the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, leaders from the White House Faith Initiative, along with Evangelical and Latin American leaders, gathered in Israel’s Knesset to promote dialogue and foster relations between Christians and Jews, as well as the United States, Latin America and Israel.
“I will bless those who bless you And curse him that curses you; And all the families of the earth Shall bless themselves by you.” Genesis 12:3 (The Israel Bible™)
An ICEJ delegation visited Israeli communities along the Gaza border and viewed a new specially designed ATV security vehicle donated through the ICEJ to a local moshav. Credit: ICEJ.
After Israel absorbed as many as 700 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip over the weekend, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) sent a delegation to the western Negev region on Monday to assess the updated security needs of local Israeli communities and how best to help them prepare for any future escalations.
A replica of the golden menorah in front of Titus’ Arch in Rome. (Courtesy)
“He said to me, “What do you see?” And I answered, “I see a menorah all of gold, with a bowl above it. The lamps on it are seven in number, and the lamps above it have seven pipes;” Zechariah 4:2 (The Israel Bible™)
A small group of Christians’ remarkable act of faith has ambitious aspirations: to fix the theft of the golden menorah from the Temple by Titus in 70 CE. In addition, they are seeking to return some of the Divine love that has sustained Germany despite the horrific crimes perpetrated on the Jews in the Holocaust.
U.S. Jews are more likely than Christians to say that U.S. President Donald Trump favors Israelis more than the Palestinians, according to a Pew Research poll released on Monday.
Some 42 percent of American Jews say Trump is favoring Israelis more than the Palestinians, while 47 percent of them say he has been striking the right balance between the two.
Apr 30, 2019 0Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) was accused of launching a long-range rocket from northern Gaza at Israel on Monday evening, in an attempt at provoking a heavy response from the Israel Defense...
Only three-quarters of a century after Der Stürmer incentivized the mass murder of Jews by dehumanizing them, we see a revival of such bigoted caricatures.
I do not believe in free speech for me, but not for thee. But I do believe in condemning those who hide behind the First Amendment to express anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, homophobic, sexist or racist views.
One of the most influential newspapers in the world, the Jewish-owned New York Times decided to present the Jews with a gift in honor of the last day of Passover – a major Jewish holiday – an antisemitic caricature. The controversial cartoon shows US President Donald Trump as a blind man with a skullcap on his head, being led by a dog that looks like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And to make sure the reader knows it is indeed the Israeli premier, the dog has a Star of David dangling from its collar.
Last week, Jared Kushner, one of the administration’s point men on the Middle East, dispensed with the term “two-state solution” in its impending peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians. “The two-state solution has failed,” he said.
The “two-state solution” does not appear in the 1993 Oslo Accords, which called only for “interim self-government” for the Palestinians. The goal was a negotiated final status agreement, in which independence was not specified.
Religious fervor always picks up before the Jewish holidays. Not surprisingly, Israeli undercover police arrested Jewish activists from the Hozrim L’Har (Returning to the Mount) organization early Friday afternoon, just before the onset of the Passover holiday, after an apparent attempt to bring a young goat on to the Temple Mount for a self-proclaimed sacrificial rite. Indeed, this drama plays itself out every year, but according to Jerusalem police, this year a record of at least twelve members of the organization were arrested throughout the course of the day on counts of disturbing the peace.
Every year when Passover eve arrives, I do my best not to think about that night; to allow the joy of cherished rituals meant to renew our family’s tribal history and faith envelop us in its warm glow as whoever among the kids and grandkids it’s our turn to host partake of the matzoh, bitter herbs, and wine. Often – actually most often – I succeed.