On Syria and the Golan

Syria has confirmed that Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said Israel is willing to cede the Golan Heights in return for peace with Damascus.

Given my blood pressure at the moment, I am not sure I will be able to express my disdain for Olmet and this foolish act articulately enough. So I’ll quote Knesset Member Effie Eitam of the National Union-NRP, who said Olmert is sacrificing Israel’s safety in a “desperate attempt to show his constituents some sort of a political achievement… He is willing to give up the one strategic asset which has kept the northern border quiet for the past 40 years.”

I cannot stress the Golan Heights strategic value enough. Militarily, its high-altitude topography serves as a blockade against a Syrian military attack, the importance of which has increased due to advances in ballistic technology. It also enables Israel to keep track of Syrian military movements. In addition, the Sea of Galilee borders the southwestern Golan and provides one-third of Israel’s fresh water supply. The Golan’s fertile land has also enabled Israel to expand her agricultural sector, with approximately 40% of Israeli beef, 30% of Israeli fruit and 38% of Israeli wine exports coming from this region.

And what did Olmert ask for in return?

According to the officials, who confirmed that messages from Jerusalem to Damascus and vice versa have been going through Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office for months, Israel made clear that any peace agreement would necessitate Syria ending its support for Hamas and throwing Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal out of Damascus; ceasing support for Hizbullah; and distancing itself from Iran.

In other words, the same kind of dissociation from terrorism we have demanded from the PA for the last 15 years, and which they still haven’t fulfilled.

And as if on cue, today’s news provides us another reminder why Olmert’s offer is suicidal.

Defense officials in Jerusalem have expressed concern over the possible revelation of classified data pertaining to Israel’s bombing of a Syrian nuclear facility last September during Congressional hearings on the incident which are slated to begin Thursday in Washington.

The American administration is slated to provide Thursday, for the first time, extensive details about the nature of the compound destroyed by the Israel Air Force on September 6.

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that Congress will hear from the Central Intelligence Agency that the facility destroyed in the Israel Air Force attack was a nuclear reactor for producing plutonium.

But hey, we are consistent. We have already shown by our previous concessions that terrorism pays; now we are showing that taking larger steps to wipe us off the map also pays.

By showing his willingness to relinquish the Golan Heights for little in return, Olmert has caused more damage to our country. For even though this matter would have to go to referendum, a previously red line has been crossed, and new expectations have been set. Just like the first time Israel acknowledged the existence of a distinct palestinian people and their bogus right to self-determination, as well as her willingness to give up parts of Israel and divide Jerusalem, the holiest city in Judaism.

The only thing right now I would be willing to relinquish is Olmert. And I wouldn’t even ask for anything in return.

About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks

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  • bubbe

    How soon can/will olmert be removed from office? This man is an idiot.

  • http://www.newvilnareview.com Daniel E. Levenson

    This is a really interesting post.I’m personally a little skeptical about the idea of giving back the Golan, from a security perspective. When you have a moment I’d like to invite you to visit a new online Jewish publication at: http://www.newvilnareview.com

    We’re always looking for submissions, so if you or someone you know might like to submit something, we’d be happy to hear from you.

  • http://www.storkseyeview.blogspot.com hadas

    how is it possible for this man to remain in office? where are the no confidence votes to remove him? he is potentially the most teflon-coated politician in recent history.

  • steve87

    The golan heights that said syrians were using as high ground from which to shell israeli towns and cities before we took it from them.

    How stupid is this guy going to get? Whats the point in having peace with Syria? what are the chances they will attack Israel? Pretty slim I would wager.
    If it’s to stop them from hanging out with Iran and hezbollah, they’ll go behind our backs and do it anyway. it’s a no win situation.

  • Stan

    Assad is in a very awkward position. The Iraqi war has been a disaster for America. It has however done one unintentional positive thing. It has pitted Sunnis against Shiites in a trans Arab (and Persian) civil war. Assad finds himself in the peculiar position of being allied with the Shiites.
    I think he would love to do a realignment. However, his war against Israel makes this impossible.
    In some ways this might be a good time for negotiations with Syria.
    Having said that, I have absolutely no faith in the Olmert government’s ability to drive any kind of a bargain.
    From the Golan Heights, Syria used to bombard Israeli farms and kibbutzim on a daily basis. A small section of the territory actually comes right up to the shores of the Kineret.
    Negotiations with Syria are far to critical to leave in the hands of someone as inept as Olmert.


  • Seg

    How can you guys continue to put up with Olmert and his cronies? What is stopping Shas and the others from bolting the coalition? What more proof do they need????

    An American sympethizer

  • http://azresident.mee.nu Robert

    Are there treason laws in Israel?

  • Carol Herman

    Poor Olmert. He does what he does to BENEFIT Israel! But the entire right wing of the country lacks understanding. They think what he says amounts to “big things. When the reality is different. Before Arik Sharon? Well, then. There was media hatred across the board. And, a good chance that Israel would be excluded as a trading partner with the Europeans.

    Arik Sharon was a loveable guy. People began respecting Israel more; in spite of the tirades let loose by journalists.

    Now you can believe “Bush is a friend of the Jews,” if you want to believe. But he’s also empowered Condi Rice. And, James Baker lives in the current White House.

    One thing IS known! The arabs can’t really face down the IDF. So James Baker thinks it’s a good idea to always ask the Israeli prime minister (be it Sharon, or, now, Olmert). To use the IDF for American goal posts.

    In the summer of 2006 this involved directing Olmert to go into Damasacus to behead Assad. Keep in mind that Israel has kept Assad alive, actually.

    And, all Israel did? Was something, in September of 2007, where “something being built by North Korea,” that still escapes the notice of the international crowd; went “boom” in the night.

    While, of course, Condi Rice through the 84 year old, Kadish, overboard. To embarass Israel IN THE PRESS!

    While the American Congress ruts around, asking for the secret details of September 2007.

    Assad? He’s also helping right now. Because there’s no way syria will agree to a cease fire. Let alone, stopping its friendship with Iran. But that’s the hook. IF THERE WAS PEACE WOULD IT MATTER? Syrians would be welcome up on the Golan. And, so, too, would Jews.

    Meanwhile, Beriut, a 3 hour’s drive away; is still closed off to Israeli traffic.

    You have to wonder why? WHY?

    Olmert’s just playing diplomacy. And, he does it well. Believe me, you don’t need the hatred the press could really deliver. Of course, right now they’re busy with China. And, FREE WILLY. FREE TEBET.

  • Carol Herman

    Above, it should have said “Condi Rice threw Kadish under the bus.” It’s an American expression.

    And, believe it or not, there’s COORDINATION, now, between Assad and Olmert. Why?

    Think back. To what happened in the desert, in syria, in September 2007.

    That’s the only way to look at news, anyway. Otherwise? Rueter’s would win. And, they’re not even close.

    Plus? Well, the New York Times is collapsing, financially. It’s just a big balloon losing its “loft.”

    That’s why people really stay tuned. So, “wait for the3 book.”

    Or in Kadish’s case WAIT FOR THE MOVIE! A lot of stars are old enough to play the spy king. Meanwhile, I love the news! It makes me laugh!

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